Cini & Nils


Euroluce 2013: Hall 15, and some stands with lights in Salone Del Mobile halls

Euroluce name in colours

This is the fourth of a series of posts to be published this week that will build up into our Handy Guide to Euroluce 2013. This one looks at who is a hall fifteen, and in some of the Salone Del Mobile halls. Other posts look at who is in halls nine ,eleven and thirteen, and also what is happening where fuori salone. The last post in the series will pull all the content together into one document, with updates and corrections. This will then form the basis for our customary PDFs -- alphabetical, and by hall -- for you to use at the Fair. 

That last post in the series will remain up throughout the week of the Fair so that you can download the PDFs , or read it on your mobile thingy, at any time.


You will see that we are covering fewer exhibitors in this Handy Guide in Hall 15 than in the other Euroluce halls. This is because it houses mostly technical lighting (recessed downlighters).

Blackbody E31

The first person to use a new lighting technology is always Ingo Maurer, so he did the first OLED light (the Early Future table light). But the first company to base its entire business on OLEDs is Blackbody. Theirs is an essential stand to visit, therefore, if you want to see how OLEDs can be used in decorative lighting, what the light that they cast is like, and how much they cost.... We like Aldo Cibic’s Blossoms. And Rain.

Bocci C27 D20

Omer will be introducing at the Fair his new 57 chandelier. It is made using a new hybrid glass blowing and fusing technique that is analogous to that used for producing open cell foam, apparently. From the video of their being made, they look interesting – and labour-intensive. It is hard to judge, though, how they will look in real life – which is why we all have to visit the stand!

Cini&Nils B22

It is good that Cini&Nils are exhibiting at Euroluce: because they are based in Milan, they have not taken a stand in recent years. But their products do need to be seen, because this is an innovative company, creating lights for specific purposes, rather than following the herd. As a result, they have gone where no-one else has gone before, being the first company to do mains voltage track lighting (using cables), for example. They have now added a very useful outdoor version. The design of their lights follow their function. You’ll see that they are beautifully made, with wonderful detailing but, as you look at them, do consider their function. It is too easy to judge a luminaire solely by what it looks like (especially in a brightly lit hall) but that would be a huge mistake – on any decorative lighting stand.

Gubi C32 C36

Gubi continue to add classic 20th century designs to their already strong collection. From the secret preview, I can tell you that there is a task light that looks like evidence that two of their collections  – the BestLites and Greta Grossman’s – have mated. And there is the rerelease of a classic pendant that was last issued by Bald and Bang. More than that I should not say, but you will be glad that you visited the stand....

Il Fanale G36

And now for something completely different! Il Fanale is where you go to find the  traditional lights that you see in Italian trattorie and farm houses, elegantly made from iron, brass, copper, glass and ceramics. They even do the metal pipes and fittings that crawl over the walls of old buildings when the electric cables are not recessed.

Ingo Maurer A23

One of a kind, a leader both in design and in the use of new lighting technologies. However amazing his collection may look, all the items function properly as lights. These days, we don’t expect many new items to be added to the standard collection. Herr Maurer’s true heart is now to be found at the Spazio Krizia (Via Manin, 21) where there will be installations by him, but also works by young, innovative artists/designers that he has found.

Martinelli Luce B33 B37

The Martinelli family have created a very good collection, that includes the Pipistrello of the late Gae Aulenti (a huge light, now joined by a Minipipistrello, more suited to humbler spaces). Whilst they also have products by other eminent designers (Marc Sadler’s surprisingly rustic Babele, for example), many of the designs are by Martinelli family members, including the classic Cobra from 1968 by Elio Martinelli. Recent introductions make the most of the design flexibility that LEDs make possible – the jolly Elica task light, for example, or the Colibrì floor light, by the charming Emiliana Martinelli, with its simple elegant shape and long reach.

Nemo B23

For a while, Nemo was controlled by Cassina. Prior to this period, it was as if Nemo were discontinuing all their most interesting designs. However, under Cassina, they started introducing classic designs from the mid 20th century by architects/designers like Le Corbusier, and fantastic new designs – Giancarlo Tintori’s Uma methacrylate chandelier, for example, or Arlhiro Mlyake’s In the Wind.

But now Nemo is being absorbed by the younger, smaller Omikron (see the next entry). On the one hand, this means that Nemo is controlled by lighting people, rather than furniture people. On the other hand, it would be a pity if the current trends of 20th century classics and fine contemporary, flamboyant designs are not continued. It is far too early to say what will happen.

Omikron B29

Fortunately, although Omikron specializes in lighting that is much more minimal, more technical, less decorative than Nemo’s, they have also demonstrated a commitment to great designs from the past – Claritas, for example, the first light designed by Vico Magistretti (in 1946). So, as we've indicated above, we’ll wait and see what has happened by the next Euroluce, in two years’ time....

Schonbek/Swarovski Lighting E27 F24,             

A highlight of Milan over the last few years was the Swarovski Crystal Palace shows. But they have stopped now. In the meantime, Swarovski bought Schonbek (so they can make their own chandeliers) and they have rolled their standard lighting collection (crystal under down lighters, starry skies of backlit recessed crystals, &c.) into the same entity. But Schonbek is based in America. It is hard not to draw the conclusion that Swarovski has lost interest in having its own lighting collection. Maybe we’re wrong. Vedremo...

Zero C33

Another excellent Scandinavian lighting company – how do they do it?! It may be a platitude (but that does not make it wrong) to note that long periods without sun not only make Scandinavians more aware of the importance of light, but also of interiors generally – what they are made of, colours, how they feel. For example, a new introduction that Zero will be showing, Loos by the Venetian Luca Nichetto, is made of felt – in fact, several layers of felt in different colours, with different patterns cut out of them. This means that you can pile two or three on top of each other and the different colours show through, an effect inspired partly by plaids. A comfortable light. Good for long, recession-hit winters.


First, a word about the halls.

Euroluce, which takes place every odd-numbered year, is part of the far bigger Salone Del Mobile. The Salone takes over the entire exhibition area at the Rho fairground. Euroluce is in halls, 9, 11, 13 and 15.

The organizers put restrictions on the number of lights that can be shown on stands that are not in the Euroluce halls. Nevertheless, several companies with strong lighting collections are showing elsewhere. Note that there will probably be a lower proportion of lights on these stands, that may be dominated by furniture.

Gianni Seguso Hall 4 G21

Visit this stand and you will see some of the very finest Murano glass chandeliers – and that means some of the very finest craftsmanship of any kind in the entire world.  Such ateliers do not have catalogues &c. so we ask you to take the opportunity to see what they can do when you get the chance. If you are interested in a piece from them, come to Venice to discuss it. The commissioning should be as fascinating as the ownership will be fulfilling.

They have taken on a new maestro who specializes in goblets, so that probably explains this location. It is an essential stand to visit.

Brokis  Hall 7 G09 H16

This is not the stand of Brokis. They are sharing the stand of Misurasemme ). Brokisis a brand to watch: very high quality glass working from the Czech republic, plus very good, clever, witty designs. They will be showing new introductions on this stand.

Reflex Angelo Hall 7 H09

Lighting is only a small part of their catalogue but their selection nevertheless includes Bulles, one of the very best glass bubbles with a point of light inside.

Boca do Lobo Hall 10 F14

Boca do Lobo is of course a source for the most wonderful, flamboyant, outrageous furniture, so you’ll want to visit their stand anyway. They are included in this Handy Guide to lighting stands because lights from Koket will be shown on their stand too, These you must see – also luxurious, not at all minimal! and with a strong American influence from their creative director, Janet Morais.

ClassiCon Hall 16 E30

Amongst the new introductions that will be shown by the illustrious house of ClassiCon will be pendant lights by Sebastian Herkner, that he calls the Bell Lights. The shades are separate from the structure, which comes in grey, brass or copper.

Verpan Hall 16 C39

Verpan is the destination for most of the important designs of Verner Panton (not just lights). You think you know them all, but do you know the New Wave table light of 1970 -- a rippled white glass mushroom cloud, for example? I thought you didn’t.

  Muuto Hall 16 B35

Lighting represents only a third of the Danish company Muuto’s production, but each of their lights has a strong personality – from the elegant Mhy, to the minimal E27 pendant, to the very wooden Wood Lamp task light.

Artek Hall 20 C08

Another Scandinavian manufacturer for which lighting is only part of their activity. But it is important: this company keeps in production iconic lights by the likes of Alvar Aalto (the A330 series, for example), Tapio Wirkkala and Jorn Utzøn.

Print Friendly and PDF


Mario Melocchi, co-founder of Cini & Nils has died

Franco Bettonica and Mario Melocchi, founders of Cini&Nils Cini&Nils have announced the death of Mario Melocchi on Saturday, 9th February. He founded the company in 1969 with the architect Franco Bettonica, who died in 1999.

In 1958, Mario was the first person in Europe to focus on packaging design, moving subsequently into product design. The Company's early ranges were of accessories and furnishings, but in 1972, they produced the Cuboluce:

Cini&Nils cuboluce table light pentacolore

This is a light in a box. The lamp shines up onto the underside of the lid, which is mirrored. You can therefore angle the light how you like. To turn it on or off, you just open or close the lid -- no switch to grope for in the dark! It comes in many colours and finishes.

The result is hugely successful bedside light, selected to be in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art and now available in a LED version. It also brought about a change of direction for Cini&Nils. Now all their production is lighting.

Their collection is distinguished by a rare purity of conception. They add a light to the range only if such a light is needed. It will be designed to fulfil that need perfectly, even if that means means using innovative techniques.

The most famous example of this is Tenso, the world's first mains voltage cable system. Their patented connexions mean that it is the only such system that allows the lights to be reused. (Only the cable has to be replaced if a revised arrangement is required.)  The advantages are many; it is very easy to install and dim (since no transformers are required) and, since there are two circuits, the lamps on the cables can be put into two groups which can be switched and dimmed separately. The fittings are clean and elegant.

There are spots in all sorts of configurations:

Cini e Nils tensofariuno

Cini&Nils tensofariquattro


and a wide range of sources of ambient and indirect light:

Cini & Nils new tensogradi retinato

The spots and the ambient sources can be combined (and switched separately) to provide a single lighting solution that may otherwise have to be achieved in a more complicated, less sophisticated, way:

Cini&Nils tensofari-marieschi-gallery

They allow lighting onto, or under, a ceiling which cannot be pierced in order to accommodate light fittings, as in this installation for Gucci:

Cini&nils newtensogradi-opalescente-gucci-h

Here they are providing ambient light under a low ceiling that has beams:

Cini & Nils newtensoteli-nbi-embiade-veghel-nl-h

The line continues to be developed. Their latest innovation is an exterior track system, the tensEsterni -- no unsightly poles to wire up!

Cini e Nils tensesterni-sfera-opalescente-rust-1-01-b

Cini&Nils tensesterni-sfera-opalescente-neve-1-01-h (1)

Cini&Nils tensesterni-sfera-con-riflettore-rist-1-01-b

Cini&Nils don't only make cable systems. Here is just one example of the rest of the collection. It is Convivio, the one that is, in our market, the most popular at the moment-- justifiably, since it is a cracking light:

Cini&Nils pendant light convivio

It is a globe, Ø10.5cm, the top half in polished chrome or brushed nickel and the bottom half an optical  glass lens .

Cini & Nils convivio-sopratavolo-cromo-sat-b

What could be simpler? Or work better as a light fitting? Great as a row over a table or bar...

Cini&Nils convivo pendant light in a restaurant

...or over individual tables in a restaurant, bringing the light down to where it should be -- low on the table -- without blocking the ability of the courting to see each other:

Cini & Nils convivio pendant light

There is also a matching applique:

Cini&Nils convivio wall light

We think that the best way to celebrate the life of Mario Melocchi is to have another look -- a closer look -- at this exceptionally useful, well-designed and well-made collection.





Print Friendly and PDF

Outdoor track lighting for the first time! tensEsterni from Cini&Nils

Cini & Nile tensEsterni outdoor track lighting restaurantWhen Cini & Nils launched their Tenso system in 1994, it was the world's first mains (230V) cable system. At Light+Building this month, they showed another first: an exterior version. Suddenly, you can place lights where you could never have placed them before, or where you would have needed expensive and unsightly poles to put them on!

The image above shows the tensEsterni system in use over restaurant tables -- just lights, hovering in space where they are needed. The cables can be up to 200m in length, so long as they are supported (by a pole, a building, a tree -- they offer the necessary accessories) every 30m.

Cini & Nile tensEsterni sferaorientabile, cable-mounted spotBesides the cables, the main component is a sphere into which different types of lamp can be placed, depending upon what you need them to do. The picture in the restaurant garden uses an opalescent sphere (the "sfera opalescente") to create general ambient lighting. There are three other options, all IP65. The sphere in close-up above (the "sfera orientabile") contains a spot light that you can orientate within the sphere to point where the light is required. Here it is in use...

Cini & Nils exterior track-mounted spot light...and here are some other things that you can do for the first time:

-- provide directional lighting over a swimming pool (outdoors or indoors):

Cini & Nils tensEsterni exterior cable lighting over a swimming pool

-- light a small courtyard from the centre, not the walls:

Cini&Nils tensEsterni outdoor cable-mounted lights courtyard

-- light a path with a series of lights, each one of which would otherwise have to be on its own pole:

Cini & Nile tensEsterni exterior track lights snow-- put light over a lawn. (This is an example of the cables bowed down towards their centre. You can also have them perfectly taut -- horizontal):

Cini & Nile tensEsterni outdoor track lighting lawn-- put ambient light in a specific location in the garden:

Cili & Nils external trach lighting Lawn chairs on villa patioThe catalogue, with detailed technical and practical information, is available as a PDF here.

Cini & Nils TensEsterni outdoor track light

This is a spectacular technical breakthrough, which we hope will excite you to try new ways of lighting a garden, terrace, park or swimming pool. Let the world be your lobster!

(Note that Cini&Nils do not keep their data on Architonic up-to-date, so information on these lights will be missing from all the sites that use the Architonic Virtual Showroom, including ours.)

Print Friendly and PDF