What if, every time you wanted to switch on a light, you had to bleed? Would you think twice before illuminating the room, and in turn, using up energy?
That's the idea behind the blood lamp, invented by Mike Thomspon, an English designer based in The Netherlands. The lamp contains luminol – the same chemical forensic scientists use to check for traces of blood at a crime scence. Luminol reacts with the iron in red blood cells and creates a bright blue glow.
To use the lamp, you first need to mix in an activating powder. Then, you break the glass, cut yourself, and drip blood into the opening.
Thompson came up with the rather gruesome idea, reported by New Scientist recently, a few years ago while he was studying for his masters at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. He was researching chemical energy for a project and came across luminol.