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Introducing the Top Shelf Light concept

There's an idea that we've had for several years and we have decided to get moving on it. There are many different types of lights out there - table lamps, torchieres, pendants, chandeliers, task lamps, and more. But there's been something missing and in hindsight it seems obvious. We noticed back in about 2010 that many of our prototypes seemed to want to be placed up high. Maybe it's something in the nature of LEDs, due to their directional nature or their weight once a solid heat sink is attached, but some of them seemed to be "happiest" as uplights that worked incredibly well on top of bookshelves at home or in the office.

If you've got a tall piece of furniture in your home, whether it's a bookcase, armoire, hutch, or something like that, you may have noticed that there's no light which has been designed to go on top of it. Sometimes people will put small table lamps up there or maybe a length of LED rope light but as a rule, nothing really looks right up there. Basically, what needs to go there is something like the top of a torchiere or floor lamp, where some light comes out of the sides and most of the light is reflected off of a white ceiling to produce indirect light.

For lack of a more clever name, we're calling this type of light a "top shelf light" because it uses the top of a tall piece of furniture as a shelf. We've built a few and after using them, they just make a lot of sense. We're getting a pretty good feel for them and here's what we've found:

  • These lights work best when they're connected to a switched outlet because their switch is in a really inconvenient to location
  • All of the light should shine up or to the sides. There's no point having light shine down because it will just illuminate the top of a piece of furniture. It's good for some light to come out of the sides of the fixture but for the most part, a top shelf light is an uplight
  • Because the top shelf light sits up high, glare control isn't a huge issue.
  • It should be possible to make a bigger and brighter top shelf light than we originally thought, now we just have to build one and see what form it wants to take.

Top shelf flux lights from below Top shelf flux lights from above An Orange Flux light close-up
Top shelf flux lights from below Top shelf flux lights from above Orange flux light close-up

As we've been watching these lights evolve, they've somehow picked up the name "flux lights" and it's stuck. The pictures above show both a cylindrical flux light that we're working on and a spherical flux light. The cylindrical flux is on the left and it's got the basic shape of a cylinder roughly 8 inches tall and 5 inches in diameter. The light on the right is a spherical flux light because the diffusion part of the light has a roughly spherical shape. The light on the left uses a remote phosphor technology and has a blue glow and the one on the right uses a conventional warm white light engine, but this is unrelated to the shape.

The number of different combinations of shape, lighting technology, and construction materials is quite large and we're trying to decide if we should pick a few combinations that we like or leave that to the customer. We haven't decided yet. These lights have been designed to be seen from below and to sit close to the ceiling, so they have some significant glare when seen from above.

Please contact us if you have any questions. We're very excited about this and we think you will be too, especially after you try a few of them.


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Copyright 2010-2015 Aptilite LLC. All rights reserved. Information in this document is subject to change without notice, and all guesses as to brightness and power consumption are very approximate. Trademarks of the products of other manufacturers are the property of those manufacturers.