Tempting as it many be, I'll spare you the cornball introduction about turning to a book for illumination… literally. Quite simply, Lumio is a cordless LED light disguised as a hardback book. With the inclusion of "industrial grade" neodymium magnets built into the real wood covers, it can be attached to "multiple surfaces" such as your fridge and … er …

It's easy to poke fun, but there's a compelling idea here. Lumio is a lamp that can be filed away on a bookshelf when you're not using it, but put to a variety of uses (thanks mainly to its cordlessness) when you are.

Open the Lumio and it turns on automatically. This reveals a number of water-resistant Tyvek pages, which fan out wider and wider the wider you open the book. The cover can actually fold back on itself, creating a 360° cylindrical fan of pages that can stand on its end, be hung on a cord, or mounted on a lamp. Looking at the pictures, though, I think my favorite use is simply opening the light like a book and placing it on a surface flat on its back.

The LED module that drives the Lumio emits a useful 500 lumens, which designer Max Gunawan rightly compares to the light output of a 40-W tungsten lightbulb. When fully charged, the in-built lithium ion battery will provide a claimed 8 hours of battery life. The light will come in a choice of blonde maple, warm cherry and dark walnut covers. Absent from the spec is the energy consumption when plugged in (charging or otherwise).

A brief moment of luddism: one wonders if the Lumio really needs a battery. As well as the additional expense, it presents a likely point of failure (so far as the electronics are concerned) that will likely limit the useful life of the product, not to mention raising nagging "is it charged or isn't it?" type questions around its use. Personally I'm more than happy with the idea of a fold-up low-energy lamp you plug in when needed.

Price and availability will become clear when Lumio's all-but-inevitable Kickstarter campaign begins on February 12.

Source: Lumio, via Inhabitat