We often just assume that energy to power our TVs, computers, cell phones, and other electronics will always be readily available. But the earth’s resources are scarce – a reality that designer Mike Thompson wants to illustrate (somewhat painfully) with his blood-powered lamp. The single-use lamp forces users to think about where every drop of their energy is coming from–literally.

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In order to turn on the lamp, users have to break off its glass top, prick a finger until blood comes out, and mix the blood with a dissolved tablet (possibly made out of luminol) inside the lamp.

The lamp is more of an art piece than anything else–who is realistically going to sacrifice their lifeblood in the name of mood lighting?–but as Thompson explains, “By creating a lamp that can only be used once, the user must consider when light is needed the most, forcing them to rethink how wasteful they are with energy, and how precious it is.”

+ Mike Thompson