Customized lighting for your home can be expensive — very expensive.Enter Jason Krugman, light sculptor and artist, and designer Scott Leinweber, who have collaborated to create Splyt Light, an affordable and simple interactive lighting systems. With their modular pieces that take advantage of LED technology, you can create (and recreate) your own custom pieces for home or work spaces.
The duo teamed up several years ago, initially on Krugman’s 2013 piece Rhythm and Form, and have working together ever since. They were at ICFF 2015 in May to demo their invention. It’s still in prototype form, but is currently marching through the process to market.
We love our DIY, so we asked Krugman and Leinweber about their novel take on a typically very high-end product:
What sparked the creation of these “DIY” fixtures?
We had seen many different people, in restaurants and stores, use the cheap hardware-store Y-splitter to build their own fixtures. These are low cost, convert one bulb socket to many, and add a fun aesthetic to a space. We thought it was such a playful idea, but it could be much nicer if only the pieces had more design qualities and were purpose-built.
How did you come up with the idea?
While we started to redesign the hardware store y-splitter, we kept the basic idea, but had some new intentions. Some of the design considerations included the bulb size, using all 60W bulbs accumulatea too much heat, so we reduced down to small, candelabra sizes. We made them slender to increase the volume of the chandelier, while also making it more delicate. And certainly the interaction of building your own, we have prototyped and played with may versions focusing on how it feels to build a fixture.
Why a branch-style fixture?
The form was pre-supposed by the utilitarian Y splitter, but building off these ideas for DIY lighting systems we hope to expand form possibilities in the future.
How do both your backgrounds contribute to the collaboration?
Splyt is born out of the work of Jason Krugman Studio, and is his first consumer light product. Jason has been making custom LED and interactive lighting installations for 8 years. Scott is a trained architect and product designer, focusing on physical interaction design. We’ve been working together for two years, on JKS studio projects and the leap to a consumer product was quite natural.
How soon do you think this will go to market?
We are hoping for this holiday season 2015.
Do you have a target price?
We’re hoping to keep a small fixture around $100, and a larger one under $300. This may be around $10/pc and you would buy them by the number of pieces.
What are the biggest challenges in creating and marketing a piece like this?
Scott is skilled at rapid prototyping and 3d printing, and Jason brings the electrical experience. Together we’ve quickly iterated through multiple versions to arrive at what can be manufactured. However, the step into mass production from rapid prototypes is still quite a leap for a 2 person team. We’re working with different manufactures around the world to try to get to market for the holiday season.
Putnam’s Pub and Cooker in Brooklyn, NY has installed several of the Splyt Light fixtures. The customizable fixtures give off a radiant glow that enhances the warmth of the wood in the bar.
The DIY nature of this lighting allows you to take any light socket in your home and turn it into a unique fixture. Small or large, these can be used as a lamp or as a ceiling light. Much more interesting than your average flush-mount ceiling “bug catcher” style fixture.