Tyvek: The Perfect Lamp Shade Material?

Tyvek: The Perfect Lamp Shade Material?

Kim R. McCormick
Sep 13, 2011

While shopping over the weekend, I found myself admiring Artecnica's Phrena lamp. In addition to being eye-catching and priced under $100, the light source is made from a chemically inert and completely recyclable material — Tyvek.

More often seen wrapping unfinished houses than light bulbs, Tyvek is lightweight, tear-resistant, breathable, and, as mentioned, completely recyclable material. Thanks to these qualities, a recent article in the Huffington Post asked if Tyvek wasn't the "perfect lamp shade."

The Phrena lamp's maker, Artecnica, seems to be the main seller of Tyvek lighting, with three other designs in production. The Huffington Post article noted that two other companies, Environment Furniture and Modernmaine, showed Tyvek lighting at the recent New York International Gift Fair.

While applicable more to banners and envelopes than lamps, the downside to recycling Tyvek is that you can't just toss it in a bin — you have to send it back to the Dupont plant in Virginia that makes it, in some cases for a $15 fee. (As alternatives, the company points out that during incineration Tyvek will yield water and carbon dioxide and that if landfilled, Tyvek is "chemically inert and won't leach into groundwater.")

(Image: Artecnica)

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