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Winning Toy Designer Reinvents Light Bulb

Peter So – SCMP | Updated on Oct 25, 2008

An environmentally friendly “sticker lamp” as thin as a magazine cover has won a local toy designer a top award in the Seoul Design Competition – Hong Kong’s first and only winner in the contest.

Keikko Lee Wing-lam, 26, came up with the idea of a lamp with electroluminescent material on one side and solar panels and sensors on the other. The electroluminescent material gives out light when an electric current is passed through it, in this case generated by the solar panels.

Users attach the lamp’s sticky solar side to a window to absorb sunlight, Ms Lee said. At night, it can be taken down and placed in a room to provide light. When the power runs out, the lamp can be returned to the window to recharge.

“No extra electricity is needed,” said Ms Lee, a graduate of Polytechnic University’s school of design.

The concept landed her the gold prize in the Seoul Design Competition, which was part of the international Seoul Design Olympiad 2008, held this month.

The aim of the contest is to encourage environmentally friendly and creative design solutions for a sustainable city life.

Since the lamp is very thin and light, Ms Lee said it could reduce complicated manufacturing procedures and save on raw materials.

“I believe not only the product itself has to be ecological, but the manufacturing process should be ecological too, in order to make our environment better. Pollution and [power] usage will be reduced correspondingly.”

Ms Lee said she found the electroluminescent material on the internet three months ago and wondered why such an ecological substance had not been put to wide use.

Although the idea had yet to become a finished product, Ms Lee was confident it would be workable.

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