A bird-shaped smoke detector makes sense, right? It chirps its brains out in the event of danger — after all, a bird’s call (or lack of call) is often a harbinger of bad things to come — and it looks mighty cute while doing so. Shelling out a few extra bucks to give a compulsory yet boring-looking household fixture a little avian oomph — especially when putting together a nursery — is money well spent in my opinion.

But a smoke detector that resembles the fabric-destroying nocturnal cousin of the butterfly? I’m not quite sure what to think about this one. And neither is Gizmodo, which refers to Helsinki-based fashion designer and artist Paola Suhonen’s moth-shaped Lento Smoke Alarm as both “hideous” and “stylish” (“hideously stylish,” I suppose?).

For one — not that I’m mottephobic or anything — a giant plastic bug affixed to the ceiling would scare the holy bejebus out of me every time I’d enter the room. I don’t care if it’s pink or green or has a heart-shaped speaker built into its abdomen. It’s big, it has wings, and I've seen "The Silence of the Lambs" one too many times. Also, can you imagine the nightmarish shadows that thing could create?

While the aforementioned Chick-A-Dee Smoke Detector emits an 85 decibel alarm modeled after the signature warning call of its namesake bird— “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” evolving into a more urgent “dee-dee-dee” in seriously smoky situations — I’m not sure what kind of special alarm sound a moth-shaped smoke detector like the Lento would make. Extremely loud crunching? Clicking? Hissing? Something like this? It’s safe to assume that Suhonen and design firm Jalo Helsinki stuck with the standard smoke alarm beep-noise when creating the Lepidoptera-themed gadget.

Issues of potential scariness and sound aside, Lento is still a clever alternative to the "boring and unattractive smoke alarms on the market." The photoelectric unit can easily be attached to a ceiling or wall with included 3M adhesive tape, eliminating the need for screws or drill guns. The included battery lasts five years and the entire critter acts as one giant button for performing tests or silencing false alarms (no tiny, hard-to-access buttons). Available in white, grey, black, pink, or green, the Lento Smoke Alarm costs a not-too-shabby $37 and is available through the Finnish Design Shop

Now that smoke alarms come in both bird and moth varieties, is there another critter would you like to see transformed into the utilitarian device?

Via [Gizmodo]

Images via Finnish Design Shop

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

The safety of the lambs: A moth-shaped smoke alarm from Finland
Buffalo Bill meets Marimekko with Lento, a moth-shaped photoelectric smoke detector from Paola Suhonen in collaboration with Jalo Helsinki. A clever spin on a v