Cones are a Thing

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:

Foscarini Aplomb pendant lights

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:

Michael Anastassiades String Light for Flos

A similar approach was adopted for Vibia’s North (that comes in many different forms):

Vibia North wall light

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:

Atelier Areti Cone wall light

Aplomb is famously made of concrete, and Marset’s Pu-erh is made of a carefully textured ceramic:

Marset Pu-Erh ceramic pendant lights

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:

[dot]heno pendant lights from Raco

And Abc from ModoLuce, that don't:

Abc pendant lights for Modo Luce

This design from Trilamp has both colour and metal finish options:

Pendant lights from Trilamp

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…

Pandul Tip Top pendant lights

…and they have Fun with Cones – here nesting them into a long suspension and a long applique…

Pandul Tip Top suspension light and applique

…that recall another classic (from 1980), Ingo Maurer’s Japanese paper Floatation:

Ingo Maurer Floatation pendant light

Aah, the Upside Down Cone…Kalmar showed one at Euroluce, Spinne:

Kalmar Spinne  pendant light

And they come in various typologies in the Narciso family, introduced at Euroluce by Penta:

Penta Narciso family of lights

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!

Wästberg W151 pendant lights

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:

Axo Light Orchid family of luminaires

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:

Blues glass pendant light from Trilamp

The elegant: Orsa by Foster+Partners for Artemide:

Orsa pendant light by Foster+Partners for Artemide

The coloured: Kon from bsweden:

Kon pendant lights from bsweden

The huge: if you specify the right shape from Dechem Studio’s wonderful new Phenomena collection for Bomma:

Bomma Phenomena family of large glass pendant lights

So, which is the finest cone-themed light? It may be Milan’s Pla:

Milan Pla pendant light

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:

Milan Iluminacion Pla pendant light

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):

Vibia Flamingo pendant light

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).

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