How to make a bamboo arc lamp. A prototype

Here is a prototype of an arc-shaped — or fish rod-shaped! — bamboo light. We designed this lamp as a reading light for our previous house.

As for our other bamboo crafts, the leading idea was to develop a simple design, closely adapted to our needs, and to enjoy the specificities offered by bamboo. Here, we used the natural flexibility of bamboo poles to create a beautiful spontaneous arc shape under the weight of the light bulb.

We haven’t completely refined the design because other projects took over. Hence there are still some technical challenges to address, although the lamp is already usable like this.

Will you find a way to improve this design and make it yours?

Rough sketch

Our original idea is an arc lamp whose arc would be stabilized by a bamboo base. This base would be either attached to the floor, or weight-loaded, or maintained by some sort of legs such as the bamboo sticks on the prototype hereafter.

This base would allow the arc to rotate so that the reader can choose the area to be illuminated. Moreover, clamps would maintain the electric wire, allowing modulation of the height of the bulb by adjusting the upper clamp.


A simplified version involves a string attached to the wall to maintain the bamboo arc.

This version simplifies a lot the challenge of stabilizing the lamp but suppresses the possibility of moving the lamp from one side of the room to another.

This design still allows the movement of the light bulb in two directions: up-down and turning laterally. But it requires hooks on the walls around the corner.


First, we built the prototype on the picture below, using a bamboo base stabilized by horizontal bamboo sticks. This gave a fun duck foot look to the lamp! It was possible to move it, to turn it, and to modulate the height of the bulb.

However, dealing with the lamp required some patience to find the right balance so that it does not fall! We hence switched to the variation where our arc lamp was attached to a corner of our room. From there, it served well for a few months.

Limits and improvement tracks

This arc shape is beautiful and highlights the elegant natural curve of the bamboo pole. But the stability of the lamp is the main design challenge.

By using bamboo sticks to act like a duck foot, it is possible to reach stability but the equilibrium is fragile. Longer sticks would maintain the lamp better, but they would take a lot of space on the floor.

By attaching the lamp to a corner, it becomes much more stable but less mobile. It is also not always possible to find a straightforward way to attach it.

Do you want to adapt this design?

Like all our designs, this one is under an open license, meaning that you are free to adapt it, as long as you give credit to our work by mentioning “Elegant Experiments” with a link to

Creative Commons Attribution

Will you find elegant solutions to address these design limits and develop your own version? We would be very interested to see the result!


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