Sometimes, the most innovative lighting fixtures don’t come from the stable of perfectly finished, sleek task lights at design shows, but from the recycling heaps and hardware stores on the streets of Brooklyn. Pratt Industrial Design student Mayang Anggraeni often takes less glamorous post-consumer materials and transforms them into stylish objects. She recently showcased her Float Light fixture at the 2011 Pratt Student Show, drawing much-deserved attention from visitors, including the Inhabitat team. The fist-sized plastic fixtures, fashioned from recycled plastic detergent bottle parts, LED lamps and batteries, elegantly demonstrate the potential of upcycling commonplace objects into creative, high-design objects fit for any showroom.

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Float Lights are assembled from easy to find materials, and can be easily taken apart and put back together for maintenance. The casing consists of two parts: the bottom is the cap of a laundry detergent bottle, while the top is a spout from a different bottle. A waterproof LED Tea Light is inserted between the two plastic components, and the external components are press fit together.

In order to open the casing, the user can easily tap the bottom, open the lids, and reach the Tea Light. A mere twisting motion turns the LED on and off, and CR2032 battery replacements can be found at any hardware store or even pharmacy. Once finished turning the light on or off, one can just snap the enclosure together and this green fixture is ready to use! Float Light’s name is derived from its amphibious functionality, which determines its flexibility: when the container is partially filled with water, the fixture floats; when the lid is filled with water, the fixture sinks.

The Float Light comes in a variety of colors, which derive not from the LED itself, but from the color of its plastic enclosure. At the moment only one combination of recycled bottle brands, and resulting fixture style, has been prototyped. Yet even with just one model, these colorful waterborne beacons of light are the perfect green solution for low-level accent lighting applications, such as nocturnal swimming, romantic dinners, nighttime baths, or rocking garden parties! If these pint-sized accent lamps are any indication, we are bound to see Ms. Anggraeni’s creations in major showrooms soon, ushering in the transition of low-brow, ecologically sound materials into high-end designs and showrooms!

+ Mayang Anggraeni