Light Speed: 10 Brands Leading the LED Revolution

As revolutions go, there have been none so delightful as the ongoing one in contemporary lighting. Bursting onto the scene in 1962, LED technology has allowed for a new language of light. Designers like Michael Anastassiades can now pack brighter, more efficient light sources into increasingly delicate fixtures with spectacular results. This is good news not just aesthetically but also in terms of sustainability. In doing more with less, brands can create breathtaking designs that pave the way for a sustainable economy. To celebrate the start of the lighting season, we thought we’d shine a light on 10 brands that are leading the way in the LED revolution.


Jean Rosenthal once said that the most successful work a designer can do is usually the least noticeable. Speaking in the early 20th century she accurately predicted what would become a key tenet of LED lighting — technology so seamless as to be indiscernible.

Flos’s new Noctambule collection by Konstantin Grcic exemplifies this idea. Named after the French word for “night owl”, it features a collection of blown-glass lanterns that can be arranged to make beautiful light installations. Each of the lanterns is powered by carefully calibrated LED technology that is discreetly integrated into the junctions between modules.

Together they form totem poles of light, each section emitting a gorgeous glow without a bulb in sight. When paired with the Arrangements Collection, they mark a shift in direction for Flos — away from stand-alone luminaires and towards customisable creations that put clients in the designer’s seat.

La Plus Belle Mirror

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Arrangements Pendant Light

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Contardi Lighting

At Contardi, LED is used to infuse traditional Italian styles with new magic and possibilities. Thanks to the flatter nature of the bulbs, a more architectural approach can be taken, leading to lights such as the Dorian Floor Lamp. Its supine shade is fully adjustable, with one side revealing a honeycomb diffuser through which flows a pleasant gush of light. The other plays home to a smoked mirror that projects light and luminosity throughout the room. Gorgeous from every angle, it’s the kind of light that would have been inconceivable before LED but has gone on to become a bestseller for lovers of Italian design.

Mikado Solo Pendant Light

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Kubric So Single Pendant Light

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Some common misconceptions about LED lighting are that it’s dazzling or overly white. And yet, this is a rather primitive view of the technology. At Foscarini, the intensity is controlled through dimmer switches or a mobile controlled app, allowing you to set the mood as desired. The Spokes Pendant Light reveals a rather enchanting view with light seeming to drape down the steel wires like an enchanted birdcage.

Tuareg Floor Lamp

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Gem Table Lamp

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Louis Poulsen

At Louis Poulsen, LED lends new drama to Scandinavian minimalism. Used interchangeably in serene designs like the Yuh Collection or to bold molten effect in the OE Quasi, it provides an efficient source of light that is in keeping with the movement’s ethos of sustainability.

NJP Floor Lamp

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OE Quasi Pendant Light

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Artemide is another key protagonist in the LED story. Every other year, hundreds of design enthusiasts flock to their stall at Salone del Milano to discover the latest innovations in contemporary lighting. This year, two curious luminaires stood out, the NH Pendant Light from Neri&Hu and the Gople by Bjarke Ingels’ design studio. The former provides an enchanting take on Oriental street lighting, reimagining delicate lanterns as portable orbs. The latter uses colour technology to help indoor plants grow.

NH Wall Light

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Gople Pendant Light

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Lasvit is the shortlist’s Czech representative. The ability to embed miniature bulbs into mouth-blown glass creates a recipe for dramatic lighting on scales as yet unseen. Delicate and daring, lights such as Why Not! and Cipher become mesmerizing sculptures of ice — a daring focal point in any luxury residence.

Cipher Pendant Light

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Spin Pendant Light

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Muuto lighting, on the other hand, is casual and cool, ideal for lovers of Danish design. Their simple design language is complemented by the crisp LED tech, enabling the inauguration of lightweight styles like the Leaf Collection.

Leaf Floor Lamp

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Control Table Lamp

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If it’s eccentricity you’re after then we recommend a look at Moooi. Maximalist in style, their intricate designs promise personality and then some. Bulbs are concealed within delicate blossoms, flutes and webs, establishing a sparking new language of light.

Meshmatics Chandelier

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Chalice Grey Pendant Light

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Catellani & Smith

Enzo Catellani believes in lighting with soul. His poetic creations often echo phenomena present in the natural world such as ripples on a pond or the graceful gait of manta rays. Truly a wonder to behold, its one of the brands we’re delighted to be introducing this AW19.

Fil de Fer Floor Lamp

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Lederam Manta S2 Pendant Light

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Gallotti & Radice

Last but not least is Gallotti & Radice, an Italian manufacturer whose every touch seems to turn to gold. Best known for their contemporary furniture, the addition of Federica Biasi to their design team has brought forth some stunning new lights, equal in beauty to their bestselling Bolle collection. The Jolie Wall and Pendant Light are just as elegant as their name suggests. Nestled between the two Murano glass domes is a soft LED light that casts prismatic light effects throughout the room.

Jolie Appliqué Wall Light

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Libra Pendant Light

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