I stumbled home at 3am, clumsily balancing the lamp with dangling cord on my shoulder. My girlfriend heard my stomping up the stairs and was groggily getting out of bed. "Why are you getting home so late?" she mumbled. Excitedly, I dumped the lamp on the kitchen table and plugged it in, flooding the house with light. "Look!" I said, "It's glorious!"
"No," my girlfriend said, "it's 3am and you're a crazy man. Turn that thing off and go to sleep"
She had a point. I tucked it away under my futon and collapsed in a real pile.
For the next couple days, the lamp languished there, while I had no real idea what to do with it. And then a light bulb went off in my head, or, more accurately, in front of my eyes. I saw my humble gooseneck desk lamp and I knew what I had to do. I had to make the world's dumbest desk lamp.
That evening, I walked in to my friendly local hackerspace
and saw my friend the muffinator
hard at work on a giant pegboard array of LEDs. "What's that for?", I asked him. "Oh," he said, "we've got an idea for a crowdsourced LED array where people add LEDs wherever they want. We're bringing it down to the Providence mini maker faire tomorrow."
"Mini maker faire, eh?" I said, mental gears revving. "How are you getting there?"
"I dunno. Train?"
"Let's drive down! I'll bring this light sculpture I'm working on"
And so it was done. I had an idea and I had a deadline. I accepted the inevitable all-nighter, picked up a caffeinated 2-liter, and got to work.