Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The Elroy Lamp: A transparent LCD lamp (2019) (kylescholz.com)
166 points by schappim on Oct 16, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 35 comments

> The LCD panels take EDP (Embedded DisplayPort) video input.

How do you figure this out? There are a few projects I can think of where an old laptop monitor and an SBC would be a good pairing.

Love it, one of the few tasteful "novelty" lamps that I've come across. Too bad one needs 3-4 of the exact same size displays though, I've got a couple unused ones laying around, but they're not the same size...

If you can get at least two the same size, and four with a common height, you could do a rectangle or a trapezoid, which would look good.

Heck if you could find enough displays at a computing recycling center you could do interesting things with an irregular hexagon...

But if you can find monitors that are close but not exact, you could adjust them via the bezel. You’ll have to correct for the pattern sizes on each face if you do that, though. Put the one that looks the worst in the back, of course.

You could, perhaps, make one shaped like a triangle instead of a square, with just the one side facing out from a corner into the room. The other two sides could be just translucent to give reflected light into the room.

Or laser cutout to project a pattern behind it, ambient lighting, or even project a pattern, same for camouflage or different for contrast on a wall behind it.

Exact height displays. First thought when I saw it was square is boring. How about a triangle, rhombus, kite, etc.

An equilateral triangle might want to use expensive ultrawide panels though.

This is remarkably creative and very tastefully done.

Would be cool with moving pictures. Like a digital lava lamp.

Would support for animated patterns and the likes be relatively easy, since it's controlled by an SBC? Seems to me it would be a great addition.

I desperately want it playing the Substrate screensaver:


I really want to see GLSchool on this. The extra dimension would make it feel more like a real aquarium!

Yes! I was surprised by the choice of the obnoxious and dull patterns from 1960's.

Maybe we can even make it display the time? The possibilities would be endless

Also adding a keyboard and maybe a mouse could be done. Say, for reading the news ...

or adding a touch panel..

The marauders map from Harry Potter would look great.

Pretty amazing how well the high-tech hides in that! Doesn't look gimmicky at all, at least on the pictures.

Could use the flexible LCDs to make a cylindrical version...

I would love to try this. If anyone has leads on flexible LCD displays that I can actually purchase in small quantities, please let me know.

Isn't this exactly how an LCD monitor works, but now it's called a lamp?

Perhaps people can use it to watch a sports match on one side and a romcom on another side?

And of course install "redshift" on it.

Anyway, I'd prefer a lamp that can project user-defined images on the walls and/or ceiling.

It is exactly how a monitor works, but this is more than just a change of label. This looks like a lamp. Form factor matters. There's a reason people don't normally use monitors as lamps despite the fact that they do a perfectly good job at emitting light.

Absolutely, this is a very nicely-executed build. Though most monitor backlights are only about half as bright as that LED bulb. I wonder if you were willing to sacrifice detail if you couldn't use smaller screens (smartphone, say), farther from the paper shade...

Very cool, love their choice of designs.

I'm guessing that it would be cheaper to use, say, four Raspberry PIs instead of the single Jetson; you then get four HDMI ports, and can skip the extra display controller? Bit more software, of course.

I've actually built a second iteration that uses a Raspberry Pi 4 that has 2 HDMI ports, and uses 2 2-way splitters. The hardware was much cheaper and this version can support complementary pairs of images or bookending of the same pattern. It's still not a cheap project, but more approachable. Also, thank you!

I'd love to see what it looks like when it's off - I couldn't see that in the window or the pictures. Did I miss something?

I want one. Seems like this might be a good use for old and otherwise trash lcd panels too.

I love it. Really cool, but probably way too impractical for mass production.

Impressive work and design. The creator must’ve had a blast doing this


> I salvaged some 13” LCD displays from old laptops and found additional matching displays on ebay.

The LCDs were taken from old disused equipment.

> I happened to have an Nvidia Jetson Nano

And the board was disused equipment too, it seems.

I find this kind of reuse very inspiring. Once I no longer need my old laptops, I feel like it might be fun to do something similar instead of shipping the whole thing to a recycling plant. You could even use LCDs that have dead pixels or other defects.

You could argue that requiring a 35 W LED lamp is wasteful, or the power used by the SoC (10 W max), etc., but together that's still about as much as a standard incandescent lamp.

Please check the HN guidelines (bottom of page). This site is about curiosity, not about shallow dismissals.

This is the kind of experimentation and play that drives society

Translucent, not transparent.

Yup. I agree it's translucent. Even without the diffusion layers I added, LCD displays are not really transparent. They block a lot of light due to the pair of polarizes on either side of a panel. I found that the term "transparent LCD" was used in industry wherever people use LCD panels without a blocking backer, so I used this term also.

Ok downvoters, this time I'll quote directly from the article:

"Frosted acrylic 1/8″ 90% emission (film facing out)"

The lamp is NOT transparent. It is translucent. In no pictures you can see any resemblance of transparency. It is translucent.

Looks fantastic! Did you try fading between images? Relatively easy with changing alpha channels in pygame.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact