lightjunction: trend #2 -- carved and polished dark woods

Channels Finnieston floor and table lights

Lightjunction, our new fine lighting event, will be with collocated with designjunction at the Sorting Office on New Oxford Street during London Design Week, 18-22 September 2013.

In 2012, designers discovered the fun of back-to-basics lights made using untreated pale woods. For previous decades, wood had rarely been used in lighting, other than by specialists like Secto and LZF (except for the pedestals of floor and table base'n'shade lights) .

2013 sees a return to the beauty of finely carved and polished darker woods. Channels is adding lights to their collection of elegantly proportioned and made pieces, using the materials that they use for their furniture -- for example, oak and walnut. You can see above the floor and table task lights the Finnieston collection.

The lack of heat produced by LEDs means that Channels can make not just the structure, but even the shades, out of wood. Here are the Three Wise Men -- three shapes in two sizes, made from solid American white oak or American black walnut, that can be used individually or in groups.

Channels Three Wise men wood pendant lightsOther darker woods are appearing as part of the revival of the great designs of the 20th century.

The illustrious Viennese firm of Kalmar is able to draw upon its own 130 year archive. Here is  the Admont2 from 1930. You can see the beautiful colour of the wood...

Kalmar Admont 2 wood chandelier

...and the close-up below (of an Admont6) gives some idea of the quality of line, of carving, of finishing and of detail:

Kalmar Admont6 wood chandelier detail

The result is warm, rich, comfortable and sophisticated. The wood choices include solid rosewood, wengé and oak, plus there are lacquered versions in satin matt red of black.

Also showing at lightjunction this year, and also from Vienna, Woka include in their collection of early 20th century lights the truly magnificent floor mounted uplighter, Flora, and of about 1930.

Woka Flora brass and wood floorstanding uplighter of 1930

The structure is in stained beech. The version above has brass detailing. There is also a black stained version, with nickel-plated brass, that has an even stronger art déco feel:

Woka Flora floorstanding uplighter of 1930 black and nickel

So the return to solid fine woods is making available again the sense of quality, style and connoisseurship that has been so abjured in recent years.

lightjunction 18 22 September 2013


Channels images courtesy of Philip Vile.

Print Friendly and PDF

Best desk light at designjunction 21012? Finnieston from Channels or the brass Bestlite?

bestlite bl2_brass desk light 560 or

Channels Finnieston floor light reading light table light task light desk light

Yes, two new desk lights, both in "traditional" materials -- brass and wood, both from very good companies. Which is the best? We can't decide. You've still got a couple of days to pop along to designjunction and make up your own mind. (It's a great show, so allow plenty of time!)

brass structure bestlite 560

The brass desk light is part of the new collection of Bestlites that have a brass structure. Not all the Bestlites are available in brass and only certain shades are available with certain structures -- i.e. you can't have just any shade with any structure. The original choices of chrome/black, chrome/off-white and chrome/matt white are now supplemented by brass/brass, brass/grey and brass/matt white.

The floor light also gets its original, larger, Ø21cm shade.

All in all they are really handsome, the warmth and traditional feeling of the brass complementing the cool, seaside/mountain peek white and grey shades.

Jacob Gubi of the Danish company Gubi (that is now responsible for Bestlites) says, "although Bestlite has not been available in brass for many years, the brass finish is entirely gives the collection a new, softer, more contemporary feel and allows us to renew the collection whilst respecting its heritage."

Channels wood Finnieston floor light desk light reading light task light 8997

The lights above are from the wood furniture specialists, Channels. For the last year or so, a distinct trend has been lights, usually task lights, made using wood (though not many are actually in production). The Finnieston is different in two ways:

  1. the wood is properly finished, creating a much more satisfying feel  (usually a pale wood, unvarnished,  is used)
  2. the light is all wood, including the shade! This is made possible by the coolness of the LED lamp.

Best of all, it is a very pleasing light -- actually, two lights, because, besides the table/desk light (H780mm), there is the floor/reading light (H1,520mm). Both are, of course, task lights!

They are part of a new collection called Finnieston that also includes a bookcase, a tripod table and a tallboy:

Channels Finnieston collection

They are the brainchildren of Samuel Chan, who set up his own company, Channels, in 1995 with the well-known studio/showroom in Chelsea and a furniture workshop in Shropshire.

Channels photos by Philip Vile.

Print Friendly and PDF