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Transparent's Light Speaker is a musical lantern that doesn't need matches

Swede dreams are made of this
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18 November 2020 / 13:13GMT

They bloody loved a lantern in The Lord of the Rings trilogy – hobbits daisy chaining them at Bilbo's birthday party, Harry Goatleaf the gatekeeper of Bree illuminating shadowy strangers, elves swinging their Fëanorian lamps about – Peter Jackson's props department couldn't churn them out fast enough. Of course, if they'd had access to Transparent's Light Speaker (£290) they could have ditched the matches and stuck on 'Now That's What I Call Middle Earth!' at the same time. The Light Speaker is a Bluetooth-connected take on a traditional outdoor lantern, only rather than housing an actual candle, a sound-activated "vibrating bass-and-light element" recreates the glow. The Swedes behind the idea say they analysed real flames and that the light can be altered from a burning coals effect, to flickering candlelight, or a reading light for checking the directions to Mordor. We jest, of course, because even though the portable Light Speaker's IPX2 weather rating, detachable handle and 10-hour battery life make it perfect for journeying outside The Shire – be it glamping at Glastonbury or a barn dance at Yeovil Aerodrome – it's fine indoors or in the garden, where 'True Wireless' pairing can stream to multiple speakers at once. Note that Sony has attempted something similar with its better connected LSPX-S2 Glass Sound Speaker, albeit for a wallet-rinsing £550 with inferior battery life. Made from borosilicate glass and aluminium, Transparent's 5W speaker also offers omnidirectional sound from a 2.5in full-range driver and a 3in passive radiator, and owing to Transparent's modular design the device can be repaired or upgraded over time as new technologies become available. The Light Speaker goes on sale in April 2021, but back the crowdfunding campaign now to pick up one for less. On the Kickstarter page you'll also find a neat little video about the speaker's design, plus beach scenes of an ldyllic nature that make us wish we were as cool as the Scandinavians... or at least allowed to go on holiday. 

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