Variations on normal by Dominic Wilcox

Sound Bulbs
May 22, 2013, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Drawings | Tags: ,


I’ve created what I call ‘Sound Bulbs’ that combine a light bulb connector with music players so that it’s possible to screw in your music player into any light bulb socket. I was invited to take part in an exhibition during Clerkenwell Design Week called Design Exquis. The idea of the exhibition was a little like the game of Chinese whispers in that a first designer/artist was given an object (a stethoscope), they then had to find inspiration from that to create a new object of their own. That object was then passed to me and I was challenged to create something inspired from that. This continued for 4 people. The object I was given was a ceiling lamp by ‘Plant and Moss’. I started to think about ceiling lights and the question of ‘why do we only plug light bulbs into lamp sockets?’

IMG_5933 radio1

My first thought was that it would be interesting to have music playing from the centre of a room, to be able to plug in a radio for example. I actually don’t use ceiling lights so much and prefer table lights for a more subtle light in the room. I set about finding old radios from markets and shops that I could convert with the addition of a bayonet or Edison screw light bulb connector and a 9v transformer to connect to where the battery would normally be. I decided to demonstrate the idea at the exhibition with a table lamp also. I could have chose a minimal table lamp and a modern day music player, but decided to go in the opposite direction. There are not many opportunities in life  to combine 1880 golden statues with 1980 ghetto blasters so I took it.


The table lamp also has a little pull string to turn on and off. Of course there are many potential directions to my concept. remote. I have further uses and additions for this idea in mind.

During research I discovered that the very first electric irons were powered by electric lamp sockets see this 1920’s picture below.

Untitled-3The link to the Exhibition facebook page is here

For larger images for use on websites, print etc please contact using the contact page.


5 Comments so far
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[…] Check out his blog post here on the project and where you can catch him and it during Design Week. […]

Pingback by SOUND BULBS by Dominic Wilcox - Technology Will Save Us - Technology Will Save Us

That’s pretty nifty.

Comment by Peter Greene

Lots of things were plugged into light sockets originally, including washing machines!

There is a very interesting talk from Jeff Bezos (of Amazon fame) here with lots of pictures of items such as toasters etc and indeed the washing machine which had one rather fatal design flaw…

Comment by Alex Andronov

Yes I mention the plug in iron of 1920’s in the post that had a long lead. These sound bulbs screw directly in. (a new twist 🙂 Having sound hanging from the centre of a room is interesting to me also.

Comment by Dominic (admin)

[…] calls them Sound Bulbs, and they were built in response to a game aimed at finding new uses for old objects. The challenge […]

Pingback by ‘Sound Bulbs’ Are Vintage Speakers That Screw Right Into Light Sockets | Gizmodo Australia

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