The touch lamp was invented in Freeport, New York, by Scott M. Kunen. He patented the touch lamp twice, and the most recent patent was issued on May 26, 1987. The most recent patent is a continuation in part of the first patent and was issued to upgrade the first patent to allow the control device to be inside a little box that plugs into the wall directly with no additional wiring.
The touch lamp was invented in 1984 and updated in 1987. It has evolved since then into many different versions of touch lamps. These are not limited to table lamps since there are wall scones and floor lamps that are also touch lamp style.
Kunen invented the first wiring circuit and electric module that was able to be converted into the touch lamp. The start of the invention began with him using calculations with capacitance and oscillator frequency to determine the correct equation for the touch lamp.
The full name of the touch lamp on the patent application is "Touch-controlled switch for a lamp or the like." The purpose is to provide an electrical power control that operates by touch and not by a wired electrical connection to the lamp.
There are touch lamps with all different designs and appliqués. The part that should be touched for operation is the metal part of the lamp. Many lamps have multi-level lighting like low, medium and bright light by tapping one, two or three times, respectively.
Touch lamps come in many different sizes and styles. Almost any lamp could be turned into a touch lamp. Floor lamps, table lamps and bedside sconces are some of the most popular touch lamps. The sizes vary by manufacturer and designs.
Touch lamps are especially beneficial when placed at bedside. They prevent having to get up and switch off a light switch. They create convenience and comfort for those who use them.