Skip to Content

Amazing Algae Powered Lamp Converts CO2 to Light

Sharing is caring!

This amazing lamp, seen over at Design Boom and designed by Mike Thompson, is powered by algae. Just add CO2 by breathing into it, and the algae will handle the rest.

The lamp is inspired by an idea discovered by scientists: a small electrical current can be drawn from algae during photosynthesis.

Algae Lamp

Algae lamp designed by Mike Thompson | Designboom




Latro (latin for thief) incorporates the natural energy potential of algae and the functionality of a hanging lamp into its design. Synthesising both nature and technology in one form, Latro is a living, breathing product. Algae are incredibly easy to cultivate, requiring only sunlight, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water, offering a remarkably simple way of producing energy. Breathing into the handle of the lamp provides the algae with CO2, whilst the side spout allows the addition of water and release of oxygen. Placing the lamp outside in the daylight, the algae use sunlight to synthesize foods from CO2 and water. A light sensor monitors the light intensity, only permitting the leeching of electrons when the lux level passes the threshold – avoiding algae malnourishment. Energy is subsequently stored in a battery ready to be called upon during hours of darkness. Owners of Latro are required to treat the algae like a pet – feeding and caring for the algae rewarding them with light. – Mike Thompson


This is a cool technology that could provide an interesting way to light your home.

lynn gaebel

Saturday 11th of April 2015

is this the same algae in an alkaline medium in water mixed with Co2 such as Spiriulina algae?