environmental concerns

New to our Light Finder: GRAYPANTS

GRAYPANTS Scraplights Ausi pendant light Lights made out of cardboard and corrugated paper. It shouldn't work, but it does -- spectacularly well, as graypants Scraplights© prove.

Two things happen:

1.       the lamp casts the warmest, cosiest light

graypants scraplights cardboard corrugated paper detai

2.       the simple pattern of the corrugated paper creates fascinating and varied patterns when the circular shape cuts across it:

graypants scraplights disc pendant lightLovely singly, they work particularly well in multiples. Here they are hung at random heights...

graypants scraplights moon pendant lights

...as are these ones over a bar:

graypants scraplights discs in a bar

Whereas these, also over a bar, are hung more formally:

graypants scraplights ausi pendant lights over a bar

So who is behind graypants? The name makes sense when you discover that it is a design studio set up in America, in Seattle, by best friends Jonathan Junker and Seth Grizzle. Here they are:

jon junker and seth grizzle of graypants

Not all the scraplights are pendants. Here is a cute Tilt table light, for example (note how well scraplights work in wood-dominated interiors!):

graypants scraplights tilt able light

Nor are the scraplights all that graypants do. In Milan, Jon showed me a prototype of their new line, the steplights, made of metal. When we have prices and know they are available, we'll post about them.

So, you really want to specify them now, but you have two concerns.

The first is that, because graypants' scraplights orginate in America, probably only UL versions are being made, and so they can't be used anywhere else in the world. Fortunately, this is not a problem. Like one or two other small American studios, they want to export and have therefore engineered international versions of their lights. Not only do they have certificates of conformity to CE standards, but they also now have an operation in the Netherlands.

Obviously, your second concern about cardboard lights is how durable they are. Are they going to fall to pieces?

They are clearly very well made, by graypants themselves, and they assure me that there have been scraplights hanging in commercial premises for several years now, with no problems. After all, once they are up, they will not be handled very much.

However, it would probably be wise not to put them in direct sunlight, and one should follow the maker's own guidance (as with any product). So lets' finish by seeing what graypants themselves say about the quality and care of the scraplights:

graypants scraplights quality


They care about the lights they make and want their owners to be happy, so they are not going to wash their hands of them. As you saw, if there is a problem with a scraplight, they are asking you to get in touch with them.

graypants scraplight Arcturus pendant light

Personally, I am reassured, which is why we are including these super lights in our LIGHT FINDER.

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New to the Light Finder: Atelier Areti

Atelier areti kirchschlag-close-up-grey-h Atelier Areti is a design studio based on strong principles.

"[It] is committed to the notion of sustainabillity through quality. The aim is to create products that last, both through the quality of the design and the material".

Their first introduction was the beautiful cut-glass Kirchschlag collection. Glass? Sustainable? With all the energy required by the furnaces? Well, yes, if the product is in use, and appreciated, for a long time, over which the cost of production can be amortized.

To ensure their prolonged use, the sisters Guillane and Gwendolyn Kerschbaumer, whose training is in art, architecture, product design and interior design, ensured three things.:

one, that the design was as beautiful as possible, and a classic shape that would never date:



Atelier Areti Kirchschlag-pendant lights

They later added the power of the lens to create the Kalin collection:

Atelier Areti kaline-grey-shadow pendant light

Atelier Areti kaline pendant light-close-b

two: that the collection would perform as well as possible, by working with an expert in lighting.

three: that the collection would be as well-made as possible, by seeking out the finest European craftspeople -- the experts in their field -- to create it.

Here, for example, is the glass...

atelier-areti-kirchschlag-close-up-08-h pendant light

...made and engraved in these workshops in Sweden...

Swedish glassblowing building Atelier Areti

...using these tools:

Swedish glass blowers's tools Atelier Areti

The collection is growing. see our previous post about the cute, yet efficient, Alouette and Cone lights. Since it was written, a brass inner  finish has been added for the Cone lights:

atelier areti cone applique white brass

Other lights in the collection play with simple geometric forms and arrangements, creating sculptural objects whilst being highly functional.

The Mimosa pendant, for example, offers a soft yet strong light from its nineteen frosted glass balls randomly placed on a rod:

Aterlier Areti mimosa chandelier

while the Hook Lamp...

Atelier Areti hook-light pendant light wall light

atelier areti hook-lamp-table-flowers-h

...is an informal celebration of the light bulb that, thanks to the hook,  can hang in a location that is not determined by the power outlet.

Atlier Areti vertical floor light spot light.

There is agood interview with the sisters in the blog You have been here sometime.

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There are many obvious reasons why lights should not be put in the ceiling -- the unpleasant effect of hot bright light drilling into the top of your head, the inability to move them, problems when they stop working, fire, raking shadows, the "architect's grid" or "ceiling acne" when downlighters are arranged so as to provide a flat hard light that ignores what is being done in the room, and where. To name a few! But the most compelling reason is environmental.

Illuminance obeys the inverse square law: the quantity of light varies inversely with the square of the distance between the source and the surface receiving its light.

So, if the light source is moved three times further away from a surface, nine times as much light is needed to achieve the same lux level on that surface.

Put another way, a light source on the ceiling, 210cm from the table top, uses NINE TIMES as much energy as a light source 70cm from the table top.


Therefore, by putting a light in the ceiling, you are putting it as far away as possible, and so maximizing the waste of energy.

That it is always possible to put the light somewhere suitable is proved by this picture:

This is Album's unique Radiale system. They provide a selection of (beautifully designed) lighting bodies that perform all the major functions -- radiant, spot, task --, all of which you can see being used properly here. The concept is simple: each lighting body is attached to a long thin cable that goes back to an elegant transformer (in the shape of a disc) on the wall. They also supply a hook on the cable so, by screwing the hook into a suitable location, the light can hang down exactly where it is required.

In this particular location, their system also provides light at night to replace the light that comes from the skylight during the day, without blocking the skylight. (By the way, they are also one of the few decorative lighting companies to be creating really excellent LED lights.)

Of course, there are situations where it is appropriate to put a light in a ceiling. A good lighting designer will position light sources where they are required, always driven by what is being done in the space, and where.

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