General Lighting Stories

lightjunction: trend #6 -- LEDs make possible the use of new forms and materials

lightjunction, our new fine lighting event, will be collocated with designjunction at the Sorting office on New oxford Street during London Design Week, 18-22 September 2013

LEDs produce very little heat and are much smaller than other electric light sources. This means that lights can be made in new shapes, and out of a much wider range of materials, including those that are environmentally sound. The results can be unusual, and are exciting designers who do not normally create lights, such as the Japanese master of folding fashion, Issey Miyake:

Artemide In-Ei pendant light Issey Miyake

We all love paper lanterns. They don’t last long, though, so (except for Vitra’s Noguchi designs) few European lighting companies use paper. But now Artemidehave risen to the challenge. They are cooperating with Issey Miyake to use a paper-like material (in fact, recycled pop bottles) to create a delicate range of lights called In-Ei (Japanese for shadows, shades, nuances).

Artemide Issey Miyake minomushi floor light

They are made using the same mathematical process that he evolved for fashion, that enables a single piece of cloth folded flat to become a three dimensional article of clothing. Ernesto Gismondi, la grande fromage at Artemide says,

"When you see them, you can't help feeling moved; when you understand them, you are full of wonder seeing a future we thought unreachable and couldn't imagine this beautiful."

Such is the power and potential of fine lighting!

Artemide Issey Miyake in-Ei Mendori table light

The new materials that LEDs enable can be sustainable. PET bottles for Artemide (above), and, below, recycled paper for &Tradition, who make Victor Vetterlein's appropriately-named Trash Me out of it. When you have finished with the light, recycle it again!  They say, “like our global culture, it is a product that is ephemeral.” Discuss.

&Tradition Trash Me table light

Shikai Tseng's Ripple for Poetic Lab puts the LED lamp outside what might look like the shade but is, in fact, an unevenly shaped blown-glass form that gently rotates, creating shadows and patterns that are continuously changing, like slow cold, flames:

Poetic Lab Ripple table light

You have to come and see it (and their amazing clock, which is also a light)!

Utterly different again, is Artemide's Reeds, that uses LEDs to light up the "reeds" from the bottom. They gently sway, evoking, they say, "the peace and tranquility of the breeze blowing through reed beds by a lake."

Artemide LED reeds outdoor lights

We have already seen in lightjunction Trend #2 how LEDs are permitting dark woods to be used in ways that would never have been possible before. Here are two more examples.

The first is the strong, simple, beautiful Cloak pendant light from Vitamin -- a ball of oak or walnut with an LED inside that has a thick layer of glass draped (like a cloak) over it:

Vitamin cloak pendant light -oak

You know you want one -- in fact, you'd probably like three in a row. But, in oak (above) or walnut  (below)...?

Vitamin Cloak pendant light - walnut

The second is this wooden pole with a metre of LED strip inside it -- Sticklamp from the Chilean design and architectural studio, Ruiz Solar:

Ruiz Solar Sticklamp linear pendant light

By the way, they are also showing the really cool M100 chair -- so cool (particularly in this copper version) that, though it has no LEDs in it -- it is not a light at all! -- I'm going to show it to you anyway.

Ruiz Solar m100-chair-copper-edition

That would be an inappropriate note upon which to end a post about LEDs, so let me remind you here that, because LEDs are changing so fast, I have asked Megaman to present one of the daily half-hour lightjunction training sessions. No lamp maker is more committed to evolving LED light sources that meet the needs of decorative lighting makers, as this silver topped LED GLS demonstrates:

megaman-led-crown-silver lamp

thanks to which, we can continue to use iconic designs like Michele De Lucchi's Gloriette ceiling light for Produzione Privata:

Produzione Privata glorietta ciling light

Megaman will bring us up-to-date with what LEDs are doing well, and what that are not doing well, at this stage in their development. We are seeing hotel groups insisting that all light sources are LEDs. This is like saying that all cooking must be done in a microwave, so we have got to do all we can to enable specifiers like you to know when LEDs are appropriate and when they are not (yet).

Of course, they'll have to give the same presentation again next year because LEDs are changing so fast -- but that is part of the issue. So, to end, here is a Megaman LED light source -- amazingly (given how small it has to be), a retrofit G9:

megaman-g9-led lamp

 And an elegant candle lamp:

lightjunction 18 22 September 2013
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Marc Sadler pays homage to Michele de Lucchi

Jamaica pendant light by Marc Sadler for Foscarini In the beginning (well, 2007), Michele De Lucchi created Giona for his own brand, Produzione Privata. Who would have thought that it was still possible to come up with a completely new way to use lampshades!

Produzione privata michele de lucchi giona pendant light

A year later, he created Noto for Artemide:

Artemide Michele De Lucchi Noto pendant lightThis is watered down version of Giona: it is now just drum shapes -- maybe still shades, but not as overtly so. The combination of sizes, and the red end, do add a sense of motion (in this image, from right to left). The result is more commercial, though not very! It is a design for people interested in design and/or lighting.

With Jamaica for Foscarini, Marc Sadler completed a transition from lamp shades to rolls of paper:

Jamaica pendant light by Marc Sadler for Foscarini 2

The purity of the conception is somewhat diluted, however, because the paper rolls are interrupted by a fluorescent tube -- the light source is under the paper rather than in the lamp shades. You can see it here:

Jamaica pendant light by Marc Sadler for Foscarini 3

and here it is, seen end-on:

Jamaica pendant light by Marc Sadler for Foscarini 4

The paper from which Jamaica is made is treated with a polymer to make it robust enough. The inspiration for the name? Dreadlocks.

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Céline Wright Arabesques GM PM a poser.

An essential stand for us at Maison et Objet is always Céline Wright's. Having lived for some years in Japan, her principal material, now that she is back in France, is the semi-translucent paper used in shoji walls, doors and windows:


Whereas the Japanes use is formal, in Céline Wright's hands this wonderful paper, which is white, never fades, is untearable and fire-resistant, becomes informal floating shapes of clouds and cocoons or -- because there is so much variety in her work -- formal, in her own way: Diva, for example:

Diva plafonnier.jpeg

Everything is made by hand by Céline and her team. It was a great idea for this fair to have one of her craftswomen creating a light on the stand who, besides concentrating on what she was doing, was very patient and informative with nosey visitors!

She was making Céline's new introduction, Arabesque.  We said in our Handy Guide to Maison et Objet that this design looks a bit like the outline of a Whirling Dervish. You may disagree, but it gives me the chance to share this fab picture of whirling dervishes ( who I saw, not in Aleppo, but in Ann Arbor...)

Whirling dervishes.jpg

Anyway, Céline's Arabesques also seem to be spinning.

The picture at the head of this post shows the large (Ø50cm H70cm) and small (Ø25cm H35cm) table versions. The same sizes also come as pendants -- the large...

Arabesque GM suspension.jpeg

..and the small:

Arabesque PM suspension.jpeg

with a proper ceiling rose and a red cable -- as is pointed out on the web site, they'd look great hanging over a bar, wouldn't they!

Of course, since everything is hand-made, custom pieces are possible.

There is something about Céline's work that warms and lifts the heart, even on a cold,dirty, slushy January day somewhere near Charles de Gaulle airport. It must come from the character of Céline herself:

Céline Wright.jpg

So you can see why we are fans!

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XL paper chandelier by Studio Job for Moooi

XL paper chandelier for Moooi by Studio Job A paper chandelier? Why not? After all, as part of the same series, Studio Job have also come up with paper tables, cupboards -- even a mirror -- for Moooi. Plus they have been selling a smaller version (Ø90cm H102cm -- the XL is Ø135cm H155cm) successfully since 2005.

This is what Karl Lagerfeld says about the paper chandelier,

"Studio Job's paper chandelier -- I love this object because there is a new modernity, postminimalism without a postmodern spirit."

White is a good colour for a chandelier because it reflects back all the light that hits it. But the reasons for using paper go beyond the practical. Moooi say,

"Did the idea of paper furniture ever strike your mind? Paper, cardboard and papier-mâché are familiar to all of us. They bring back memories of Kindergarten and our first expereince of making things. Inspired by classic icons but manufactured like modern-day furniture, this furniture collection is an ode to classical style and to the material."

The shades are optional. It is for indoor use only.

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Moonjelly Lamps By Limpalux

Seen at IMM Cologne's D3 show in 2011, these fan shaped pendant lamps with blades made of FSC paper (at least 50% of the fiber comes from sustainable forests). Multiple fins envelope the light source and allow the light to flow down. They have been designed by Anja Eder and Michael Römer for Limpalux, these lights won a Red Dot product design award in 2009.

Read more at Mocoloco.

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