What’s Hot (and Cool) in Home Lighting
Posted May 9, 2018 8:44 p.m. EDT
LEDs — light-emitting diodes — have given designers of lamps, chandeliers, sconces and flashlights a new world to explore. Although the technology has been in the marketplace since the early 1960s, only recently have LEDs emitted the pure white color necessary for use in domestic lighting.
Indeed, it was just 17 years ago that the German lighting designer Ingo Maurer introduced his EL. E. DEE table lamp, a naked circuit board studded with 204 LEDs attached by a thin rod to a stainless steel base. An entire industry joined him.
“We’ve been in business since 2010, but in the last five or six years we only use LEDs,” said Jason Miller, a founder of the New York lighting company Roll & Hill. “They are low-voltage, low-heat and allow greater flexibility.”
“We’ve gone from low-tech to high-tech,” said Craig Corona, the head of custom lighting for Flos USA, an Italian manufacturer of contemporary lighting. “And we’ve gone from the electrical realm to the electronic one.”
LEDs can dazzle with winking colors that you control with a smartphone. They are cool enough to be combined with almost any material. But what the technology offers above all are practical solutions to the way we live. Here are 10 new examples of LED-powered lights that are 100 percent of their time.
— The Biny Bedside light’s LED spotlight allows you to read in bed without disturbing your partner. The light can be concentrated to illuminate a tiny area or opened up to brighten a room, and a USB port lets you charge your cellphone. Available later this year in black or white, dcw-editions.fr.
— Daniel Rybakken’s Amisol ceiling fixture evokes a billowing sail. An LED-filled cylinder projects light onto a large, almost weightless disc. The discs are available in translucent white film or a metalized mirror membrane, allowing you to choose to diffuse or reflect the light beam. Thin rods connect the two elements, and by adjusting them, the disc can be set at any angle; $2,100, luceplan.com.
— Light-Fragments, by Nendo, are part of a collection developed by Ymer & Malta and the Noguchi Museum in New York that interprets Isamu Noguchi’s classic Akari lamps. The lights have layers of plexiglass sandwiched in oblong boxes. A metal tube, fitted with an LED strip, slashes through each composition to provide illumination. The entire “Akari Unfolded” collection, with contributions by seven international designers, will be displayed at the museum through next April. ymeretmalta.com/en.
— Gridlike lines and circular bulbs make up Lindsey Adelman’s new Drop System. “It’s a minimal design with maximal applications,” she said. The handblown miniglobes have been fitted with warm LEDs and are attached to metal tubes that are available in verdigris, tarnished silver and mottled brass finishes. Adelman said she was inspired by the organic patterns of urban life. The units are available in four configurations or can be custom designed. As shown: $13,310.
— IKEA’s Solvinden collection of outdoor solar-power lights includes a 17-inch-tall triangular version, which can stay lit with a rechargeable and replaceable AAA battery for up to 12 hours. The solar panel is under the shade. The lamp has a built-in LED light source. Best of all, no plugs or cords are needed, and the battery, which lasts for about two years, is included; $17, ikea.com.
— The Lightweight is both a lamp and a new way to tell time. A columnar stack of paper coated with a protective lacquer is threaded with a tube of animated LEDs. Synced to Coordinated Universal Time, the light shines through the paper layers, filling up the object over 24 hours. At midnight, the lamp is brimming with illumination and empties, ready for another day. Made to order, from $12,000; begradual.com.
— The Italian lighting designer Davide Groppi’s Calvino table lamp contrasts two flat metal planes, creating an ode to pure minimalism. The slim top is faced with a mirror that hides the LEDs behind it. This lid tips to any angle — even rises vertically — to spotlight a book or light the corner of a room as well as reflect the surroundings. Available later this year; davidegroppi.com.
— Andrea Anastasio’s playful Filo table lamp now has wall, ceiling and floor versions. The lamp flaunts a conical porcelain lampshade and a bauble-bedecked cord, which is held in place by a metal hook. With the wall version, the plug, positioned in front, is another design element; $783, foscarini.com.
— Alejandro Aravena, the Chilean Pritzker architect and winner of the Pritzker Prize, and his firm, Elemental, worked with Artemide to create Huara, a touch-enabled electronic globe in which each of the multiple segments can be lit independently with the tip of a finger — just like your smartphone. “Huara” means “star” in Aymara, the Andean language, and Aravena said he aimed to create a celestial sphere. To many, the 12-inch- diameter lamp more closely resembles a soccer ball. Available later this year; artemide.net.
— Raw-Edges, the design office of Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay, named their new lamp Horah after the Israeli folk dance. The piece, which has curving acid-etched glass leaves slotted into a central light-emitting core, whirls in a circle. Horah comes in five heights, in white, green, brown or gray. Separate switches activate the light and control the motion. Priced from around $6,000 to $10,755, Horah can be custom ordered from Wonderglass, wonderglass.com.