Expanding The Light Theorem

How would you like a tube light that expands into the length of your holder? Something like one standard tube that fits all sizes. So if you have a small width holder, let the tube stay tightly spiraled. Need to fit it to the longer size? Expand the spiral! The idea is pretty straightforward; the only cause for concern is the kind of materials that will be used in the construction of the tube light. Any thoughts?

Telescopic Tube is a 2012 iF Design Talents entry.

Designer: Zhen Zhou


  • Thomas Prikowitsch says:

    any thoughts on how to prevent bending?
    it might start to sag, without propper support.

  • Quintin says:

    Indeed, it will sag in the middle.

    Also, the tubes or ordinary tube lights differ in size because of the different power levels.

    It is an interesting idea to make tube lights ‘universal’, but you can’t have a spiral this long that is easy to stretch keep it’s shape if you hang it from the ends like that…

    Another thing is that with these tube lights, what lights up is a coating on the inside of the glass. On this design, this material has to be something else and it has to stretch. How will the coating stay on the inside of the tube when the tube changes shape/size?

    You could do something with LEDs, but then the stretching would be mechanical and it wouldn’t have a clean look like this…

  • Matthew says:

    At the current design I agree with the others that eventual sagging could be an issue, however overcoming it shouldn’t be too difficult with the necessary supports.

    I could see it being supported using metallic clips hidden in the frame that could slide up and down the length of it to accompany the desired size. Another thought is to use a telescopic pipe inside the coil similar to what you find on some curtain poles that stretch to the size of the window.

    These are just a few quick solutions, but the original concept is a nice one nevertheless.

  • Id stick to standard fluorescent lamp technology in the wattages that are already existing to match ballast and light output requirements.
    Try using a dulux PL lamp which looks like a trombone. Add a 2nd trombone to the design that can side in and out to make up the extra length required. It could then overlap the next lamp to have consistent light output as you will also need to avoid areas with more light (large overlap) to areas with less light ( no overlap).

  • hhy says:

    does anyone remember this:
    h_design’s D’Light

  • Neon Leon says:

    A fundamental flaw in this design is that the light output [measured in lumens] is constant while the length varies. So in the example illustrated, as the lamp is stretched 300% it emits 33% fewer lumens per foot. This will make it hard for anyone but a lighting designer to calculate how many lamps will be needed for a particular application.

  • How about approaching this with side emitting fiber optic technology? It could be a semi ridged solid fibre in the spiral design with a high powered LED at either end. Stretching or changes in overlap effect all system approach luminaries and the lighting designers know how to calculate the light they will achieve with a IES file. Just make it work.
    I like it .

  • 许大鸟 says:


  • Joseph says:

    Bad, copy and paste.

  • Mike Powets says:

    Great idea. However lumen outputs vary with different lamp lengths. This would be a standard output regardless of length therefore if retrofitted would result in a totally different lighting level from the designed illuminance. A very logical idea and quite artistic however fundamentally flawed as a lighting suction due to the above.

  • Maryline says:

    Good concept, but it looks like it not enough research has been done to move forward from the concept phase. If the designer is serious about this, he should see these comments as onstructive critism, and do a lot more research.

  • that is very easily done, a semi rigid plastic material, and installed with fiberglass plastic. through which you make light.

    or the concept of LED implementation, that would work.

  • Mohamed Shaarawy says:

    Sorry but I am no understand. . Can you please explain again . Because I am intersted with your products . And I want to ask about price and how can I will deliver it
    Thanks in advance

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