Jonathan Topf
Design, making & interaction

Lighting - LS1


In late 2022 I began working on a second lighting project, the hope was to create something useful for our home that would also be a fun challenge to make. I installed it in June 2024.

A secondary goal was to build something highly integrated using modern manufacturing techniques in such a way that the final object would still be mendable.

I did all the design, CAD, electronics and firmware, though much of it with help from friends. Most of the manufacture was done locally in London, the exception being the PCB which was fabricated in China.

The first prototype was lashed together using a left over piece of skirting board. We set it up in the bedroom to check whether the concept was fit for purpose.

The most useful, and most fun, prototype was this cross section. This tested out the electronics, assembly, materials and aesthetic of the project. At this point, the prototype was a one-off and fit on my desk, which made it a pleasure to work on.

Many months of the project was spent on the electronics and CAD work. This really taught me how much work integration is–no single task is hard, but in concert changes get really complex really quickly.

I made enough parts for four lights. Scaling from one to four was a surprising amount of work, and coordinating parts from all over London was tricky, even on a very small project like this.


This project absolutely left me with a new sense of awe for how much work goes into making every little detail of our world.