IQ Lamp Instructions

Written by dan harkins
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Invented in 1972 by Danish engineer Holger Strøm, the IQ Light is a spherical, puzzle lamp originally commissioned for a Christmas display. The IQ Light, constructed into a rhombic polyhedron, can look daunting to assemble to the uninitiated eye, especially when viewing the various shapes of lamps that can be assembled. A basic understanding of how the lamp is put together, though, will allow you to hang your new aesthetic and mind-flexing puzzle over a bulb in no time. This tutorial involves the construction of the company's standard 30-element lamp.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Arrange all of your IQ Light pieces into separate piles. Each piece will be labelled a certain number: 1, 2, 3 and so on. Put the numbered piles in order from 1 to 5.

  2. 2

    Assemble the five pieces labelled "1" in a circle to form a rosette. This is accomplished by inserting each piece into the next using its tongue and groove sides. Each piece will be connected to both neighbours.

  3. 3

    Connect the hooks on the five pieces labelled "2" to each exposed side groove of the "1" pieces, as well as to one of its neighbours. Turn the assembly over so it looks like a bowl.

  4. 4

    Connect the 10 pieces labelled "3" to the grooves on the "2" pieces, as well as to each neighbour "3" piece. Some joints will have as many as five hooks.

  5. 5

    Connect the five pieces of the fourth row, labelled "4," to the pieces in "3" and to each neighbour "4" piece, which will begin to reduce the size of the sphere again.

  6. 6

    Cap the sphere by connecting the five pieces labelled "5" to the "4" row, as well as to each of its neighbours to form another capping rosette.

  7. 7

    Insert the socket and bulb. Use one of the sphere's 12 joints that has five hooks meeting. Loosen two of the five hooks in that joint, then feed the socket and cord through the hole. Lower the socket until the bulb hangs halfway down the sphere. Reattach the two hooks over the joint, holding the sphere at that point in the cord's descent. Plug in your lamp and flip the switch to test it out.

  8. 8

    Hang your sphere by the cord at the ceiling using a sturdy hook.

Tips and warnings

  • Numerous variations of IQ Lamps are made. Check the "Variations" section of the company's website to see which lamp you'll be working with and follow the proper instructions.

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