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The desk lamp features touch controls to dim and turn off the brushed-aluminum device, as well as a wireless smartphone charger in the walnut base.

What if light wasn't just a bulb? That's the essential premise behind OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, that illuminate with an amazingly thin layer of emissive electroluminescent film using almost no electricity (85 per cent less, to be exact, than a traditional 60-watt bulb). Toronto start-up OTI Lumionics's recently launched A1 task light, however, takes that innovation to the next level. Working under the brand name Aerelight, founder Michael Helander and his team sought to make an OLED lamp that's actually accessible to consumers. "Other OLED products cost $1,000 to even $10,000 for a desk lamp," project manager Albert Lam says. "We have truly created the world's first consumer-ready OLED lamp." In addition to the envelope-pushing technology, the lamp features touch controls to dim and turn off the brushed-aluminum device, as well as a wireless smartphone charger in the walnut base. "This is just the beginning of what OLEDs will look like in the future," Lam says. "We're seeing the technology at its infancy right now, and as the demand grows for the quality of light provided by OLEDs, the barriers to make use of the technology will reduce."

$299 through aerelight.com

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