lightjunction, our new fine lighting event, will be collocated with designjunction at the Sorting Office on New oxford Street during London Design Week, 18-22 September 2013
Let's face it, to most people, a light is still a base with a shade. But nobody told most of our suppliers! Lights can be anything: they can have shapes and meanings that justify their existence in their own right, whether or not they are very efficient as lights.
Take Bake Me A Cake (above), recently designed by Morten & Jonas for Northern Lighting. As you can see, it is a witty variation on the base'n'shade: a light that looks like a cake in a cake stand. But there is more to it than meets the eye. It is manufactured by the inmates of a Norwegian prison near Bergen. The aim is to create high quality production inside Norwegian prisons -- to challenge the inmates' ways of thinking and acting. So there is a social purpose, but also humour because, as we all know, files are baked into cakes for prisoners....
Artemide's Empatia table light also works fine as a light, but the interest is really in the interaction between the blown glass (used for centuries by Italians to make lights) and LEDs, the most contemporary of light sources. The glass reflects and transmits the light without glare -- an elegant shape with fascinating properties to put on your side board.
Lights as ornament don't only come as table lights. Also from Artemide, for instance, there is the Cosmic Leaf floor light by Ross Lovegrove. As it stands, it is a beautiful sculpture: a carefully judged form made from a textured transparent methacrylate, chosen for the way that it plays with light.
If lights can be ornaments -- works of art -- they can hang on the wall, like paintings, and be made out of almost any material. So, why not thin strips of wood veneer, smoothed into elegant, fluid forms? This is what LZF do. Above is their Air, that also comes as a table light.
Or you can hang your ornaments from the ceiling! Here are the ludic Memory lights from Brokis -- beautifully executed, and showing for the second time in this post that lights as ornament can also be witty -- the string of the balloon is also the pull cord on-off switch.
So, remember, don't only think of lights when you are specifying light sources. They can do so much more. All the top designers have created lights and, for some unknown reason, a sculpture is a lot cheaper when it has a light in it. So they are bargains as well...