Bicycles, Drum Kits and Science Inspire New Lighting Designs

Inspired shapes, modularity, portability, and alternate power methods are behind new models this year.

Lighting was the hot category to exhibit during NYCxDesign 2014. The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) at Javits started to look more like a giant lighting showroom with companies presenting all types of pendants, task, table and floor lamps. Beyond ICFF, we found some interesting lights that showcased technical innovations and inspired design approaches. The following are the new lighting ideas that grabbed our attention the most:

Crash & Bell by Foscarini for Diesel
Taking inspiration from a rock band’s drum kit, Crash & Bell pendant lights that mimic their percussion instrument counterparts in shape and texture. Each is designed with a blown glass bulb holder that casts light across the outside metal surface as well as downward from inside the shade. Unfortunately you won’t get the same sonic effects when you hit these with a drumstick.

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Spokes by Foscarini
You’ve probably already deduced the inspiration from these large scale pendant lights. But bicycles weren’t the only object that inspired the shape, antique oriental lanterns and aviaries are also cited. The technical magic part of these lamps are the lack of visible wires connecting the power cable at the top to the LED bulbs in the bottom. Light is projected both up and down to create illumination and a striking graphic stripe pattern on surrounding walls.

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Santorini by Marset
If there was a LEGO kit for light fixtures, Santorini would come as close to mimicking that as possible. Inspired by fishing boat lanterns, this indoor/outdoor light can be easily customized to change its looks. This is done with varying the number, size, position and color of the shades. It seems simple but a surprising amount of versatility is achieved through moving, flipping and swapping. Just as varied is the way you can use them. There’s single or clustered pendants hung from the ceiling, strung lights and accessories available to make a wall lamp or a floor standing lamp.

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Follow Me by Marset
A modern take on the classic lantern, Follow Me is a portable and rechargeable light designed for both indoor and outdoor use. The oak carrying handle also secures the pivoting polycarbonate shade which can be tilted to direct light from the LED bulb. The built in battery is recharged via a USB port.

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Wet Lamp by NONdesigns
Mixing water and electricity isn’t usually a good thing. However, the Wet Lamp submerses an exposed light bulb within a water-filled blown glass vessel. A silver rod carrying low-voltage electrical current  can be slid into the water. The more the rod is submersed, the brighter the light gets. The water acts as a conductor for the electricity and while dangerous in most situations, NONdesigns says it is totally isolated and safe in this application.

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Induction Tube Lights by Castor
At first glance, these florescent tube lights look, exactly like normal florescent tube lights. If you’ve ever replaced one of these you know there are electrical connectors at both ends that carry the current through the bulb. Castor have used a method to illuminate the bulbs with no electrical connection at all. How is that possible? Some electronics in the small fist-sized base generate an induction field around it and when the bulb is placed in or even close by in mid air, the gas inside the bulb reacts and lights up. The is no damage done to the bulbs and no chance of electrical shock when using the lights.

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Coil Lamp by Castor
Having a Mac laptop stop working often means getting stuck with a charger that does. But Castor discovered that the chargers only recognize and work with Mac laptops so they can’t be easily re-purposed. The Coil Lamp was born out of the idea to try and do something more with these leftover chargers. The lamp is sold, as you might guess, without a power supply. Some circuitry created by Castor in the lamps’ connector port tricks the charger into thinking it is connected to a Mac and illuminates the LED bulbs. Offering the light without a power supply reduces the cost and shipping weight.

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NYCxDesign 2014 // International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF)

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