Maker Stories

Touch, Technology, and Giving Back: Meet the Creators of the
Long Distance Friendship Lamp

July 24, 2017

Imagine a technology that allows you to show loved ones you’re thinking of them–not with a phone call, not with a text, but with a soft, colorful glow. John Harrison and Vanessa Whalen, a married couple looking to foster unique connections with their faraway family members, made it happen with their Long Distance Friendship Lamps. With just a simple tap on the top of your touch lamp, you can illuminate another connected lamp anywhere around the world—sending a message of love without words.

Here at UncommonGoods, John and Vanessa’s lamps have proven to be a huge hit, connecting faraway friends and family members with a little bit of Wi-Fi-powered magic. Read on to hear from John about the winding path he took to get to the Friendship Lamp’s creation—from playing the violin professionally, to working as an electrical engineer, to working closely with non-profit organizations to bring his and Vanessa’s shining idea to families and friends all over the world.

Tell us about your background. Did you always know you wanted to be an artist/maker?

Terms like “artist” and “maker” have never been clear to me. I’ve always loved to build stuff. I love to learn new things. I was lucky to have great parents who encouraged me to create and explore. If somebody wants to call me an artist or maker, I’m flattered. But somehow the idea of achieving these titles has been confusing to me and I’d rather focus on the journey.

Actually, when people use the term “artist” for me they are usually referring to my music background, not the work you see at UncommonGoods. I started playing the violin at age 5 and it has been a primary focus for me throughout my life. At age 11 I played the Mendelssohn Concerto with the Boston Pops. Later in life I played in a professional string quartet and did a lot of concerts as a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops. I taught violin for many years as a tenured professor at Wichita State University and I am still the Concertmaster (first violinist) of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra in Wichita, KS.

John Playing Violin

John playing violin, accompanied by Vanessa on piano

While music gave me a voice for emotion, I have always loved problem solving. That has led to an active pursuit of mathematics, electrical engineering, and computer programming. I was lucky to have a dad who thought the most fun thing in the world was to teach me math. So even through middle school I learned math as a fun game I did with my dad in the evenings. That sense of play—that is what has led me down the engineering path.

What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist/maker?

I see magic everywhere I look, but making something—then I get to touch the magic. This is partly why I’ve always been more attracted to computer programming and electrical engineering than other forms of engineering like mechanical engineering. You never get to see the electrons traveling inside all of the circuits and wires that make electrical things do what they do. Nobody can show it to you. They can only talk in metaphors and you get to see the result. Computer code is the same. Nobody sees the code. They only see a representative description of it on a screen. But you can’t actually see it. Nobody can. It’s magic. I love that.

I come from a family with a great respect for education and for thought. And while I embrace that respect as well, I have found so much personal satisfaction in working with my hands. Actually building something, creating something. There’s just nothing like that sense of relationship you develop with the things you make.

What first inspired you to first create the Long Distance Friendship Lamp, and how did your original idea grow?

The Long Distance Friendship Lamp came from two seemingly unrelated personal challenges. It was November 2014 and I was struggling with what to get my family for holiday presents. My family lives in different states and countries and we aren’t the best at staying in touch. On top of it, I’m sorry to say that there are members of my family that more often than not are antagonistic to each other when they do communicate. I had been wondering, “How can we just remember that we are family? How can we keep the feeling of family without the words that seem to confuse or cause problems?”

John, Vanessa, and Family

From left to right, the family: Brendan, Lucky, Vanessa, Sean, Buddy, and John

Then another thing happened: First, as background, I am one of the founders for a makerspace in Wichita called MakeICT. One of the great things about being at a makerspace is that companies trying to promote products that makers might use sometimes give free samples to makerspaces in the hopes that those makers will develop cool things, thus helping the community at large learn how cool the new product is. Such a company, now called Particle, sent MakeICT some Wi-Fi modules. They gave them to us for free but asked us in exchange to publish the results of what we built with them. I’m always up for a challenge, so I took some to play with. I was dabbling in my basement, playing with them the way a kid plays with Lego. Gradually the idea started to emerge.

And by the way, I did publish my results.

Tell us more about how your lamps are made. How did you start working with the Wichita Women’s Initiative Network?

One unique property of the lamps is that they sense your touch, as opposed to being triggered by a button. This distinction is an important one to me: buttons are digital and cold. In fact, despite my love for computers and electronics, most digital interfaces such as buttons, keyboards, and mice I find disappointing because of their lack of subtlety and expression. Perhaps my music background is influencing me here. Whatever the case, I felt the lamps needed to react to something a bit more sensory and magical than a button. So the touch part and the vagueness that accompanies it was a concept I was committed to from the beginning.

The touch technology uses a concept called capacitive sensing. You may never have heard of it, but it’s been around for awhile. One of my favorite uses for it is the Theremin, the world’s first electronic musical instrument. And Clara Rockmore is a master of the instrument. Her playing brings tears to my eyes…but I digress. The point is with the concept of touch being integral to the idea, the shade needed to be more than just a shell that diffused light. It needed to be a sensor as well. So the trim has instilled conductive properties. That design is very intentional.

Tabitha and Heather

Tabitha and Heather, who worked with John and Vanessa through WIN at the time of our initial interview, assembling a base

We initially partnered with the participants at the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) to assemble the parts together. We knew that we wanted the product to add beauty to the world, not just in what it offers the consumer but in how it is made. This is an ongoing goal and we continue to make steps in this direction. But one part of this equation was to have the lamps assembled by a non-profit in some way that would be of benefit to the participants and the community.

We talked to several non-profits and the fit at WIN was perfect. For starters the staff had the same exploratory attitude and sense of adventure that we had and that a venture like this needs. Also, I am close with lawyers who work for Legal Aid and Legal Services. Both organizations often legally represent women who are victims of domestic violence. I have heard the stories. I was so happy we found a way to perhaps help contribute.

john-at-win

In working with the participants at WIN on a daily basis, my understanding of their struggles deepened. I am humbled by what they have overcome. This life experience has been an invaluable one for me.

*Editor’s note: WIN participants no longer play the same role in assembling John and Vanessa’s Friendship Lamps, though the organization is still involved in their creation, programming boards and performing occasional subassembly of bases. John and Vanessa now have their own shop and warehouse with five full-time employees, plus one part-timer. Two of those full-time employees are refugees who linked up with John and Vanessa thanks to the International Rescue Committee, who also happen to be one of our Better to Give partners. Read more about the IRC here.

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near as you work? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?

I don’t have anything like that. The closest thing I probably have is my laptop. How sad is that? 🙂

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?

I am not a religious person in the traditional sense of the word. Having said that, this famous quote from Marianne Williamson has been an inspiration to me for decades:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Get a set of Long Distance Friendship Lamps here »

223 Comments

  • Reply Lynn August 5, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Can 5 girlfriends be set up together, or is it only set for 2?

    • Reply Cassie August 7, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Great question, Lynn! Yes, you can set up the lamps to work in five different locations. The lamps come in sets of two or as individuals, so you’ll just want to adjust the quantities (from the drop-down menu under the product name on the item page) when you place your order. We hope your girlfriends love the lamps!

  • Reply ANNETTE FIELDER August 6, 2017 at 9:55 am

    I have the same question, but for 3 girlfriends across the country.

    • Reply Cassie August 7, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Hi Annette! Multiple lamps can be connected, so it’s a great choice for keeping friends across the country in touch. The lamps are sold in pairs or as individuals, so you can purchase even or odd numbers as needed. Thanks for asking!

  • Reply Jill M. Hanson August 7, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Can I order two lamps and have one delivered to myself and my daughter that lives in a different state?

    • Reply Hadley August 8, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      Hi, Jill! You’d need to order each lamp separately in order to ship them to different destinations, meaning that you’d need to order two “single lamps” as opposed to one “set of 2 lamps.”

  • Reply Nelly August 8, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Do you ship worldwide? Because I want one for me in Saudi Arabia and one for my bff in India. Can I have one delivered to me and the other delivered to him?

    • Reply Hadley August 8, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Good Q, Nelly! We do ship internationally, so yes, you can ship this item to both India and Saudi Arabia.

  • Reply Sandy August 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I absolutely loved this idea and bought one for my best friend who lives in NY and one for me here in GA. I have no idea if she was able to connect hers but for the life of me, so many attempts, I am NOT able to get mine connected. It is so upsetting considering the cost of these. Great idea but just doesn’t work.

    • Reply Cassie August 9, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Sandy, thanks for letting us know about the problem. We can’t give you a bunch of information on how to set these up without knowing more about your computer, since the instructions vary a bit depending on what system you’re using, but we’ll be happy to help if you can call us with more information. Please give our CS team a call at 1.888.365.0056 and we’ll help you connect. If you’d like to follow along with the instructions, you can find them at the bottom of our product page here: https://www.uncommongoods.com/product/long-distance-touch-lamp

  • Reply Joyce August 10, 2017 at 10:20 am

    How can I reach out to my son, and reach out to my BFF, w/o setting off both lamps at the same time? Would I buy 2 sets and mail them each, 1/2 of each set? Do I buy 4, and have them shipped separately….. ? How would this complicate set up?

    • Reply Cassie August 10, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      Hi Joyce, we’re glad you like the lamps! While one lamp can’t be connected to two other lamps without all three being connected, you can connect two different lamps in your home to two other lamps elsewhere. To do that, you would need to purchase four lamps (so you could send one to your son and one to your BFF) and then connect each of your lamps to its match at your loved one’s house. The lamps come with instructions for setting up the connection, so you’ll want to do that for each lamp individually.

      As for the actual shipping, you could ship a set to yourself, a single lamp to your friend, and a single lamp to your son. The sets aren’t paired until you make the connection with your wi-fi.

  • Reply Lakin August 11, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    We have three lamps, our group is currently set up; however, we cannot connect to one another. What should we do?

    • Reply Hadley August 14, 2017 at 11:43 am

      Hi, Lakin. Sorry to hear you’re having trouble connecting. We can’t give you much information on how to fix the problem without knowing more about your computer, since the instructions vary a bit depending on what system you’re using, but we’ll be happy to help if you give our CS team a call at 1.888.365.0056. With more details, they can help you troubleshoot. If you’d like to follow along with the instructions, you can find them at the bottom of our product page here: https://www.uncommongoods.com/product/long-distance-touch-lamp.

  • Reply Diane August 12, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    How long do the lamps stay lit?

    • Reply Hadley August 14, 2017 at 11:45 am

      Hi, Diane! The Touch Lamps are automatically set to fade after 1.5 hours of consistent illumination, but you can adjust them so that they turn off at 30 minutes, 8 hours, or 24 hours, if you like.

  • Reply Johnny August 22, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    I’d like to buy a lamp for my niece for her birthday in November. Wondering if I bought the lamps today (8/22) do you think we would get them before 11/25? I saw that these were back ordered and I didn’t know when the next batch of these would be available. Can you please let me know? Thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon

    • Reply Hadley August 22, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      Hi, Johnny. We’re glad you like the Touch Lamps! Fortunately, they are currently in stock, so if you order now, you can select your shipping method of choice at checkout. Whatever you choose, you should have no problem receiving one in time for your niece’s birthday.

  • Reply Johnny August 22, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Awesome response time, thank you for that. And greatly appreciate the info, I will be purchasing them today. If these lamps are as great as your customer service, I’m sure I’ll be the best Uncle in the world! Thanks again.

  • Reply Amy September 2, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I have a kindle, my daughter has a laptop, would this work for us? We have different WiFi as well, which I’m guessing is a common factor with these lamps.

    • Reply Hadley September 5, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Hi, Amy. Unfortunately, a Kindle won’t work — you’ll need a device that can connect to the internet, which means you’ll need to use either a computer, tablet, or smartphone to connect the lamp. Being on different Wi-Fi networks, however, is totally fine!

  • Reply James September 5, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Hello, I was interested in this item but my friend that I would send the second lamp to live in the UK and I am in Virginia. Will they work that far away from each other? Also, I know they use a WiFi connection to work but does your computer that you use have to be turned on for it to work or are they independent from the computer after you set them up?

    • Reply Hadley September 5, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Hi, James. Distance isn’t an issue — you should be able to connect a lamp in the US with another in the UK no problem. And once your lamps are set up, there’s no need to keep your computer on — they will work independently of it.

  • Reply Nathalie September 8, 2017 at 2:50 am

    Are you going to make these lamps in a different design? Love the idea! The design … not so much.

    • Reply Hadley September 12, 2017 at 10:12 am

      Hi, Nathalie! The shade’s design was actually revamped slightly in recent months, but I don’t believe there are any current plans to change it further. I’ll pass your comments on to our buying team, though.

  • Reply Jody McBride September 12, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    If I order 2 of these tonight or tomorrow, would I receive them by the middle of November?

    • Reply Hadley September 14, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Hi, Jody! The Touch Lamps are currently in stock, so you can choose your preferred shipping method at checkout. Whichever method you choose, they should arrive by mid-November.

  • Reply Lisa N September 13, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    I live in the US and my friend is in Pakistan. Would they connect at such a great distance?

    • Reply Hadley September 14, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Hi, Lisa — they would indeed!

  • Reply Susan Hart September 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    I have purchased three lamps. I connected mine waiting for Christmas for the other two to be delivered. I was wondering how to adjust the timer on them to switch off the light. Does not have directions on how to do this. Any help would be appreciated

    • Reply Hadley September 18, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Hi, Susan. Please visit http://filimin.com/support/ for details on how to change your lamp’s settings — check under “I want to change the settings for my Filimin or group. How do I log in?” That should help!

  • Reply Brenna Butdorf October 2, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    I would like to order one of these lamps for myself and one for my sister who lives in New Zealand. I see shipping is not an issue but will the one shipping to New Zealand have the correct cord plug and be setup to run on their power? Thanks for the help!

    • Reply Hadley October 3, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Great question, Brenna! The lamps are built to US electronics specifications, so they may need additional modifications or converters to work outside of the US and Canada–e.g. in New Zealand. Unfortunately, we can’t provide those modifications for you, so your sister would need to be sure she has the proper tools on hand before setting up her Touch Lamp. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Julia October 17, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Hello, I was wondering if I would be able to talk to someone more about the making of the product. I’m a student in Computer Information Systems doing my senior project on long distance touch lamps – which will include making one of my own. Would it be possible to get more information on the making and process of these lamps? Or possibly just some helpful tips to building one of my own?
    Thank you!

    • Reply Hadley October 23, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Thanks for reaching out, Julia. This is linked in the post, so you may already have seen it, but we suggest checking out John’s instructions here for more on how to make your own Touch Lamp–it looks like there’s a lot of info there that may be useful to you. Hopefully that helps. Let us know if you have any additional questions!

  • Reply Rebecca November 5, 2017 at 12:12 am

    I was wondering if these are available for local pick up if in the Wichita area?

    • Reply Hadley November 6, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Hi, Rebecca. Because all Touch Lamp orders ship from our warehouse in Brooklyn, we can’t accommodate requests for pick-up. (See here for more info on pick-up requests.) We hope this doesn’t deter you from snagging a lamp or two of your own!

  • Reply Heather November 5, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Hi, my family really loves the idea of the touch lamp, but since my parents are a bit old school we haven’t been able to reassure them that there isn’t a security risk. I’d like to give the two I have to a friend for her use, do I have to reset the lights so she can log in under a new user account? or can she just create a new account with the same lamps?

    • Reply Hadley November 6, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Hi, Heather! No, you don’t need to reset the lamps; you can send them to your friend as is. The lamps can only “remember” one Wi-Fi connection at a time, so once they’re moved and linked to a new one, they’ll forget the old one, and your friend can start to set them up from the beginning. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Whitney November 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Hi can you use these with just smartphones? We want to get a set to communicate with grandparents and neither of us has wi-fi. If you can use just your phone, how does it work? Will it use our data up or anything like that? We have iPhones and they are androids.

    Thank you!

    • Reply Hadley November 17, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      Hi, Whitney. You can use a smartphone to set up your Touch Lamp, but you still need a Wi-Fi network to connect it to — otherwise, it won’t work.

  • Reply Sue November 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    If I am understanding correctly:
    1) If I buy one lamp for myself and 3 for each of my daughters, each of the girls’ lamps will light up when I touch mine UNLESS I purchase 3 sets of 2 lamps each (one lamp for each of them and 3 lights for me–one for each daughter)?
    2) If I touch the lamp and they are not home at the time, the light will continue to shine as set by a timer and/or they turn it off?
    Love this idea, just asking for clarification.

    • Reply Hadley November 17, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Hi, Sue! You’re correct on both counts. If you only have one lamp, you can only be in one “group,” meaning each of your daughter’s lamps will react when you touch yours. The only way to be in separate “groups” is to have more than one lamp yourself. If you touch your lamp, regardless of whether or not your daughters are home, their lamps will light up for the time they’re set for — unless your daughters set up a sleep mode, when the lamp won’t light up at all. Check out this PDF for some more helpful info.

  • Reply Jen November 27, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Would this work if my parents use a hotspot on their phones instead of wifi? Or does it need to be a continuous wifi source? They are wintering in Texas and this would be so fun to keep in touch!

    • Reply Hadley November 28, 2017 at 9:40 am

      Hi, Jen. You can use a smartphone for lamp setup, but that phone still needs to be connected to a Wi-Fi network–unfortunately, a hotspot alone won’t work. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Patricia November 28, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I just found out about these lamps and I love them but I do have a question. I am looking to buy 2 sets of lamps one for my daughter and one for my son. My question is can they also touch their light on turn on mine?

    • Reply Hadley November 28, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Yep! When you “group” your lamps, that means that anyone in the “group” can touch their lamp to light up the others.

  • Reply Tina Hambley November 28, 2017 at 9:55 am

    I live on a fixed income and retired. Do you have a plan to make payments through automatic bank withdrawal? I’ve just got to find a way to get one for my granddaughter in Colorado. I live in North Carolina. I order a lot of stuff of QVC with this option. Your ideas are out of this world!!! Even if you can’t I still say “rock on” and God bless your business!

    • Reply Hadley November 28, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      Hi, Tina. Thanks for your good wishes! Unfortunately, as a small company, we don’t have the ability to implement this sort of program. We hope you can get your hands on a Touch Lamp for your granddaughter someday, though!

  • Reply Victoria M November 28, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    if I start out with at three. Can other lamps be added into the “chain” of lamps. Deciding if this is something for my family (kids) or my my siblings. I understand that if you want to keep linked lamps separate you need a different ‘chains’ of lamps.

    • Reply Hadley November 28, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Hi, Victoria. Yes, you can add more lamps to your “group” after you set up the initial few.

  • Reply Lorrie Masi November 28, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    So if i buy two lamps can I set them up with my WiFi in Texas and then ship to my sister in law in New York will it work or do they need to be set up separately?

    • Reply Hadley November 29, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Hi, Lorrie. Both lamps will need a consistent Wi-Fi connection to work, so your sister-in-law will need to connect hers to her Wi-Fi connection in her own home in order to pair it with yours. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Evette November 28, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Do both parties have to have wifi?

    • Reply Hadley November 29, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Hi, Evette. That is correct–each lamp needs a consistent Wi-Fi connection in order to work.

  • Reply Bryan November 28, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Can you set up more than two ?

    • Reply Hadley November 29, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Yes! You can, in theory, group as many Touch Lamps as you wish… all the way into the thousands.

  • Reply Stephanie Good November 29, 2017 at 1:36 am

    if i buy a pair can one be shipped go me in london uk and the other to houston texas, or do i have to have both sent one way and ship one myself the other?

    • Reply Hadley November 29, 2017 at 10:10 am

      Hi, Stephanie. We can’t split individual orders into multiple shipments, so you have two options. You can either purchase a pair of lamps and ship one to Texas yourself, or purchase two individual lamps as two separate orders, shipping one to yourself and the other to your friend in Texas. The cost of a single lamp is the same whether you purchase individually or in pairs. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Rosetta Marie November 29, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Hello, I saw your product on FB, and one of the things that I hated most about Moving back to Indiana was leaving my BF in Texas. I have a question. Once I touch the Lamp, will my lamp stay lit too?
    The idea is that Her lamp will Lite up too, But How will I know if it connected?
    What if she sees the lamp lit up and wants to touch it with “Thinking of You Too” and touch the lamp right back- Will mine then blink off and back on? Will the color change?

    • Reply Hadley November 29, 2017 at 10:18 am

      Hi, Rosetta! Yes–your lamp will also stay lit, and for a period of time you can set yourself. (You can also set up a “sleep time” when it won’t light up, i.e. in the middle of the night.) You can choose a specific color range that reacts to your touch only, so that is indeed one way to tell each other’s touches apart. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Brian M November 29, 2017 at 10:25 am

    If I bought one lamp, can I control it with my phone? I travel a lot and it would be cool to turn it on while I’m gone

    • Reply Hadley November 29, 2017 at 10:49 am

      Hi, Brian! That’s a cool idea, but for now, the Touch Lamps are controlled by just that: your touch. No phone controls (though you can set the lamp up using your smartphone, as long as it’s connected to Wi-Fi).

  • Reply Deborah Jarzynka November 29, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I have a question …… if I buy one here in PA and my friend buys one in AZ will they still work together or do I have to buy two as a set and mail hers to her.
    It seems great, if I’m having a BAD day I touch it meaning we need to post chat…. help. I have severe depression and need to talk ….. help!

    • Reply Hadley November 29, 2017 at 10:50 am

      Hi, Deborah! They will work together either way. Whether you purchase them as a set or as individual lamps, you can still link them up once they’re set up. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Sylvanna November 29, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Will these lamps work in the same home connect to the same wifi? (ie- just separate rooms? ……)

    • Reply Hadley November 29, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Great question, Sylvanna. The answer is yes! Each lamp has a unique ID, so even if you have a bunch connected to the same Wi-Fi network, you can control them each individually (and group them differently).

  • Reply Tiffany November 29, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Sorry if this was asked, but I intend on purchasing three lamps one for my mother, myself, and my sister across the country. How do they work, how will we know who is lighting up the lamp?

    • Reply Hadley November 29, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Hi, Tiffany! Once your lamps are set up, you can each choose your own custom color ranges to differentiate each others’ touches. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Nancy November 29, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    If I purchase three lamps (one for me, one for mom and one for sister) will the color change so that my mom would know if I touched the lamp or if my sister did? Thank you!

    • Reply Hadley November 29, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      Hi, Nancy. Once you set your Touch Lamp up, you can indeed set your own custom color range. Your loved ones’ lamps will cycle through the full range of colors when you touch yours if you don’t set a specific range, though.

  • Reply Alicia November 29, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    If I bought one for me. One for my best friend and one for my mom and linked them both to mine and I touched it would it light up both of theirs?
    Is it possible to have have theirs linked but both of theirs linked to mine?

    • Reply Hadley November 29, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Hi, Alicia. A lamp can only be in one “group” at a time, so if you only purchase one lamp for yourself, it will be in a three-lamp group with both your friend’s and your mother’s. The only way to separate those two would be to purchase two lamps for yourself and to group them to your friend’s and your mother’s lamps separately. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Leah November 29, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    I noticed the instructions say to hook it up to your 2.4ghz wi fi network. Will these connect to a 5.0ghz wi fi network?

    • Reply Hadley November 30, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Hi, Leah. Unfortunately, the Touch Lamps cannot support a 5.0ghz connection at this time.

  • Reply Ronda November 30, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Can they be used outside?

    • Reply Hadley November 30, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Hi, Ronda. As long as your lamp remains connected to your Wi-Fi network, it will work. If you take it outside, it may lose connection (and pulse orange), but that will depend on the strength of your Wi-Fi signal. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Sandra Roll December 1, 2017 at 1:12 am

    I was wondering, we had a foreign exchange student last year and we miss her terribly now that her school year ended. If I bought two of these would they work if one is in Vermont and one is in Romania?

    • Reply Hadley December 1, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Hi, Sandra! Touch Lamps will work anywhere in the world, so long as they’re connected to Wi-Fi, though you will need to make sure your former student has the appropriate hardware to plug hers in, as it’s wired for use in the US.

  • Reply Hanna December 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I want to buy them as individuals so that I can just ship one to my boyfriend and the other to myself. I don’t want my boyfriend to know what it is as it’s going to be a Christmas gift, is there a way that you could remove any indication as to what it is that is on the box or wrap it in wrapping paper?

    • Reply Hadley December 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Hi, Hanna! Unfortunately, we don’t offer gift boxing as an option for the Touch Lamps. The most your boyfriend will see on the outside of the box, though, is the UncommonGoods logo–there shouldn’t be any specific info visible regarding the contents of the box. (Here’s more info on our packaging.) Hope this helps.

  • Reply April Guida December 2, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    How long does the lamp stay lit after you touch it?? I read that you can set the time but what are the options for how long it will stay lit after you touch it??

    • Reply Hadley December 4, 2017 at 10:10 am

      Hi, April. The lamp is set to fade off in 1.5 hours by default, but it can be set to fade off in 30 minutes, 1.5 hours, 8 hours, or 24 hours.

  • Reply Jimmy December 3, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Looking through the questions and answers, I did not find an answer to mine… I am interested in buying lamps for children and their kids in various spots around the country. There would be six different family/locations. Would I have to have six lamps myself, or could one lamp at my home coordinate with the six different lamps throughout the various locations? If so, how would each lamp differ if a specific thought (signal) was meant for them?

    • Reply Hadley December 4, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Hi, Jimmy. In order to manage individual connections, you would need to have six individual lamps in your home. It is possible to connect all six of your family’s lamps to a single lamp in your home, but there’s no way to send targeted touches if you’re part of a larger group. (You can, however, choose what colors show when you touch your lamp, so your family members can tell who is sending the touch.)

  • Reply Sam December 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    So if my husband and I wanted to have a lamp connected to each of our moms; but did not want our moms to be connected; then we would need to get 2 different lamps for our home. Then each lamp would have to be connected to a different mom’s lamp ID? Is that how it would work?
    Also, is there some basic technical wifi that the lamp needs?
    Thanks. These sound wonderful and I would love to get many of them !

    • Reply Hadley December 4, 2017 at 10:16 am

      That’s correct, Sam! Two separate lamps for two separate moms. You will need a 2.4ghz Wi-Fi connection in order for the lamps to work. (In other words, they’re not compatible with 5.0ghz connections.) You can view more details on setup on our item page.

  • Reply LAUREN December 3, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Would these work in a childrens hospital? The wifi where my daughter is has a hospital 5.0 ghz wifi. Will it still work? Im asking for these lamps from “santa” this year so I can be with my daughter even when im not physically with her. So I wanna make sure I have all the information about them. Also if my daughter is moved is this lamp able to disconnect and then reconnect to a new wifi? Your lamps are going to make my little girl light up as beautify as the colors they glow!! Thank u for making something so amazing. God bless u both.

    • Reply Hadley December 4, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Hi, Lauren. These lamps will work anywhere with a 2.4ghz Wi-Fi connection, whether that’s inside your home or in a hospital. Unfortunately, they are not compatible with 5.0ghz connections. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Tim December 4, 2017 at 11:13 am

    For security purposes, I run MAC filtering on my WIFI to allow only those devices I list in the filter setup to access my WIFI. Is the Filimin ID its MAC?

    • Reply Hadley December 4, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Hi, Tim! This is a good question, and one that will require us to do a bit of research. For now, here’s our expert’s advice: It is possible that the Touch Lamp may read the same in the Mac list as in its Wi-Fi name: “Filimin_5CC1234567.” If that is not what appears, we don’t suggest messing with the feature. (This is about where we need to do more research.) You can also try setup using another Wi Fi-connected device, like a phone or tablet, as a possible workaround. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any additional questions!

  • Reply KMP December 4, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Crazy question…Saw this and immediately thought, how cool would this be for the military families. I am guessing this would not work in a different country due to the WiFi connections. How great would it be if it could…

    • Reply Hadley December 4, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Hey, KMP! The Touch Lamps actually do work in other countries, but your loved ones will need a consistent Wi-Fi connection and an appropriate converter to ensure they will operate correctly, since they are wired to US electronics standards. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Griffin December 4, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    This really looks like an incredible Christmas present especially for my long-distance girlfriend and I. I was about to put my order in yesterday when it said it was on backorder, but when I went to submit it today, it said the lamps were out of stock. Is there any way there will be more soon, or are John and Vanessa not making any more?

    • Reply Hadley December 4, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Hi, Griffin! Hmm… I’m seeing the Touch Lamps on backorder now, so you should be able to successfully submit your order. Don’t worry–they’re not disappearing anytime soon!

  • Reply Renee December 4, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Why are they soooo Expensive???

    • Reply Hadley December 5, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      Hi, Renee. We appreciate your feedback. We’ve always tried to represent a broad range of price points in our collection of merchandise, and we make a concerted effort to ensure the items we offer are fairly priced. We’re proud to support the work of makers like John and Vanessa, whose lamps are assembled at home in Kansas, where they now have their own shop and warehouse with five full-time employees, plus one part-timer. (Coincidentally, they linked up with two of those full-time employees thanks to the International Rescue Committee, one of our Better to Give partners.) Meanwhile, here at UncommonGoods, we’re committed to paying each and every one of our workers a living wage. All of this, of course, requires money to accomplish, but supporting our staff and the independent makers we work with is a priority for us, and we’re happy to be able to do it! Hope this helps.

  • Reply Michelle December 5, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Is it possible to get a group discount and configure the lamps for large families?

    • Reply Hadley December 5, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Hi, Michelle. As a business that specializes in uncommon merchandise, we don’t offer any coupons, sitewide discounts, or promotions. We’ve got some more information about why we’ve taken this stance here.

  • Reply Stacy December 6, 2017 at 8:50 am

    How will I know if the other person is connected, or has seen my attempt to reach out?

    • Reply Hadley December 6, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Hi, Stacy! If your lamp is functioning normally, you can rest assured that it’s connected to your friends’ lamps. During the setup process, your lamp will indicate that it’s looking for the other lamps in its group by showing a solid blue light, typically only for a moment, and then displaying a rainbow of colors to signal success. If your lamp shows a solid blue light at other times, it’s having trouble connecting to the other lamps in its group, and you may need to tinker with your Wi-Fi to help it along. While there’s no real way to guarantee someone has seen your “touch” (unless you’re spying on them), we’d hope they’d send you a touch back to say hello! That’s what the lamps are there for, after all. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Jess December 6, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Hello! If I bought only one lamp for my mom, is there another way of turning on her lamp without having one of my own? I don’t really need one for myself so I’m hoping I don’t have to buy two lamps in order to get this to work. Thanks!

    • Reply Hadley December 7, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Hmm… There’s no way to control the lamp’s behavior without touching it, so without your own lamp, you won’t be able to turn hers on.

  • Reply Reuel December 7, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Can i make a 3 way connection?

    • Reply Hadley December 7, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Hi, Reuel! You can indeed. (In theory, in fact, you can connect as many lamps as you want.)

  • Reply Alif December 8, 2017 at 12:48 am

    Hi! My friend is moving to Ireland and I live in Canada. Will it still work?

    • Reply Hadley December 8, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Hi, Alif! Yes, these lamps work worldwide—you’ll just need to make sure that your friend in Ireland has an appropriate converter for the plug, as the lamps are wired for use in the US.

  • Reply Aunt Barbie December 8, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I would like to connect to my twin niece and nephew, individually. If I send them a touch and only one responds, will I know which one it is? Will I have to have one to one connections to them?

    • Reply Hadley December 8, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Hi, Barbie. In order to tell your touches apart, you can each set a color range unique to you. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Jessica Almonte-Deas December 8, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Do I have to order 2 together in the same order? I want to order one and send to my in laws and another for us. but we do not live in the same state? can we Order separately and connect through Wi-FI?

    • Reply Hadley December 8, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Hi, Jessica! No, you do not need to order the lamps together in order for them to connect—you can place as many separate orders as you wish, and as long as they’re set up properly, they will connect with each other. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Jennifer Marek December 9, 2017 at 8:30 am

    My sister lives in Malaysia and I in WI. Will this work so far apart? Also, can a lamp be shipped to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?

    • Reply Hadley December 11, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Hi, Jennifer! Yes, your lamps will still be able to connect across the distance, and yes, you can ship this item to Malaysia.

  • Reply Zach December 10, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Will the lights work if one person lives in Georgia and the other in Ontario Canada? Wanted to get this special gift for them.

    • Reply Hadley December 11, 2017 at 10:21 am

      Hi, Zach. Yes, the lamps can connect from any two points in the world, so long as they’re both successfully connected to Wi-Fi.

  • Reply Jean Goodnough December 10, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    I really love this for my sister who has ALS. Why won’t it work with 5GHz? My husband says that is what our wi-fi is.

    • Reply Hadley December 11, 2017 at 10:26 am

      Hi, Jean. With a 5.0 gHz connection, your lamp will unsuccessfully bounce between your home Wi-Fi and the lamp’s own Wi-Fi, which appears during setup. In other words, it won’t be able to maintain a connection with your home Wi-Fi. Hope this helps, and sorry for the inconvenience.

  • Reply Jill Dean December 11, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Hi there! I looked at ordering these yesterday and noticed they were on back order but there as a nice certificate I could print out to wrap for Christmas, in place of the actual lamp. I did place my order today but can’t seem to find that certificate any longer. Can you please tell me if the certificate is still available? Thank you!

    • Reply Hadley December 12, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Sorry about that, Jill! Here is a link to the printable card.

  • Reply Carolyn December 12, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I understand you can assign color to designate who is touching the lamp but can the lamp be in more than one group at a time? I want to get one for my kids and each set of grandparents. If my son touches the lamp intended for Grandma A, does Grandma B see?

    • Reply Hadley December 12, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      Hi, Carolyn. Unfortunately, there’s no way for a lamp to be in two separate groups at a time. If you only own one lamp, everyone in your group will see when you touch it–both Grandma A and Grandma B.

  • Reply Amanda December 16, 2017 at 8:54 am

    If I want to send one to NY and one to Florida do I have to buy single lamps or can the two be shipped separate

    • Reply Hadley December 18, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Hi, Amanda! Great question. If you purchase a set of two lamps, they come packed together, so we’d recommend purchasing two individual lamps in this case.

  • Reply Ashley December 19, 2017 at 3:21 am

    Hello,
    I’m curious, I would love something like this for my grandma and I, however she is not tech savvy and doesn’t have the internet. Is there another way this could possibly work? I obviously understand that is how it is able to communicate, I’m just trying to figure out how to get her connected to WiFi. Sorry for the dumb question, you never know what kind of technology is out there so I figured I would ask anyway.
    Thank you for any advice!

    • Reply Hadley December 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Hi, Ashley! Hm… Your grandma will need her own Wi-Fi connection to get her lamp set up, which isn’t something we can help with too much–she’d need to contact a local service provider for more info on how to obtain one. Unfortunately, there’s no way to control the lamps without Wi-Fi, though you can set them up using various Wi-Fi-enabled devices, including your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

  • Reply Karen December 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    So I have 2 sisters that live away and I am wanting to get them for my mom and both sisters. I understand they can both set a color. If one sister touched lamp will my mom and the other sisters lamp light up. Is there a way to distinguish sister to sister Mom to sister and Mom to other sister or will they just light up all at once?

    • Reply Hadley December 20, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Hi, Karen! Great question. In this case, all lamps will light up at once. The only way to establish distinct “groups” is to purchase an individual lamp for each connection–sister to sister, Mom to sister, and Mom to other sister, in this case. (In other words, everyone would need to own two lamps.) Hope this helps.

  • Reply joleen miller December 24, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    How I order one for me and ship one to a friend?

    • Reply Cassie December 28, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      Hi Joleen, the lamps are sold as sets of two or as individuals. To ship one to yourself and one to a friend, you’ll want to order two individual lamps and enter your shipping addresses separately.

  • Reply Keaton Honeycutt December 26, 2017 at 12:39 am

    Hey!! I really want to buy a set for my best friend and I!! She is going to college so I think this will be a wonderful thing for us to connect with. But anyways since she is going to college and she will be in a dorm with dorm Wi-Fi do you think that will matter.. I don’t want to buy a set and it doesn’t work because of her Wi-Fi connection. Anyways, I think this an extremely cool product and I’m really hoping it work so I can give it to her for her birthday!! I know I have to wait to buy them since you are out of stock,but if it works with her Wi-Fi I’m definitely going to consider a set!! Anyways, thank you and I think this will be a cool gift for us!!

    • Reply Cassie December 28, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      Hi Keaton! We’re glad you think the Long Distance Touch Lamp would make a great gift for your best friend! Whether or not the lamp will work in her dorm room depends on what type of connection she has. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with captive wi-fi portals or WPA Enterprise. It requires a 2.4 GHz connection, and does not work with a 5 GHz connection. To be safe, it’s best to try to figure out what kind of connection she has in her dorm before purchasing. If she has a 2.4 GHz connection and WPA, WPA2, or an open wi-fi connection, the lamp will connect.

  • Reply Kelee Henn December 26, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    I would like to know how far does the connection go? My husband works in the Seychelles ten months of the year and I am in South Africa and I would love to buy this for him, our son and I. It would make the distance not seem so daunting and just all round horrible.

    If it can reach that distance when will you have new stock in, as currently they are out of stock.

    • Reply Cassie December 28, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      Hi Kelee, the Lamps will work anywhere in the world, as long as you and your husband each have a reliable wi-fi connection. Although the lamps are back-ordered now, you can still place an order, if you’d like. If you order today, the back-ordered lamps should ship by February 15, 2018.

  • Reply Tina Mulleady December 27, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Hi. I purchased a set and we love them!! We are in are 50’s best friends forever and now live in two different states. So this is the greatest gift I could have ever purchased. But as I sit here and my light went off I’m thinking about lightbulb’s?? How does that work?? Do I need to purchase extra light bulbs? We have been saying goodnight, lol hello during the day and good morning 😊 ( again we love them!) I never thought about a bulbs or if it stops working after a while 🙁

    • Reply Cassie December 28, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Tina,

      We’re so happy to hear that you love the Long Distance Touch Lamps! We don’t sell replacement bulbs, but the good news is that the lamps use LED bulbs, so they last a very long time. Even with daily use, the lights should continue to illuminate for years to come. If you do end up needing to change the bulbs, you should be able to get replacements from your local electronics store.

  • Reply Amy anderson December 27, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Hi I want to purchase for my mother that is in assisted living facility . She does not have wifi in her room or any type electronic devises. But the building has wifi! I am scared to purchase it and the wifi might not be strong enough or won’t work at all. What do you think?

  • Reply Cassie December 28, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Amy, thanks for reaching out. You should be able to connect the lamp using the building’s wi-fi, depending on its strength and the type of connection. As long as the wi-fi isn’t a 5.0 gHz connection (which unfortunately will not work with the lamp) and the signal is strong enough to reach your mom’s room, it should work. To be safe, please check with someone at the facility to find out what type of connection they have and to make sure that other residents have had success connecting wireless devices in their rooms before placing your order.

  • Reply Jessica Belcher December 28, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Wow! The best Christmas gift to give my brother. He only lives 45 minutes away, but he can’t speak or move anything but his left arm. This lamp has been such an awesome way to let him know he is on my mind. My kids love it too! Thank you thank you thank you!

    • Reply Hadley January 2, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      Thank you, Jessica! We’re so happy to hear that this gift has brought you even closer to your brother. Here’s hoping you both had a lovely holiday.

  • Reply Joe McDowell December 30, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I got mine for Christmas and absolutely love thinking of my Grandkids when I touch it. The thought of them getting excited knowing I was thinking of them. Their Mom said she had to force them to go to bed the first night we set it up.
    I would like to set Filimins for my other Grandkids but I notice there is only one style. I was wondering if you have considered making different styles. I will probably buy more in the style that you have, but it would be nice if there were more styles.

    • Reply Hadley January 2, 2018 at 5:26 pm

      Great question, Joe! We’re only offering the one style for now, but I’ll pass your suggestion on to our Touch Lamp team. We’re always looking for new ways to improve our products, and we really value our customers’ feedback for that reason.

  • Reply Destiny Martinez December 30, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Hello, this looks like an awesome product! I was wondering if it works in different countries? For example would it work if one was here in the United States and the other was in Mexico.

    • Reply Hadley January 2, 2018 at 5:27 pm

      Hi, Destiny. Yes–as long as a Touch Lamp can connect to Wi-Fi, no matter where it is in the world, it’ll work. It is wired for use in the US, though, so you may need to purchase a converter for use in other countries. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Jennifer January 1, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Is there a way to get a discount for purchasing multiple lamps at once? Huge family here. I really want to get everyone one and I am looking at 30 lamps.

    • Reply Hadley January 2, 2018 at 5:31 pm

      Hi, Jennifer! We do offer discounts on corporate orders over $1,000, but I don’t believe those discounts are available to individual shoppers. If you’d like to submit a corporate order inquiry, however, you can do so here: https://www.uncommongoods.com/corporateOrder.

  • Reply Beth January 17, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    will I know how many times a reply touch was sent? Say I send my son in Japan a touch and I’m sleeping when he responds how long will it last?

    • Reply Hadley January 18, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      Hi, Beth! This all depends on how you choose to program your lamp. You can set touches to last for a duration of 30 minutes, 1.5 hours, 8 hours, or 24 hours–the choice is yours. You can also set a “sleep timer” of sorts, designating a period of time in which your lamp won’t light at all. Hope this helps. Feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions!

  • Reply Colleen Dowd January 18, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Do you ship to France? I would like to buy two lamps. One for me in the US and one for a friend in France.

    • Reply Hadley January 18, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      Hi, Colleen! We do indeed ship to France.

  • Reply Praveen January 23, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Sir ,Shall we on a Hotspot from our own mobile to connect with the lamp,or we want any separate wifi modum to connect the lamp?!?

    • Reply Hadley January 23, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      Hi, Praveen! A mobile hotspot won’t work–you need to use your home Wi-Fi network to connect and set up the lamps.

  • Reply Peter January 23, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Hi, do you happen to ship to China? My girlfriend will be over there for most of the year and this would be the perfect gift.

    • Reply Hadley January 23, 2018 at 3:59 pm

      Hi, Peter! We do indeed ship to China.

  • Reply Jessica Lincoln January 23, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    I love the idea of these lamps but have to say I am super disappointed after receiving these to learn that they can only be used in a personal home. I tried to set one of the lamps up in my sister’s hospital room where she is undergoing a bone marrow transplant in order to keep her connected with her young children at home. However, the wifi of the hospital does not work with this product. I think these lamps are an amazing idea for hospitals, dorm rooms, military barracks, nursing homes, etc. but they don’t work in those settings. I am very disappointed this isn’t made known when purchasing the item.

    • Reply Hadley January 25, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      We’re so sorry to hear about this, Jessica. Touch Lamps do require a specific type of Wi-Fi connection in order to work–further details can be found here under the “details” tab–and places like hospitals and dorm rooms often do not fit the bill. It is disappointing to hear that this wasn’t clear to you, though, and I’d encourage you to reach out to our customer service team with your comments. (If you’re interested in returning or exchanging your Touch Lamps, they can also assist you with that.) If you’d like to send them an e-mail, you can do so at help@uncommongoods.com; you can also reach out by phone at 888-365-0056. Again, we’re sorry to hear that the product didn’t work out the way you’d hoped, and we wish your sister and her kiddos the best.

  • Reply Kimberly January 24, 2018 at 12:39 am

    We have family in Canada. Does it work in both the US and Canada?

    • Reply Hadley January 25, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      Hi, Kimberly! The Touch Lamp works anywhere in the world, so long as it has a Wi-Fi connection and a plug to call home, and Canada’s no exception. Hope this helps.

  • Reply kanika maini January 24, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Hello,
    I want to ship this to India a pair and keep one lamp with me and gift another to my husband who stays in Germany. Please let me know the range and frequency at which it works and will it be compatible with the electrical and wifi signal specifications of India and Germany?

    Also, within how many days will it get delivered to India?

    • Reply Hadley January 25, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      Hi, Kanika! Thanks for your interest in the Long Distance Touch Lamp. Details on the type of Wi-Fi connection you’ll need can be found here under the “details” tab. The lamps are built to US electronics specifications, so you’ll need to ensure you’ve purchased the appropriate adaptive hardware in order to get them working in India and Germany. As for shipping, orders headed to South Asia typically travel for 5-8 business days. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Barbara Anderson January 25, 2018 at 8:32 am

    How many lamps can be connected together? I have four daughter’s, could we connect one to each other?

    • Reply Hadley January 25, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Hi, Barbara! There’s no real limit to how many lamps you can connect, as long as each is properly set up. You could indeed create a group that would connect you with all four of your daughters.

  • Reply Aiesha January 26, 2018 at 12:59 am

    I’m literally in tears as I read on your blog and feel the joy and happiness you provide so many people by connecting them with the advantages of technology in my opinion a more real-time way other than face time.

    The reason this touches me so deeply; my daughter lives in Texas with her Father. Long story short after 3 years of fighting and lawyers I returned home to California to follow my dreams and continue my career. It was a tough decision to be so far away from her. I’m constantly trying to find ways to maintain our connection over the miles, and these lamps are perfect! I know my daughter will adore them and feel comforted missing Mommy. I’m starting a Blog to share my journey as a Non-custodial Mom, and I hope you have these in bulk because I feel these small lamps will make a BIG difference. Thank you.

    • Reply Hadley January 26, 2018 at 11:08 am

      We’re so happy to hear that John and Vanessa’s story struck a chord with you, Aiesha! Here’s hoping the Touch Lamp brings you & your daughter together from afar.

  • Reply Bethaleana January 26, 2018 at 9:40 am

    How many lamps can be synced together?

    • Reply Hadley January 26, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Hi, Bethaleana! You can, in theory, link an infinite number of lamps together–there’s no maximum.

  • Reply Tova Sobel January 26, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Can you have more than one touch lamp interconnected. What I mean is I want one that can connect to my son in San Diego, my best friend in New Jersey, my sister in St Louis and my daughter in Santa Barbara. I wonder if it can be set for one of those people and not alert all. Hope this makes sense.

    • Reply Hadley January 26, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      Hi, Tova! Good question. You could set up a group with all of those people in it using a single lamp, but every “touch” will be sent to all of them. If you want individual lines of communication, you’ll need to purchase multiple lamps for yourself and connect each to a separate person’s lamp. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Erin January 26, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Quick questions… Should I buy the pair and you ship to two different locations or buy them single and ship to two different locations? Do you pair them or do we pair them when we get them, do we pair them together them ship one to another location?

    • Reply Hadley January 26, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      Hi, Erin! You pair everything yourself, and the lamps don’t need to be in the same spot for set up. Since the cost of two individual lamps is the same as the cost of the set, I’d suggest purchasing two separate lamps and sending them each to their final destination–that way you don’t need to pay twice to ship anything.

  • Reply Lydia January 26, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Will these lamps work at Sheppard Base in Texas? My fiancé currently there and I thought this would be a thoughtful gift to him, any answer would be greatly appreciated!

    • Reply Hadley January 26, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      Good question, Lydia! Here’s what your Touch Lamp needs to work:

      • Power (100-240V AC)
      • WPA, WPA2, WEP or open Wi-Fi connection
      • A 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection

      The Touch Lamp does not work with captive portals like those found at public Wi-Fi locations or with WPA Enterprise used in some academic and corporate environments. (Some hospitals, dorms, and barracks also experience issues.) I’d urge you to check in with your fiancé for details on his internet connection to make sure the lamp will work properly before you purchase it. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Carol January 26, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Can you make this same idea in a smaller product that would be easier to travel with?

    • Reply Hadley January 29, 2018 at 10:14 am

      Hi, Carol! Thanks for the suggestion — I’ll pass your idea on to our buyers.

  • Reply Stacey January 26, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Hello! I stumbled upon this and thought it would be a lovely idea for me and my best friend! I live in the U.S. and she lives in Japan…will they work???

    • Reply Hadley January 29, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Hi, Stacey! Yes, these lamps will work anywhere in the world so long as they have access to a Wi-Fi connection and can plug into the wall. They are wired for use in the US, so your friend in Japan may need to purchase a converter, but as long as your respective Wi-fi connections pose no problems, they should pair up just fine.

  • Reply Sheri January 27, 2018 at 5:24 am

    Hello! I want to purchase these for myself and my best friend in VA. I just want to know if I should purchase 2 individual lamps and ship one to her, or buy the set and split the shipping (not sure that is possible) I wanted to make sure if I purchased 2 separate lamps they would work together. Thanks!

    • Reply Hadley January 29, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Hi, Sheri! You can pair any two lamps, whether you purchase them as a set or not. In your case, I’d recommend purchasing and shipping each lamp individually. Individual lamps are not priced differently, so the cost of the items won’t change versus a set. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Samantha January 28, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Can you tell me how much data usage these lamps use in a given month? My mother pays for a certain amount of data each month as she lives a rural area and does not have the option of unlimited service.

    • Reply Hadley January 29, 2018 at 10:24 am

      Great question, Samantha! The makers of the Touch Lamp actually ran automated live tests on a dozen lamps to figure this out. They found that if you were to touch your lamp 18 times a day every day for a month, you would have used the equivalent of less than 20 seconds of HD streaming video on YouTube. Hope this helps give you an idea of how intensive the data use is.

  • Reply Carolyn Johnson January 29, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Hadley! On the question you answered for Samantha about how much Wi-Fi is used, can you tell me… does it inky use the Wi-Fi when it is touched or does it pull from the Wi-Fi the whole time it is lit up? Thanks!

    • Reply Hadley January 29, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      Hi, Carolyn! Great question. The lamp is technically always using Wi-Fi, whether it’s lit up, touched, or dark, but the amount it uses is extremely minimal–around what I quoted in my answer to Samantha. I hope this helps!

  • Reply KeriXD February 1, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    Hello . My husband is in the USA and i am in germany. Do the lamps also work this distance?????

    • Reply Hadley February 2, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      Hi there! Great question. As long as they’re set up correctly, the lamps will work no matter where in the world they are.

  • Reply Ronit February 2, 2018 at 12:29 am

    How can I synced 2 lamps together ???

    • Reply Hadley February 2, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      Hi, Ronit! You’ll find setup instructions in the “story” section on the item page.

  • Reply Sonya February 3, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Can I sync 3 lamps together? For me and my 2 daughters? How would that work??

    • Reply Hadley February 6, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      Hi, Sonya! You sure can. You can actually sync as many lamps as you want. Once your lamp is set up, you can create a “group” that includes all your lamps; that way, when you touch yours, both of your daughters’ lamps will light up.

  • Reply Abby B February 11, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Hi I have a question about the touch lamps. My cousin and I are very close, and I also have a friend that I am very close with. If my cousin, friend, and I each have one, would it be possible to make it so that mine is connected to both of theirs, but theirs aren’t connected to each other? They don’t really know each other, and it would be kind of weird if they lit each other’s lamps whenever they try to light mine.

    • Reply Hadley February 12, 2018 at 5:54 pm

      Hi, Abby! Unfortunately, there’s no way to set up separate connections without purchasing separate lamps. To keep your connections to your friend and your cousin separate, you’d need to purchase two lamps for yourself–one each connected to one of theirs. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Christa B February 11, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    I bought this for my 9 year old great nephew when he moved with his Mom. He couldn’t believe we could communicate without a phone so it’s been a fun thing for us. Thanks and I would recommend this highly.

    • Reply Hadley February 12, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      We’re glad to hear it, Christa!

  • Reply Monica February 12, 2018 at 9:23 am

    What would the best way to purchase for two different grandmas? A single and a double? Will one grandma turn the light on at the other grandma’s house if they are all three connected? Should we just buy 2 doubles…one set for each? Will that work?

    • Reply Hadley February 12, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      Hi, Monica! If you’re looking to set up two separate lines of communication–one individual line with each grandma–two sets of two lamps would be your best bet. If you only purchase three lamps, they’ll all be connected, so everyone’s lamp will light up whenever anyone else touches theirs.

  • Reply Kathy February 27, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    My daughter, son, and I have 3 lamps and love them. I also bought 3 for my sister and her two daughters. After using them for 3 months, my daughter found , after returning from vacation, that hers is offline. She no longer receives or can send. I can’t remember how to access the account that we set up when we got them. Is there a website for the lamp accounts that I can log in to? We want to get her back online with us.

    • Reply Hadley March 19, 2018 at 10:09 am

      Hi, Kathy! Apologies for the delayed response here. You should be able to access the account associated with your lamp at https://filimin.com/setup/. Please let us know if you have any further questions!

  • Reply Susan Brown March 18, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I want to buy a lamp for my parents. Do I need to buy two lamps (one for me and one for them) or can I just buy one for them so that they know when I am thinking of them? Is there a way to let them know on my phone when I am thinking of them that will illuminate their light?

    • Reply Hadley March 19, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Hi, Susan! Great question. At this time, there’s no way to initiate a “touch” without a lamp of your own, so you would indeed need to purchase two lamps–one for yourself, and one for your parents. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Donald Duffey March 18, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    You just lost an order for 4 of these lamps because of your antiquated sales and payment system. If you could offer BIC and IBAN International Payment methods, you could have had another sale.
    But now, I am faced with searching for another gift idea for my two sisters and my Mother for her 80th birthday.
    The problem with your credit card based system is that your system does not recognize International addresses. My American accounts are registered with my German address. But your Billing Address fields are set to accept ONLY American addresses. It’s not that hard to do. Just gotta get the IT-fellas to wake up and realize that some of your potential customers do have foreign Billing Addresses for American accounts. All they have to do is allow fields for foreign countries and provinces. These are standard tables that can be written into the code for that webpage.

    Another even easier payment method is to offer potential customers the option to enter International standard BIC and IBAN numbers. With this system, there is no requirement for billing address verification. Those numbers are the direct designations of the banking institutions and accounts. The purchaser simply transfers his funds from his account directly to your account, securely verified by both banks at each end of the transaction. No need for the fee-based credit card systems. Would save you a bundle in fees.

    Let me know if there is a way we can do business. I can send you a check, but I’m afraid my mother’s gift won’t get to her in time.

    • Reply Hadley March 19, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Hi, Donald. Thanks for your feedback. I’d encourage you to shoot an email to feedback@uncommongoods.com to get this in front of our IT and Customer Service folks’ eyes. In the meantime, I’d also encourage you to try placing your order over the phone at 888-365-0056. That way, you’ll be able to speak directly with someone from our customer service team, which may help solve the problem you’re describing. We hope this helps, and we’re sorry you’ve encountered such difficulty!

  • Reply Annie March 21, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Hi there. I’d like to purchase one for my daughter. However, I have to keep my location secret due to domestic violence from my ex partner with whom she now resides. This may seem like a random question but, knowing that it operates via wifi, do I have to share my IP address for it to work with her lamp and, also, is my IP address traceable via this (even if I don’t have to share my IP address/wifi code with her to set it up)? Thank you in advance.

    • Reply Hadley March 23, 2018 at 10:40 am

      Hi, Annie! It looks like Michelle from our CS team already reached out to you, but in case you didn’t get the message, here’s what she said:

      “The Long Distance Friendship Lamp is connected through a home wi-fi connection. Once you and your daughter have set up the lamps through your home’s internet connection, you will be able to join a group through the Filimin dashboard, and you will see each other’s lamps light up.

      You will not be required to share any information regarding the IP address during the setup process. Each lamp has to be set up in their respective locations via wi-fi. You will need to enter your home wi-fi name and password in order to set your lamp up, and the same with your daughter setting hers up. Once they are connected to the home wi-fi, you will join a group through the Filimin website. The invitations for the group invites are sent via email.

      The IP address is not shared over the Filimin website and that information is not stored for any purpose. However, once the lamps are connected to wi-fi, they will be online and using the wi-fi data non-stop. If the lamp is unplugged, it will not be using the wireless data.”

  • Reply Lilli Becker April 5, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Hi there..its a glorious idea!!Now my question: I live in Peru..my mom lives in germany!!! WILL the lamp work as well over THIS large distance!!??? THEN I ll definitely buy them!!

    • Reply Hadley April 9, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Hi, Lilli! Yes, these lamps will work anywhere in the world as long as they’re plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi. Because they’re wired for use in the US, you may need a converter to get them plugged in, but they should work regardless of the distance between you and your mom.

  • Reply Aiseneya April 8, 2018 at 2:32 am

    I came across these and was surprised because the exact same type of lamps are a major part of a plot in a recent Korean drama called “I’m Not a Robot” from the end of 2017. I’m curious to know if you’ve heard of that show at all.

    • Reply Hadley April 16, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Hi, Aiseneya! We’d never heard of the show, but we’re glad you tipped us off–that’s a cool connection.

  • Reply Amanda Roberts April 15, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Hello,
    I was wondering if there is a discount for ordering multiple lamps. And if so, how much. I also wondered how many lamps can be connected.

    • Reply Hadley April 16, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      Hi, Amanda! Thanks for reaching out. We don’t offer discounts except for corporate orders; you can read more about how that works here. As far as how many lamps you can connect, there’s no hard limit! In theory, you could continue connecting thousands of new lamps until the end of time… though we don’t know if that’s quite what you have planned. Hope this helps.

  • Reply Sophia Albright April 16, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    I’m moving to Florida in a year and I want to get these for a friend that’ll have a really hard time with the move. I absolutely positively need a discount, I don’t have $150 and won’t be able to get it in the timeline I have. I will do anything, I’m desperate.

  • Reply Laura April 17, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Hello!
    Just wondering if there is a build in voltage converter? For example if I wanted to use them across Canada and Australia, I know I need a plug adapter to fit into the wall but will it also need a voltage converter since the current is higher in Australia and fries a lot of North American products that don’t have a built in voltage converter?

    • Reply Hadley April 18, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      Great question, Laura! While the Touch Lamp is adaptable with a converter for international use, there isn’t one built in, so you would need to purchase one yourself. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Momsquad April 19, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    I love this idea! I will be purchasing two but I have a questions – my daughter who is going away to college in the fall will be using a “hotspot” for her Wi-Fi and I will be using our home Wi-Fi….. will the lamps still work? (fingers and toes are crossed)

    • Reply Hadley April 19, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      Hi, Momsquad! We can’t say for sure that the lamps will work–you’ll need to speak with someone at your daughter’s school to find out if their Wi-Fi connection can accommodate them. Here’s what the lamps need:

      Power (100-240V AC)
      WPA, WPA2, WEP or open Wi-Fi connection
      A 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection

      The Touch Lamp does not work with captive portals like those found at public Wi-Fi locations or with WPA Enterprise used in some academic and corporate environments. Some hospitals, dorms, and barracks do experience issues, but this isn’t universal, so we’d urge you to double-check the details of her connection before giving up. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Lenin Jiménez April 23, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Soy de Ecuador y quiero comprar un par de lámparas, como puedo hacerlo? Hacen envíos hasta mi país? Necesito su ayuda gracias.

    • Reply Hadley April 26, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Buenos dias. Si, hacemos envios a Ecuador. Cuando ingrese a la pagina, vaya a la parte superior derecha y ahí puede seleccionar el país de destino en el menú. Cualquier duda estamos a disposición, desde ya muchas gracias.

  • Reply Lenin Jiménez April 24, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Hacen envíos a Ecuador?

  • Reply Wendi Gregory May 6, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    I saw this lamp concept in a Korean drama not too long ago. The lamps were heart-shaped balloons on a thin pedestal. Any chance of a design like that in your future? I’d buy a dozen right off.

    • Reply Hadley May 7, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Hi, Wendi! No plans for heart-shaped lamps just yet, but we can pass your suggestion along to our buyers.

  • Reply Tony May 12, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Hi. Can you set the color you want the lamp to light up when you touch it? It’s for my daughter going away to college. Second question: Can we set multiple user on our end at home? Like she sees one color light up when I touch it and another color when my wife touches it? Please let us know.

    • Reply Hadley May 14, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Hi, Tony! Yes, you can set a color range that’s unique to you, but you can’t set up multiple users with only one lamp. In order to differentiate between a “touch” from you and one from your wife, you’d each need your own individual lamp. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Michelle McShane May 18, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    I have had these lamps for over a year and it has worked flawlessly. Last night, it decided to blink yellow for no reason. I unplugged it and this morning I plugged it back in. It is now continuously blinking from yellow, to light green, to light orange. I no longer have the instructions that tell what these blinking lights mean. Can you help please? Thank you.

    • Reply Hadley May 18, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      Hi, Michelle. It sounds like your lamp may be having trouble connecting to your Wi-Fi. This guide tells you what those different lights mean and what you need to do to get your lamp connected. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Angel Cox June 14, 2018 at 9:29 am

    I had to change wi-fi’s and now I’m having trouble getting my lamp on the new wi-fi. I tried doing the instructions for a set-up, but I was never prompted to put in the password. Can you help?

  • Reply Cassie June 14, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Hi Angel, we’re sorry you’re having trouble with your lamps. We’ll need a little more information to figure out what’s going on. If you give us a call at 888.365.0056 or use our live chat feature (you can find a link in the bottom right corner of our homepage) a member of our customer service team can walk you through setup in real time.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Spread the Love

    Share this post with your friends!