They say necessity is the mother of all invention, so when Rob Flickenger and his mates decided it was necessary to surf the net from their favourite coffee shop in Sebastopol, California, they came up with a rather ingeniuous solution.
To get the best coverage from a Wireless Access Point (WAP), it should be mounted up high to reduce any interference that is inherent Access Points positioned at ground level. The coffee shop in question is inside an old, wooden train station building with very high ceilings with old industrial lamps hanging down to provide light.
The lads asked themselves "What if you could house an WAP in a package the size of a large lightbulb, and install it in an existing light socket?" That would certainly solve the location problem, but how would you provide a net connection to it without the challenge of running a length of CAT5 network cable to it? The solution was suitably 21st Century: Powerline Ethernet.
A Siemens SpeedStream 2521 Powerline 802.11b Wireless Access Point
would provide the net connection, sourced from the electrical socket. The boys piggybacked the power for a low-energy fluorescent bulb to the WAP (left), and soldered a standard screw-type Edison lightbulb socket to the unit (middle). The entire setup fits neatly into a Tupperware container (right) to complete the illusion (above right).
The power socket pokes out the back, allowing it to be simply screwed into a standard lightbulb socket for power, and internet connection. You can read the full article here