Cones have been around for as long as there have been lamp shades. The empire shade is a cone with the top cut off to let out the heat of the lamp. A basic metal school pendant is a cone. But recently, cones have become a Thing.
IMHO, the spark was lit by Foscarini’s very successful Aplomb, that demonstrates the two main cone shapes:
And it was given further impetus by Michael Anastassiades. The strong, simple, geometric cone shape is the perfect foil to the “drawing in the air” created by the cables in his String Light for Flos:
A similar approach was adopted for Vibia’s North (that comes in many different forms):
Cones becoming a Thing has been reinforced by Atelier Areti, many of whose shades are cones, even when they are birds! The wall light that they call Cone, is in fact two cones:
Aplomb is famously made of concrete, and Marset’s Pu-erh is made of a carefully textured ceramic:
But most recent cones have been made from anodized aluminium. This allows the introduction of colour. Don’t worry, you can usually still get grey, but if you want to risk a spot of colour, these may be the way to go!
This is .Heno from Raco. They make me think of parrots, for some reason:
And Abc from ModoLuce, that don't:
This design from Trilamp has both colour and metal finish options:
Pandul’s Tip Top dates from 1968 (cones may be a new Thing, but some classics from the past anticipated the spirit of the 2017 cone). Tip Top offers more metal finishes…
…and they have Fun with Cones – here nesting them into a long suspension and a long applique…
…that recall another classic (from 1980), Ingo Maurer’s Japanese paper Floatation:
Aah, the Upside Down Cone…Kalmar showed one at Euroluce, Spinne:
And they come in various typologies in the Narciso family, introduced at Euroluce by Penta:
That central suspension is large. But if you want a really, really large cone, or three, go to Claesson Koivisto Rune’s w151 collection for Wästberg. The girls are included to show you the scale – and you know how tall Swedes can grow!
But if it is another extensive cone family you are looking for, seek out Axo Light’s Orchid – stringing several cones along a bar, as Atelier Areti do:
Gosh, imagine me, of all people, getting this far without mentioning glass! But, don’t worry, there are great glass cones…
The simple: Blues from TRILAMP:
The elegant: Orsa by Foster+Partners for Artemide:
The coloured: Kon from bsweden:
The huge: if you specify the right shape from Dechem Studio’s wonderful new Phenomena collection for Bomma:
So, which is the finest cone-themed light? It may be Milan’s Pla:
Not only is the main shade a flattened cone, but the extension at the bottom, when taken with the metal section where the cable enters the shade above, forms a single narrow cone, seen more clearly here:
Once a trend gets as established, we look forward to the mannerists taking the idea and playing knowingly with it. For Vibia, Antoni Arola created a set of cones that can be threaded together in different ways (Flamingo):
And also from Vibia, in Mayfair, the top of the cone has been cut off and stuck upside down inside what is left:
So, there you have it. Cones are a Thing at the moment, many of those featured here having been shown for the first time at Euroluce last month. This means that some are not yet available, though they may be when deliveries are required for your project. As always, get in touch with us if you are considering specifying any of these lights (or any cones that I have not included).