Leading Lights: 10 Iconic Lamps That Every Design Buff Should Know

Leading Lights: 10 Iconic Lamps That Every Design Buff Should Know

When we talk about iconic lighting design, there are a couple of names that spring to mind. But whether it’s the industrial genius of Achille Castiglioni or the delicate detail of Verner Panton, they each share a couple of things in common. The first is a desire to reshape the way we interact with light, achieved through daring shades or interactive frames. The second is somewhat more complicated. To be truly iconic, a design must transcend the era in which it was born, finding resonance with future audiences as a piece of forever design. As the nights stretch ever longer, we’ve rounded up 10 iconic lamps that do just that.

Artichoke Pendant Light by Louis Poulsen

Poul Henningsen is one of the most important names in contemporary Danish lighting design. From a small workshop in Copenhagen, he developed a variety of multi-shade systems, designed to reduce glare and enhance illumination. The most dramatic example of this can arguably be found in Louis Poulsen‘s PH Artichoke Pendant, which sees 72 thin metal sheets artfully positioned around a glowing light source.

Taccia Table Lamp by Flos

Originally designed in 1962, Taccio reveals the Castiglioni brothers trademark Italian flair. Perched atop a neoclassical-style base is an oversized glass shade which can be rotated from side to side. The curious juxtaposition between the ultra-modern shade and the ribbed pillar makes for a dramatic table lamp, ideal for use in studies, bedrooms or living areas.

Mirror Ball Pendant Light by Tom Dixon

In 2016, retro-futurism returned in the form of Tom Dixon‘s Mirror Ball Pendant Lights. Their luminous finish is the result of a complex blow moulding and vacuum metallisation process, in which a strip of copper foil is vaporised into a fine mist that settles across the shade. The tension between space-age styling and glamorous Art-Deco finishes make for a stunning pendant light that is suitable for use in both residential or commercial projects.


Twiggy Floor Lamp by Foscarini

Counterweights and colour lie at the heart of Foscarini’s award-winning Twiggy collection. Suspended on a lithe, arcing frame is a delicate shade, home to a spherical LED bulb.  Oversized yet elegant, it allows design lovers to explore the full remit of their space, bringing a focused flood of illumination to traditionally hard-to-reach spots.

Kaiser Idell Luxus Brass Table Lamp by Fritz Hansen (Limited Edition)

Lighting design in the Bauhaus School of the Arts was a rigorous exercise in functionalism. One of the key figures was CHRISTIAN DELL who started life with the Bauhaus as a foreman in the metal workshop. Whatever free time he had, he spent sketching ideas for a contemporary light, popularising the use of graceful lines and generous domes with his KAISER IDELL LIGHTING SERIES.

Raimond Pendant Light by Moooi

Raimond is an attempt by eccentric brand Moooi to bring the stars a little closer to Earth. Inspired by geodesic domes, designer Raimond Puts spent 40 years calculating the perfect mathematical sphere that would allow the spread of warm white light in every direction. The result is an ethereal light that brings the sparkle of the solar system to life.

Tolomeo Mega Floor Lamp by Artemide

Artemide’s Tolemeo is a triumph of industrial design, best-known for its double-jointed, adjustable frame. All sleek metal and soft parchment paper, it oozes urban appeal and can be manipulated into a variety of positions to provide a confident gush of light.

Borne Béton Petite Table Lamp by Nemo Lighting

The Borne Béton Table Lamp is a real emblem of Jean Le Corbusier‘s utilitarian style. Suitable for use inside or out, it was originally designed by the Unite D’Habitation building in Marseille and reveals his love for brutalist concrete forms. In choosing this most democratic of materials, the Borne Béton acts as a visual reminder of Le Corbusier’s socially progressive urbanism and functional design philosophy.

Divina Pendant Light by Contardi Lighting

Divina is perhaps the most traditional item on this list — a pleated pendant that reveals Made in Italy styling at its very best. Revered for its soft and glamorous shade, this timeless Contardi light is ideal for classic interior schemes.

Pantop Floor Lamp

Better-known in its statement table edition, Verpan has just released the Pantop Floor, an iconic lamp from the archives of Verner Panton. The flared bell acts as an elegant diffuser, allowing a soft flood of light to seep from underneath its shade. Elegant and alluring, it’s ideally suited for lovers of iconic Scandi design.

Incorporating great lighting into your interior is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to give your space a designer boost. Explore our exclusive lighting collections online or in-store and start your design journey, today. 


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