Lighting Japan 2014: Mini LED Luminaires Too Cute to Ignore

Decorative mini LED luminaire no bigger than a ball pen attracted the attention of many passer bys at Lighting Japan 2014 at Tokyo Big Sight. Founder of Kadoya Studio Rumi Fukumoto speaks about her miniature LED lighting design IEJI at Lighting Japan 2014.

Founder of Kadoya Studio Rumi Fukumoto. (LEDinside)

Lin: I’ve noticed most of your project designs are based on nature. What animal is IEJI based on?

Fukumoto: IEJI is a design based on the deer. I first drew the design about three years ago, but didn’t finish production till recent. It takes me about two to three weeks to finish the LED ones, and only one week for the ones without LEDs. The IEJI uses resin and is molded into the shapes.

Lin: What is your design concept? Why this particular concept?

Fukumoto: The concept is going home. I chose this concept because I believe it is a universal need shared by all. When I was five, I asked my mother where are we come from and where are we going? It is something that I keep thinking about. The image I have in my mind is walking home on the street, lighting up and showering, the house for me is very emotional.

The design concept for most of my work is about time and memory. The human memory.

Decorative mini LED luminaire IEJI made by Fukumoto. (LEDinside)

Lin: Is there special meaning with the different colors IEJIs?

Fukumoto: The red one is based on a ship, like a ship at sea. The lid (a magnetic light switch) for that one is a lighthouse. The silver or grey one is Tenma (sky horse) represents space, cosmos, which is very vast, so it has a rocket. The green IEJI represents wild grass close to the river.

Lin: Is this the first time that you worked with LEDs?

Fukumoto: Yes, it was my first time working with LEDs. It was very hard. I didn’t know how to make it or wire. I found an Osaka manufacturer from the phone book and asked them if they could help. Masaharu Urano, Planner for Masui Lighting Co., LTD was the person I contacted. They told me they couldn’t make the LED because it was too small. So I found my university professor to help me out, and he drew the design and I knew how to make it. (Fukumoto has a masters and undergraduate degree from Kyoto University of Art and Design).

Lin: Will you be mass producing IEJI anytime soon?

Fukumoto: I am still thinking whether it’s a good idea to mass produce IEJI or not. At the moment it is custom made, and sold at 20,000 Japanese Yen (US$ 190.92).

Another lighting design by Kadamoto. She says this design concept is based on twins facing each other in the sea and talking to each other with their hearts. (LEDinside) 
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