Lei – the self-sufficient, non-electric diffuser powered by a candle
The flickering of a single candle carries the scent of this aroma diffuser by the breeze.
Designed to let users enjoy room aromas with minimal consumption, the Lei diffuser works without the need for a power source. Instead, it uses something known as the “Seebeck Effect”, a phenomenon where electricity is generated by a heat source, in this case, a candle, which in the end shaped the diffuser’s overall form as well as its function.
Using just a single tea light to get the diffuser going, the gentle flickering doesn’t just generate electricity. It actually serves a triple function. As well as creating a cosy atmosphere, it gradually volatilises the oil to create a fragrance before putting a single blade to work and send it around the room.
Ultimately, Lei is a sustainable aroma diffuser, a truth further qualified by its minimal design made from recyclable materials. Its form follows function. The glass cylinder captures heat before directing it towards the steel top and a platform of the same material prevents the whole thing from tipping over.
“While considering its functional form, we prioritised the user’s emotional engagement with the design gazing at the flame, feeling the gentle breeze [and] smelling the aroma fragrance,” explains Sol style.
“Other aspects such as the glass cylindrical dome which efficiently raises the heat of the flame, and the optimal gap above the dome and the single blade fan to introduce oxygen, and the oval shape for heat dissipation.”
Discover more nature-inspired designs for home, check out Controlled Burn: The DNA of Fire.
Using the device is simple. A small compartment in the back of the diffuse opens up to reveal a tray for inserting oils. Users can then simply light their candles and let science take care of the rest. While other products tend to overheat oils, Lei uses gentle heat to preserve aroma quality according to the designers.
Lei might be less subtle compared to other, more popular plug-in diffusers, which are often characterised by discrete aesthetics but that’s what sets it apart. Then there’s the obvious convenience of doing away with cables that means this diffuser can be picked up and moved around with ease.
Lei is inspired by the natural phenomenon, check out Can a mushroom-growing terrarium connect us back to nature?