by , 06/07/07

Koncept Z-Bar LED Desk Lamp, LED Desk Lamp, Koncept Design, Eco-friendly energy efficient LED Desk lamp, Z-Bar High Power desk lamp

While wandering the halls of ICFF this year we came across this beautiful new LED Lamp design by Koncept and were instantly smitten with its graceful lines and clarity of purpose. Koncept’s gorgeously simple Z-Bar is a true testament to the “less is more” philosophy of design. Why have fidgetty little nobs, decorations, and unecessary distraction when the main purpose of a desk lamp is to illuminate your desk with as little energy and heat as possible? Koncept’s unobtrusively sexy form packs a secret punch – behind the flexible stick shape of the Z-bar Lamp is a high power set of 66 LEDs which provide up to 240 lumens while only consuming 8.8 watts of electricity.

Koncept Z-Bar LED Desk Lamp, LED Desk Lamp, Koncept Design, Eco-friendly energy efficient LED Desk lamp, Z-Bar High Power desk lamp

The new Z-Bar High Power comes in cool white to match daylight, or warm white to match the warm glow of regular light bulbs. Improved lifetime means the lamp will still be running strong after 40,000 hours – so there’s no need to ever change the bulbs.

Apparently we are not the only ones smitten with Koncept’s Z-Bar Lamp design – the design won a “Best of Category” award from International Design (I.D.) Magazine. At $129 for the original, and $169 for the new “High-Power” design, Z-bar packs a lot of bang for the buck.

+ Z-Bar LED Desk Lamp

$129-$169 from Koncept

Animated gif of Koncept's Z-bar desk

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  1. Lilly February 18, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I bought the Koncept Z-Bar when it first came out and it started to
    die on me at 6 month mark. The Koncept hinges broke on me. They’re
    friction joint and after a while the plastic just wears away. It
    seems like being cheaply built is a big complain of Koncept lights.
    It was ‘ok’ brightness (a bit dim good for accent) when I first bought
    it, but the LEDs a few LEDs died and the brightness has noticeably
    faded. One would think that with all the complains they would get
    better LEDs. Someone also mentioned it’s because they dont have good
    heat sinks so it heats up LEDs die and they fade really fast. That
    and I think the quality of the LEDs make a huge difference. Also one
    of those plastic buttons broke. Really disappointed by Koncept.
    $170 is too much for a throw away. I wish I had saved my money. I
    would not buy another one of their product, has tons of
    complains as well. It looks good, but it just does not work as a lamp.

    However, I am happy with the new LED task lamp I have! =) A friend
    bought me a EcoLight by IMG Lighting LED Lamp for my birthday about 5
    months ago. Its super bright and really well built (hefty and study).
    The LED lamp doesn’t jam in a ton of LEDs like koncept, but uses
    higher quality LEDs (more brightness out of the a lower number of LEDs
    means Im saving energy – my killawatt meter confirms the energy
    savings) It’s hinges are not the friction type, they are ratched so
    they stay in place. The IMG Light desk lamp has a really cool touch
    sensors that adjust brightness, color temperature, and on/off. So no
    buttons will break on me. The big thing for me is the cool white and
    warm white LEDs. I now have both the warm comfortable light from the
    warm white, but the nice crisp light for reading from the white LEDs.
    Makes a big, big difference when I want to read a book or if I want to
    turn adjust the brightness or color hue when Im having a nice dinner.

    I check on the price of the Ecolight it also much cheaper than the
    Koncept product. I highly recommend the IMG Lighting LED light
    enough. Very happy I have it!

  2. Ray January 7, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    I purchased a 14×6 grid rectangular Koncept desk light several years ago and, out of 84 LEDs, 32 are no longer illuminating. Don’t think I’ve had it on for 1000 hours!!
    I’m not impressed since you can’t read or do any work with this little illumination. Is it really a “throw – away” now?

  3. Peter June 24, 2007 at 3:01 am

    I got a Z Bar when they first came to market, and I’ve been very satisfied with it. It was a little dimmer than I had expected, but once I learned to leverage the adjustability of the lamp to focus the light on where I needed it, I found the Z Bar to be more than adequate as my everyday desk lamp. The price tag (I got it for $100 + $12 shipping) was very reasonable, too (compared to other LED lamps). And if the Z Bar’s energy consumption claims are true, I’m also happy about that. (I’ve found that the DC adapter is warm even when the lamp is turned off… so it’s probably sucking power all the time… how much, I’m not sure.)

    The new generation Z Bar scheduled to be released soon (end of June 2007?) is supposed to be brighter, has the option of “warm white” light, and will be dimmable — all while still being priced reasonably and consuming very little power. I’ve signed up to get notified when they go on sale, and I plan to buy one. (I’ll clamp the original one to my headboard for nighttime reading, and put the new one on my desk.)

    Previous posters suggested that a lamp using a 11W T2 fluorescent tube would be more efficient and would produce a more natural light than the Z Bar. I actually had a 13W T2 desk lamp (brighter than 11W), and it was in fact brighter and produced more natural light than the Z Bar. Still the Z Bar was more adjustable, and the focused light of the Z Bar lit up the stuff on my desk as well (if not better) than the T2 lamp. So after getting used to the bluish light of the Z Bar, I kept it as my desk lamp, and gave the T2 to my mom to use as a beside lamp.

    As far as LED lamp life vs. the life of a T2 fluorescent lamp, I’d say it’s probably a wash. The Z Bar manufacturer says that brightness will decrease by about 50% after 15,000 to 30,000 hours, but that’s still 5 to 10 years, assuming 8/365 use. (And if you can live with a dim lamp, you could use it much longer.) Fluorescent tubes also lose their brightness over time and will die after about 7500 hours. You can replace the tubes, but you’ll probably have to special order the T2 (and it’s not cheap). And when the ballast dies ater 20,000 to 40,000 hours, you’ll probably need to special order that, too, assuming you can and are willing to do the necessary wiring to replace it. (Most people, I assume, would just junk the T2 lamp when the ballast dies just like they would junk the Z Bar when it gets too dim). You might get more brightness and replaceability with a more standard T5 fluorescent tube lamp, but it won’t be as slim/sleek as a T2 or a Z Bar. (And I have yet to see a T2 or T5 that is as adjustable as the Z Bar.)

  4. anon June 9, 2007 at 7:09 am

    1. Most LED have no heatsinks. And as J said, heat can severely affect the life, and also the performance of LED. That’s why high-powered LED, like that of Luxeon, have heatsinks built-in – So that manufacturers don’t have to design their own heatsinks.

    2. LED has inherently narrow “radiation pattern”, that usually makes them good for torchights, but not general purpose lighting. To make a LED “lamp” with wide beam width, you can install multiple LED in different angles, use a diffuser (just examples). To my understanding, the former will reduce the lux rating, and the latter will reduce both the lux and lumens rating.


  5. J June 8, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    It looks like the LEDs have no sort of heat sink or anything – heat can severely affect the life of LEDs – the hotter they burn, the quicker they dim. the remark made that perhaps the LED arm can be removed and replaced is a neat one – maybe even te LEDs can be recycled/salvaged? I like this lamp better than the leaf lamp anyway.

  6. Chagri Lama June 7, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Duane, Thanks for the info on the plug-in piece.

    Jill, I am not usually grumpy, and I LOVE good designs – that is why I hang out in this site A LOT!!! But sometimes, designs fall flat, despite looking good on the surface. And BTW, I use my lamps much much more than 2 hours a day! More like 8 hours per day. And according to this, the lamp will go bad in 18-19 years (assuming 270 days of usage per year). Of course, the 40,000 hours lifetime is an ideal number. My experience with LEDs is that they last long, but their efficacy drops below usability in about half the “rated” time, i.e. in this case maybe 20,000 hours, say 25,000. That would still leave many years of usage – around 10 years. Roughly.

    Good design should last a long time. That is one of the inherent elements of a good design, its timelessness. To say that after X years I can just dump the lamp and get another exemplifies the horrible thinking in the USA and some European countries about resources – that there should be little if any attempt to make the products last and last and last and last. Milan in Italy in now brimming with garbage all over because its landfills are full. Simply full. There is no place to haul the trash. One lamp clearly won’t create the crisis, but the way of thinking that things can and should be thrown away WILL definitely turn problems into crises, as is Milan, and as many other cities in the USA experience.

    Still, keep the stuff coming. I love your site. I get a bit uptight when the choices to post lack critical thinking. It is great to post anything, but the critical thinking should really also go along with it. Critique is good, not bad for this website!

    All the best!

    Chagri Lama

  7. Duane June 7, 2007 at 11:28 am

    I’ve owned this lamp for a few months after seeing it on Treehugger. I needed a new desk lamp and I liked the slim, elegant design and the LED source. The lamp is attractive and is very well made, but I never turn it on. The beam is so narrow that it doesn’t function well as a desk lamp. Further the light is dim with an unpleasant color. As Fred says, LEDs have a long way to go. If you are interested in an LED lamp or bulb I would recommend going to a store/showroom where you can judge the characteristics of the lamp. By the way, I’m not some incandescent -loving crank. I have CFLs throughout my house and love the quality of light.

    By the way, the top portion of this lamp with the LEDs plugs into the arm so, assuming the manufacturer was still making this, at the end of the LEDs life you would just have to replace that portion – not the whole lamp.

  8. Fred June 7, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Actually, a lot of energy is lost in LED systems in the form of heat. Fluorescent lighting is still your best bet to actually light anything efficiently: a T2 11W lamp, available in any color temperature you might possibly need, would develop 900 Lumens, instead of a 100. The lamp lasts only (?) 10 000 hours ( still roughly 13 years according to you calculations; not too shabby ) but it can be easily replaced without throwing away the whole thing : PCB, wires, metal etc.

    LEDs have come a long way and are all the hype these years, but let’s admit there is still room for improvement. Lots of it.


    (Oh and in order to make sense, the saying usually goes “Less is More”. : )

  9. Jill June 7, 2007 at 9:22 am

    My aren’t we a grumpy bunch this morning…Chagri Lama, the lamp is designed to have a super long life span so that the LEDs don’t need replacing…the LEDs don’t start to dim until after 40,000 operating hours. That means if you are like most normal people and use the desk lamp a couple hours per day, the lamp should last 55 years before the LEDs EVEN START to dim slightly. And at that point you probably aren’t going to worry about replacing the LEDs, although I’m sure you could if you wanted to.


  10. mike June 7, 2007 at 8:41 am

    i thought it was ‘less is more’

  11. Chagri Lama June 7, 2007 at 3:03 am

    Hmmm… check on for example to find several prices ranging from $116 to $149.

    The bif item for me would be this: by their Koncept’s admission, the LEDs fade after some time. Did they design any sort of ability to replace the LEDs? Or is it another one of these landfill-stuffing items that is good for some time then you just trash it?

    If there is no designed replacement, then this item, while indeed beautiful and well designed (almost except the possible fatal flaw of replacement of LEDs), is plain garbage. And so it is another “Thanks, no thanks!”

    Chagri Lama

  12. Jac June 7, 2007 at 2:27 am

    It looks good and very economic at 11W only. US$129 without ever changing bulbs is a good investment too. I like that it’s so flexible in its adjustment.

  13. JAMES GEDDES June 7, 2007 at 12:21 am

    great design

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