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More Than Surface Deep: 5 Lighting Fixtures That Truly Stand Out

See how these surface-mounted light fixtures beautifully channel light and shadow.

Eric Baldwin Eric Baldwin

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When the sun goes down and spaces calls for artificial light, the single most important element to think about is the light fixture and whether it will site proud of a surface or be hidden away within the wall or ceiling plane. By having a physical object in mind, the idea of the level of illumination and the way light and shadow interact within space go hand in hand.

There are countless shapes, sizes and finishes that lighting solutions take. When it comes to surface-mounted light fixtures, the shape and the materials used in their assembly are just as important as their luminous qualities. Surface-mounted lights not only introduce added shape to surface planes, but also work with the push and pull of light and shadow to define space itself. As you consider which surface-mounted light fixtures to select for your next project, take in the following five luminaires for inspiration:

surface-mounted light fixturesurface-mounted light fixtureCapitole Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge by Adrian Perez, Beirut, Lebanon

Surface-mounted light fixtures by PSLab

This summer rooftop restaurant and lounge in Beirut features surface lighting clustered in groups of three. The space sees a total of 69 Glass 03 light fixtures positioned on walls inside and outside. The custom glass and metal surface lights add character and definition to the open-air dining space. The light fixtures are made from borosilicate glass which is resistant to impacts and the carful assembly allows them to be used in wet areas. The powder coated dark metal and the soft warm light work together to provides a lively refined character on this summer night eatery.

surface-mounted light fixturesurface-mounted light fixtureW.O.K., World Oriented Kitchen by Colli + Galliano Architetti, Rome, Italy

Surface-mounted light fixtures by Axo Light

This restaurant located within the prestigious Parili distric in Rome sees the use of Axo Light’s Muse lamps. The refined and soft lighting takes two forms, it comes as a surface mount light fixture and a pendant. It’s the combination of both types of light fixtures that create a playful and bright focal points within the restaurant. The white diffused light provides adequate light for the chefs to cook, and a nice glow for the customers to enjoy the colorful dishes.

surface-mounted light fixturesurface-mounted light fixtureBIG by Vibia, designed by Lievore Altherr Molina

Vibia’s Big is just as the title suggests — a large surface-mounted light that comes in sizes larger than three feet in diameter. The fixture’s elegant shape goes well with modern and classic taste because of the way light is casts down evenly into the space. The central and direct dispersion of illumination can be optimized if the light fixtures are aligned in a grid allowing the light to be as even as possible with virtually no areas in shadow. The use of large lighting fixtures with a defined presence within a large volume helps maintaining a sense of balance and scale.

surface-mounted light fixturesurface-mounted light fixtureDepartment of Urban Development and Environment by Sauerbruch Hutton Architeckten, Hamburg, Germany

Surface-mounted light fixtures by Erco

Erco’s Quintessence is a surface mounted light with a minimal profile. The light fixture comes is a variety of finishes but the cylindrical form compliments the textures and patterns of the surface that it sits on. The light fixture provides excellent light coverage and visual comfort within a space and its wide beam allows for the number of lighting fixtures to be reduced, saving money upfront and in the on-going everyday energy cost to light up a space.

surface-mounted light fixture

surface-mounted light fixture

Bonus: LEAF semi-recessed light by Buzzi Buzzi

LEAF is a light fixture that brings to light the idea of surface. This minimal lamp is technically semi-recessed into the wall, but its subtly protruding form aligns it with surface-mounted designs. The light fixture can be positioned horizontally on ceiling planes and vertically on walls. The bright white light it casts from under its curved edge is delivered via LED which in the long run helps keep energy costs down while at the same time adding definitions within a space.

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