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Lamp invention puts a smile on inventor's face
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A Shanghai university student has invented an energy-saving, light-emitting diode lamp which can entertain users by changing its shape and design, officials with East China Normal University announced.

The lamp invented by Yao Yi, an undergraduate student at ECNU's engineering design department, has won first prize in the Philips Lamp Contest, one of the city's top awards for lamp designers.

A lack of professional support has hampered Yao from producing and marketing the lamp, he said.

The lamp is made of a round base with more than 40 small LED lights and a balloon with a smiley face acts as the lamp shade.

The balloon can be blown up through a small ball-shaped air inflator, allowing the lamp to change shape and brightness. When the balloon expands, the lamp provides more light.

Yao said the use of LED lights makes it safe for children.

"LED lights don't heat up much when they are on, so the lamp won't expose children to the risk of getting burned when playing with the balloon," Yao said.

Meanwhile, LED lights are an environment friendly source of light.

LED lights use only 6 percent of the energy that an ordinary bulb does to create the same amount of light. LED materials can also be recycled without harming natural resources, unlike metal or fluorescent lamps, Yao said.

However, don't expect to see the award-winning invention in stores anytime soon.

"I designed and built the lamp on my own," Yao said. "But a stronger professional support team, including mechanical assistants, a structural designer and material professionals are needed to improve the design before it could reach the market."

(Shanghai Daily June 24, 2008)


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