Amazon Light was an alternate user interface to built on the Amazon Web Services API. The site was developed by Alan Taylor, a former Amazon programmer, while he still worked for the company.[1] The site was funded through Amazon affiliate links.

The website was intended to be a simpler and more efficient way to access and use its features. It allowed the user to search or browse Amazon's database of books, music, DVDs, and VHS tapes, and add items into a list. The list was then used to add the items into the user's shopping cart where they could then be purchased.

Amazon Light originally used a layout which resembled the main page of the Google search engine.[2] In July 2002, Google's lawyers told it to cease and desist.[3]

Amazon Light 4.0 won the "Technical Achievement award" at the South by Southwest Web Awards in 2005.[4]

In July 2009, Alan Taylor announced on his blog that "Amazon Light (all four versions) will shut down."[5]


  1. ^ Wade Roush (January 2005). "Amazon: Giving Away the Store: Sometimes it makes sense to give away your core assets". Technology Review. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
  2. ^ Screenshot of the original layout Archived 2003-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Amazon Light – about Archived 2003-08-12 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Web Awards winners Archived December 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine – south by southwest festivals 2005.
  5. ^ A Farewell to Amazon Light Archived 2010-03-25 at the Wayback Machine