Blackbody's I.rain: new finishes

blackbody vast OLED i.rain lighting installation

In my opinion, the most successful design in Blackbody’s collection is the I.rain. Since they are the only people seriously offering decorative OLED solutions for interiors, this makes I.rain very significant.

It has to be considered whenever something rare and unique is required, whether the client would appreciate having something from lighting’s cutting-edge, or not.

I.rain installations are made up from what they call “pixels”. They can be any shape or size. Above is a really big one, and and here’s a much smaller one, made up of sixty one pixels:

blackbody lighting installation 61 pixels

You can see above what the classic pixel looks like. The excitement at Maison et Objet in January 2016 was Blackbody’s introduction of more decorative pixels.

There are four beautiful polished metal finishes: black nickel, brass, copper and chrome…

Blackbody i.rain pixel metal finishes

…plus a glass option!

Blackbody i.rain pixels in glass

These new versions cost about 42% more than the classic white pixel.

In fact, I.rain is priced more reasonably than you might think.

And, as we normally point out when an installation is made up of a lot of small pendants, one can adjust the total cost by adjusting the number of pendants. Fortunately, even when I.rain’s pixels are spaced far apart, they still create a great effect:

blackbody i.rain OLED light installation dowbn a stairwell

An important point for stairwells is that they look good from any angle: here the pixels are seen from above (there are 137 of them in total):

Blackbody i.rain OLED installation down a stairwell from above

Plus, I.rain is easier to specify than you might think. This is because they have a dedicated office that will work with you until you have the arrangement that is exactly right for your space, client and budget.

If, by their pricing and support, you think that they seem to be bending over backwards to help you, then – yes – you are right! This is new technology, and they want to make it as easy as possible for you.

This is what Cara Delevingne discovered: for her installation on Bali, it was agreed that she only needed two pixels, at slightly different heights...

Cara Delevigne in Bali with Blackbody pixels
blackbody OLED pixels from below
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Roger Pradier's fine outdoor lighting

Roger Pradier Citadelle outdoor wall light
Roger Pradier Tetra outdoor wall light

Unfortunately, most decorative light fittings are specified on the basis of (a) what they cost and (b) what they look like

This is not good for the people who have to install and maintain them. Nor is it good for the people who have to live with them.

It is particularly not good for companies that make luminaires with a specific functionality, whose staff are 100% focussed on making the best product to meet those requirements.

One such is the 100-year-old French outdoor lighting maker, Roger Pradier. I tell you now that the prices are very good. And you can make up your own mind about what their elegant traditional and contemporary lights look like.

So I can now focus on other aspects, which explain why this is the best company to go to for outdoor lighting.

In no particular order:

1. 25 year guarantee against corrosion of the aluminium, which makes up 99% of their products (the remaining 1% is copper or brass). Tells you all you need to know, really. One would only make such a commitment if one knew that the quality of design and manufacture ensure that problems would be very rare – for 25 years!

2. Ease of installation and maintenance by, for example, self-levelling backplates and plug-in assembly. Thus, for a wall light, the fitter attaches the backplate to the wall and, when everything is properly aligned and connected, plugs the luminaire into place. There is a four minute video that makes all this clear. Click here to see it (and wonder why other makers don’t go to so much thought and trouble to be really helpful!)

3. 20 standard colours (any colour on request) and five metal finishes: aluminium, brass, zinc, corten steel and copper:

Roger Pradier five metal options

4. Gor-tex-covered drain holes. An outdoor light may accumulate some condensation in it, however well it is made. This is especially true of luminaires with high IP ratings, because there is less scope for them to "breathe". Other manufacturers ignore this. Roger Pradier put in little drain holes covered in Gor-tex (to allow moisture out but not in).

5. Sea and desert air cause no problems for these dedicated outdoor luminaires. They achieve this by selecting premium aluminium, giving it a special treatment in the factory, before powdercoating it with high quality paint. You can now understand why there are customers in beautiful but harsh environments who will only risk specifying Roger Pradier outdoor fittings.

6. IP ratings and IK ratings. You may be specifying for a project outside the UK, where specific ratings for IP (ingress by solids and moisture) and IK (external mechanical impacts) are required. Roger Pradier has many IP65 products .

7. Photometric data. LUMIDAT and other photometric data files are available extremely promptly. Photometric diagrams are included in the catalogue. Basically, all the information needed by lighting designers is readily available. As they work with you on the project, they will providing photometric support for their recommendations.

8. LEDs: many of Roger Pradier’s fittings come in versions that have dedicated LED light sources. There are LED versions of all the luminaires shown in this post (except the second to last two). They are shown in a dedicated LED catalogue, which you can download here.

Note that there are many more Roger Pradier designs which do not have dedicated LEDS, (but retrofit LED lamps can obviously be used). These are shown in the main catalogue, and on the web site.

Dedicated LEDs are invisible, but normal lamps are not. That means you can see them, but sometimes you may not want to. Roger Pradier are way ahead of you, and offer…

9. …elegant ways to conceal ugly lamps:

Roger Pradier Tetra applique

Note that there is frequently the option of frosted glass.

10. Designs come in complete families:

Roger Pradier Olympic outdoor wall light
Roger Pradier Olympic outdoor lights on a column
Roger Pradier Square exterior wall light
Roger Pradier Square outdoor light on a pole
Roger Pradier Avenue 4 exterior lighting typologies
Roger Pradier hanging lantern
Roger Pradier illuminated bollards

11. You can add:

• spotlights (a wide range)

Roger Pradier Avenue 3 with integrated spot light

• PIRs

Roger Pradier outdoor wall light with integrated PIR

• and power sockets:

Roger Pradier outdoor power sockets

12.   Leading international designers. Besides their own inhouse specialist designer, Stéphane Joyeux, Roger Pradier also commissions designs from the likes of Patrick Norguet (who has also designed for Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Cappellini and Renault), Philippe Nigro (Hermès, Foscarini, Ligne Roset, Lexus) and the late Cedric Ragot (Roche Bobois, Paco Rabanne, Azzaro).

For a two minute video introducing the company, go here.

To download the general catalogue, go here.

To download the LED catalogue, go here.

Roger Pradier outdoor wall lights on a château

So for the easiest outdoor lighting company to work with, for attractive fittings suited to prestigious locations, competitive prices – and happy clients! – we recommend Roger Pradier.

Roger Pradier Bristol outdoor wall light

Whatever issues you may be wrestling with, the chances are that, during the last 100 years, this specialist company has met and resolved them. If not, there is the current team looking forward to working with you: in this context, it is important to know that they design and make everything in-house.

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Libellule by Damien Langlois-Meurinne for Pouenat Ferronnier at Decorex

Pouenat Damien Langlois-Meurinne Libellule chandelier set

Pouenat Ferronnier's stand at any fair is always essential viewing. No-one else combines such technical craftsmanship with the amazing, unpredictable designs that result from the owner, Jacques Rayet, giving leading designers carte blanche to design whatever they want. It is a brave policy that is delivering great results, both for the company and for specifiers.

This year, Damien Langlois-Meurinne has expanded his collection for them. One of the designs is Libellule -- a future classic if ever I saw one. Although made of brass, the shape and finish of the fins really do evoke the wings of a dragonfly in flight.

Pouenat Damien Langlois-Meurinne Libellule chandelier

It is Ø145cm H65cm. There are small lamps in frosted glass sleeves between the wings. The finish of the wings is slightly lighter on the side which faces the lamp, which increases the contrast in tone between the two sides -- adding to the sense of movement. Being made by Pouenat Ferronnier, you have a wide range of finish options: in this case, though, we don't think you'd want to have anything other than the carefully judged standard version.

Pouenat Damien Langlois-Meurinne Libellule chandelier set
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Art et Floritude: the best new lights at Decorex

Art et Floritude Obsidienne wall light

I hope that I saw all of Decorex. For us, its new location is more convenient, and Kensington Gardens was lovely in yesterday's sun. But the main space, Perks Field -- the biggest and the first that one comes to -- was noticeably busier than the Orangery. Based on the quality of the stands, there was no reason for this. So I do encourage you to to make it through as far as the Orangery.

And here is a very good reason -- to see our Best New Light at Decorex (and the runner-up!).

The wall panel above is the Applique Obsidienne by Christine Goumot (formerly directrice artistique at Saint Laurent) for Art et Floritude. It is W143cm H55cm. The finish of metal parts is a carefully judged combination of bronze and 24 ct gold. The design -- the different sizes of perfect and imperfect circles, and the relationship between them -- is beautifully judged.

Art et Floritude Applique Obsidienne detail

But what elevates it to a higher plane are the dark parts. These are chunks of obsidian (a naturally-occurring glass produced during volcanic eruptions) that is closer to amber than anything else. Like amber, each piece will be different depending upon the quantities and shapes of the different colours in it. This means that every Applique Obsidienne will be different. There are LED lights behind each chunk. All are fascinating: the ones that initially look black do have variations within them, the more translucent ones share more colours and variety of shapes of darkness.

Art et Floritude Applique Obsidienne detail

The result is the quality that defines great design: it gets better, more interesting, the more you look at it. You can lose yourself in the worlds you discover in any one of the chunks of obsidian (which are large!).

But it was touch and go whether the Applique Obsidienne above, or the Boule de Fleurs (below) would get top honours.

When we started working with Art et Floritude (a charming family company based in the Loire Valley), they were primarily continuing the fine French craft tradition of painted metal chandeliers on themes drawn from nature, often with porcelain flowers attached. Like this:

Art et Floritude chandelier metal and porcelain flowers

If the Applique Obsidienne exploits their metalworking capabilities, the Boules de Fleurs demonstrate what they can do with their porcelain flowers.

Art et Floritude Boule de Fleurs

The original was created with Hubert de Malherbe for Parfums Christian Dior. The catalogue version is a simple ball shape made up of unglazed porcelain flowers on a (concealed) white painted metal frame, lit from within by LEDs. There are three sizes: Ø24cm, Ø28cm and Ø40cm.

On the outside of the Art et Floritude stand, you see an applique of leaves in their new finish, satin nickel. The colour of the wall it is on demonstrates how well it suits the long-dominant passion for mud-like hues.

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It is so, so easy to use Azimut spot lights!

Azimut bi pro explanatory image 560When recommending Azimut AR111 spot lights, we are usually pointing out their practicality (you can point the lamp wherever you want) and the design heritage, that goes back to the 1960s, when Christian Girard was lighting fashionable Paris night clubs and shops, and the houses of people like Johnny Hallyday. As an example of their use, here is the Abseitz concept store in Stuttgart, lit by Gregor Scholz.

Abseit Stuttgart Azimut lights

The main luminaire being used is the Bi-Pro -- two lamps in one fitting...

Abseit Stuttgart Azimut spot lights

...that he was able to use in a variety of locations:

Abseit Stuttgart Azimut spot lightsThese were using halogen lamps, but the Azimut range is now fully exploiting a very high quality LED AR111 -- a LED 11-A1:

Azimut LED 11-A1 glare-freeContact us for the specifications.

But the point of this post is very simple. The Azimut lights are so easy to use because the lighting bodies are attached to the base by magnets. Why this is such a good thing becomes clear as soon as we demonstrate it to you. But for those that haven't seen us do this, Azimut have now produced a little film!

Now do you see?!

Azimut LED AR111 light


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