By Leonora Sartori, Houzz
From the editor: Now that lighting control systems are able to manage a variety of different light sources, including LED, versatility is the name of the game when selecting fixtures for your home. And today the styles run the gamut. No longer are you limited to only incandescent fixtures if you want to add some flair to your house.
You can choose all kinds of visually interesting form factors and know that it can be integrated with a lighting control system. Your home can be stylish and smart, so take a look at the stunning fixtures pushing the boundaries of innovative lighting design.
While this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan focused on classic furniture, the lighting brands presenting at its fair-within-a-fair, Euroluce, had fun with experimentation. Thanks to LEDs and other new technology, designers are now able to change the shapes and even the uses of light fixtures, and the exhibitors at this year’s fair ran with their newfound freedom. Have you ever wanted to play with your lamp or change it to suit your mood? Now you can. Get ready for modern light pillars, customizable lamps and minimalist chandeliers.
Harry H by Carlotta de Bevilacqua for Artemide
1. Technology Meets Craft
“Lamps are not just shapes. Light is a basic human need, just like air and water. Technology is what brings us light at home, so we shouldn’t be afraid of it. Instead, we need a vision for driving lighting technology forward. In doing this, we should always have our human needs, and nothing else, in mind,” says Carlotta de Bevilacqua, architect and vice president of Italian company Artemide.
She designed the hybrid light fixture Harry H as a kind of manifesto, connecting technology and traditional craft. It combines handblown glass with OLED and LED lights. The two light sources can be controlled separately to precisely define the quality of the light the lamp emits.
U-Light by Timo Ripatti for Axo Light
2. Going Graphic
Pure lines, signs hanging from the ceiling, tiny waves on the wall — designers are transforming classic lamps into minimalist sculptures.
Thanks to LED technology, lamps can now have a light source anywhere, even bent around a curve. For example, U-Light, by Finnish designer Timo Ripatti for Axo Light, incorporates an LED into a series of circular aluminum frames.
Norwegian designer Daniel Rybakken also used circles in the Compendium collection he designed for Luceplan. LED technology permits the emission of both focused light, when pointed downward, and diffused light, when aimed upward.
Yanzi, designed by Chinese duo Neri & Hu for Artemide, is a lightweight lamp that can either be suspended or used as a floor lamp. Its clean design invokes branches, with movable swallows sitting on top. The lamp makes it possible to create a kind of poetic domestic landscape.
Where did the light source go? WireRing, by Italian design duo Formafantasma, is so thin and minimalist that it practically disappears. The lamp is a beltlike electric cable stretched over a ring containing an LED strip. That’s all. The cable itself is the main focus.
Pinecone by Paola Navone for FontanaArte
3. Pillars of Light
On the other end of the minimalist spectrum, floor lamps are becoming bigger and bigger, iconic — or ironic — and eye-catching.
Heliacal, by Dutch design studio Os & Oos for FontanaArte, is a good example. Inspired by the way light changes all day long between sunrise and sunset, it has polarized glass discs that can be rotated, blocking the light or allowing thin beams to escape. This introduces movement and gradation, from a dawn effect to an eclipse, into the design. It is a magical modern totem.
Originally designed to be a table lamp or a suspended fixture, Paola Navone’s Pinecone this year grew to be a floor lamp. It uses the ancient technique of caged blown glass, which creates the impression of glass — and light — trying to break out from its restraints.
The Noctambule lamp by German designer Konstantin Grcic, made of see-through modules of cylindrical blown glass, is almost transparent during the day and reveals itself when turned on at night. The modules can be stacked on top of one another to create a customizable column of light. How high will you dare to go?
Diade by Monica Armani for Luceplan
4. Lamps That Are More Than Light
With new technology making design more flexible, lamps now do more than just dispense light. A good example is Diade, by Monica Armani for Luceplan, which integrates acoustic solutions that absorb noise (for example, over a table or in an office) and thus promote psychophysical well-being. It can also be folded (see the next picture) to separate the space below it.
Gaku by Nendo for Flos
5. Lamps as Playful Objects
Gaku, designed by Japanese studio Nendo for Flos, is a wood-framed, do-it-yourself decorating set that happens to also be a table light. You can play with different elements to create your own lamp. The light source can be suspended from a cable that comes out of the frame. There is also a wireless version — another current trend — in which the lamp can be recharged through induction plates.
Inspired by the moon and classic photographers’ bank lights, Kazuhiro Yamanaka’s Collapsible Moon is made of a technical fabric, normally used for sports, that refracts light. The frame of the circle is made of a tempered-steel spring and can move or be folded. A color-changing LED strip diffuses light from inside the frame. The result is a fully illuminated circle, a little portable moon.
Another object by this Japanese designer is Graffiti, a light sculpture with metal rods you can move and play with, drawing your own domestic light graffiti and easily creating your own art installation.
Daniel Rybakken’s Amisol takes advantage of large dimensions. Like Collapsible Moon, it is a diffused version of a photography bank light. A translucent white film or a metallic mirror membrane is stretched inside a circular aluminum frame to create diffused light. The lamps can be pointed in any direction.
Mesh by Francisco Gomez Paz for Luceplan
6. The Second (Lighter) Life of Chandeliers
What happens when designers start using LEDs in chandeliers? Design becomes fragile and poetic. Mesh, designed by Francisco Gomez Paz for Luceplan, is a light structure composed of a network of metal cables, with LEDs positioned at the intersections. It’s available with 96 light points or as a smaller suspension lamp with 48 LEDs.
“Modular” is the keyword for many of the lamps presented at Euroluce 2017. Verticale, by the Bouroullec brothers of France, is a set of suspension lights of variable length that can be put together in various geometric configurations, such as a triangle or a pentagon. Their anodized aluminum frame reflects the light source.
Alysoid, by Japanese designer Ryosuke Fukusada for Axo Light, is composed of necklace-like draped chains. It was inspired by architecture: The alysoid was a beloved geometric form of renowned Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí.
The new shapes of chandeliers may be different from the classic versions, but they are just as eye-catching. In Leaf, Italian designer Matteo Zorzenoni tried to mix past and future. The suspended light fixture is available in brass or copper.