Sparrow™ LED Task Light
Knoll Inc, New York


  • Industrial Design

Our approach for Knoll Sparrow was to really focus on light itself, and reduce the supporting elements to an absolute minimum. We started designing around the light source - a very small, but powerful LED module - a magical combination which we wanted to highlight. To efficiently manage heat dissipation, we designed the head which houses the LED module to essentially function as a heat sink with a "sun and ray" arrangement. Through various tests of computer heat simulations and actual prototypes all details of the head were refined for best performance and desired aesthetics.

We added a handle on the front of the head to invite interaction for positioning the light and adjusting the light output. It is an unconventional gesture, but it makes the interaction extra clear. Frustrated with the on/off/dimming controls of other lights on the market, we designed an intuitive controller with precise four-step action. We utilized the volume of the handle to house all electronics.

Keeping the weight of the head very light was important to allow us to lift it with minimal structure, so the light would appear almost floating in the air. We made the supporting structure conductive thereby eliminating the need for a power cable traveling to the head, further reducing the presence of supporting elements. Our rationalist approach produced an almost diagrammatic essentialness. What emerges is a gesture where the light emitting head perches on an almost immaterial frame, much like a bird on a wire - thus "Sparrow".