Understanding LZF: translucent wood, gentle colour

Amongst the most highly respected brands within the decorative lighting industry are a handful that have been created by one or two individuals who have a full grasp of light, sculpture and how they interact. Their collections have a character that is both unique and consistent.

One such is LZF in Valencia, founded by Sandro Tothill (who is Australian) and his wife, Mariví Calvo, in 1994. Here they are:

Marivií and Sandro of LZF

And this is what they do:

LZF-002-RAINDROP pendant lights

They invented a method of treating wood veneer (called Timberlite®) that:

1.   makes it workable (you can bend it, or make holes in it, and it won't crack), and

2.   allows light to pass through it, revealing the patterns of the grain in the wood:


(Other people make lights out of wood but they are not translucent.)

Here is a brief video that explains Timberlite® well:

One consequence is that the lights look as good off as on (which matters, because lights spend more time off than on). So they have not one, but two colour charts -- one switched off and the other switched on! (Compare the Cherrys, for example.)

Timberlit colour chart lights off
Timberlite colour chart lights on

All the veneers are FSC certified.

 The exact colour tones are chosen so that they all work with each other -- they do not clash:


Besides the gentle pastels used above,there are also some bright colours:


One veneer is white, and two are presented au naturel (beech and cherry):


They are happy to do custom versions of their designs:

LZF linK giga custom feature light

Every detail is thought through. So, what looks like a lampshade that would go over a light bulb...


...in fact contains a carefully designed light engine that ensures efficient light diffusion, with no glare:


We like MiniMikado!




…and on!


LZF’s smaller pendants look good masses — as here, in a row:


Of course, they don’t only do pendants:


The LZF ecosystem does not just consist of lights. Sandro was a musician, so he has issued LZF albums in the past:

They make animals, such as this huge Koi, which has proved surprisingly successful, given its size!:


Their newsletters are genuinely interesting, ranging beyond self-celebration, and there is a particular interest in visual imagery. Take a good look at this picture...

i-club table set from Fernando

...isn't it extraordinary? The colours, the composition, the perspectival devices -- that amazing suspended sculpture.... What's the story? Who is she? Why is she there? What is she thinking?

Click here for the web site and here for the catalogues.

So, in summary, a unique collection of lights, using one of the world's greatest materials, made by hand in Spain, from a firm that celebrates light, sound, well-being, colour and design. LZF are, as we say in Lockinge, bangin'.

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