After nearly 30 years on duty, the Copenhagen street lamp is going into retirement. The replacement lamp is a semi-transparent update of the classic, equipped for the nightmarish new energy saving lightbulbs, and as the transition is happening gradually leaving the old and the new side by side, the difference is apparent. As of last year the incandescent lightbulbs have been discontinued in Denmark, and the only alternative is the energy saving bulbs. I am all for environmental considerations, but this light is just creepy.
My problems with the new bulb, other than the fact that I am forced to use it (once my stash of incandescent light bulbs runs out), are not just how toxic they are. So toxic in fact that the official guidelines is to keep your distance when it's lit, and leave the room for thirty minutes if one should break, avoid vacuuming, remove it wearing rubber gloves and dispose of it as toxic waste. My biggest problem with this little sucker is the light itself, flickering, cold and white. Just to give you a comparison the rendition of colors by daylight is 100%, by incandescent lightbulbs 99%, and by energy saving bulbs 80%. Who needs reds anyway, right? For an indoor population in a country with such sparse daylight, this is pretty devastating news. Not for the ones who can't tell the difference, or don't consider it a problem (how can you not, I wonder?), but certainly for me and people who enjoy the full use of all their senses.
I will miss you.
On the bright side, the retired Copenhagen Lamp is still working its magic, by ways of recycling. Butik Stranden (The Beach Shop) is the shop of a group home for young people with psychological and social problems, and the careful restoration of the lamps taking them apart, cleaning, painting and reassembling them is all part of a nonprofit job training program. If you want a little part of Copenhagen history it is offered to you in five different colors for 1850 dkr, or for 2000 dkr you can even order a custom color.
Københavnerlampen, The Copenhagen Lamp, designed by the City Architect in the 1970s and put into production by Philips. A big boy measuring 47 cm in diameter and 33 cm tall. (image borrowed from Butik Stranden)
Butik Stranden, the shop. In Danish only, but you still get the picture.
The group home Stranden. In Danish only.
2100 Copenhagen Ø
wednesday, thursday and friday 11-18 (11am-6pm)
saturday 11-16 (11am-4pm)