Sometimes a space or occasion calls for objects truly out of the ordinary — a showstopper of sorts. A number of inventive lighting designs are answering that call, filling a need not only for illumination, but whimsy, diversion, and discussion. We take a look at seven such conversation pieces.
Keha3’s Throat comes “alive” on walls and ceilings.
Playful and practical at once (perhaps menacing to some), this luminaire celebrates the utilitarian industrial ventilation duct, cleverly using it as a flexible neck to direct light as desired. Mountable on ceilings or walls, Throat’s metal tube comes in three standard sizes: 75-millimeter diameter by 360-millimeter or 650-millimeter long; 130-millimeter diameter by 650-millimeter long. Designed by Margus Triibmann, it takes halogen lamping (the D75 version can also be specified for LED lamping).
Studio Cheha’s Bulbing 2D/3D LED desk and table lamps.
Studio Cheha: Bulbing 2D/3D LED Lamp
Viewed head on, this lamp looks to be holding a wire- or cage-style shade. But view it from the side and one discovers it’s a trompe l’oeil illusion. Conceived by Tel Aviv designer Nir Chehanowski, the table and desk lamp series cleverly uses an acrylic slab etched with lines of an isometric “shade” pattern that beautifully transmits LED light. Currently on Kickstarter, it’s scheduled to go into production January 2016.
Fluff custom installations by Tangent.
Designed by Hideki Yoshimoto and Yoshinaka Ono, this otherworldly lighting system consists of 1.1-meter-diameter floating, luminescent balloons lit from within that evoke drifting jellyfish. The units change their light color and rhythm according to sound and video. While not an off-the-shelf product (and we’re not privy to what materials are used), the system is available as a custom installation.
Karim Rashid’s Cyborg for Martinelli Luce.
Martinelli Luce: Cyborg
Karim Rashid designed this minimalist, tripod-form table lamp, which is rather reminiscent of a friendly bot or martian. The unit is composed of aluminum with a natural, gray, cyan, or green finish and an opal polycarbonate diffuser. Its single LED bulb outputs 3,000-Kelvin white light, and the power switch is touch-sensitive.
Poetic Lab's Ripple for Lobmeyr.
Designed by Poetic Lab, Ripple distorts light with its mouth-blown crystal glass dome, projecting water ripple-like patterns onto nearby walls. The glass dome is supported by a brass base, and the lamping is halogen. The luminaire comes in four table-lamp sizes, though the larger two are well-suited to sitting on the floor, as well.
Andrea Ciappesoni’s Light in the Bubble.
Ciappesoni: Light in the Bubble
Italian designer Andrea Ciappesoni puts a new spin on the filament bulb pendant with this flat acrylic disc shaped like an A-lamp and carved with a squiggly faux filament. Lit by a single LED source, it screws into the sockets of hanging or standing fixtures that take E14 or E27 terminals. The cord is not included but can be separately ordered.
Arik Levy’s Wireflow series for Vibia.
Celebrated product designer Arik Levy conceived this LED pendant series in which lacquered metal rods and black electrical wires create the outline of a chandelier. A range of 28 volumetric or linear designs are available, though designers can also customize and tweak them using Vibia's online tool.