Trowels. Extractor fan filters. Garden hose fittings. Lamps.
All of these things are incredibly dull, and probably remind you of being dragged around your local Homebase as a kid on a Saturday morning, when all you wanted to do was watch The Rock lay the smackdown on Triple H's candy ass. Or maybe that was just us.
Either way, they don't all have to be boring. Granted, we've never drooled over a trowel before, but lamps are a whole different story. Not all light emitters are made equal, and we'll prove it.
Feast your eyes on this lot, and leave your boring style in the dim dark past:
IKEA Riggad (£50)
Lamps live on desks. Phones live on desks. Bring the two together in a wire-free melding of light and power with this quirky beamer. Aside from an easily adjustable lamp arm, the Riggad is rigged up to give your phone cable-free juice, courtesy of a charger built into the base. It’ll play nice with all Qi-certified smartphones, or you can slip your iPhone into one of the sold-separately Vitahult cases. Stick it on your desk for a Swedish-smart workspace.
Habitat Ribbon (£40)
Forget the angular lines of industrial design: this shapely lamp from Habitat has curves in all the right places. Inspired by the movement of - you guessed it - a ribbon, the Ribbon is a striking exposition of form and function in glowing unison. Standing at a handy 36cm tall, it’ll do for both the desk and the bedside table. In fact, its powder-coated steel exterior will bring a beautiful blend of knots and Watts to wherever you choose to place it.
NB: the all-black version is £40. The copper variant pictured above will set you back £95 or £160, depending on the size.
Balloon Lamp (£20)
Balloons are great. Oh, sure, the tears are terrible when they pop – but there’s something childishly fascinating about capturing your own hot air in a colourful rubber skin. Pick up this lamp and you’ll be able to savour the joy of your favourite inflatable forever. Stuck to a metal stand, push the knot to turn it on and it’ll glow through a happy spectrum of colours, forming a perfect backdrop to your memories of the one that got away.
Ooh la lamps
Lumir Mood Lamp (£80)
There’s nothing better for meditation than a calming mood lamp - until you remember the carbon footprint of its electricity consumption. Maintain your calm with this candle-powered light. Through the power of science, a heat exchange captures the thermal energy of the waxy burner below and converts it into electricity to power four LEDs, thereby doubling the brightness. Styled like the offspring of a lighthouse and a flask, it’s a funky alternative to that battery-powered fake flame from the garden centre.
Satechi Smart LED Lamp (US$100)
Light is light, right? Not so. Colour temperature can make a big difference to your mood - just ask someone who works under the fluorescent tubes of a science lab. Satechi’s LED shiner has several colour settings - including study, reading and relaxation modes - to ensure you’re never out of sorts with the task at hand. It also consumes eight times less power than an incandescent lamp and, better still, can boost smartphone batteries via a built-in USB slot.
Mini Lumio+ (US$125)
Brighten your library visit with this disguided light from Lumio. Battery-powered and properly portable - it weighs just 340g - simply slip off the spine cover and stick it where you need it for 250 lumens of page-turning light. It’ll glow for up to 10 hours, whilst built-in magnets can make a stand of any nearby metal. Need to share? Its binding can be opened up to 360 degrees for a full arc of illumination. Oh, and it’ll charge your phone, too.
Kartell Mini Taj Lamp (£160)
Is it a stylish lamp, or a sculpture with LEDs? That’s a question you can ponder as you bathe in the brightness of this energy saving light, caressing it’s shoe horn shape with your perfectly lit palms. Designed by Ferruccio Laviani, the Mini Taj comes in several chic colours - including gold, copper and crystal - and is also available as a larger floor lamp for your living room. Rumours that it’s a cat scratching post from the future remain unconfirmed.
BenQ WiT e-Reading LED Desk Lamp (€199)
Tablets. Smartphones. Laptops. Screens dominate our lives nowadays - and there’s no escaping the strain they put on our peepers. Put an end to sore eyes at bed time with BenQ’s reading lamp. Its curved shape is designed to distribute light evenly across your screen, eliminating tricky shadows, whilst an ambient light sensor can adjust output to reduce glare and reflection. Colour temperature can be tinkered with, too, for an added dose of cosy in your book nook. Sorry, home office.