10 Minimal Light Fixtures That Turn Technology into Poetry

As manufacturers increasingly integrate LEDs and other tech into luminaires, they are becoming sleeker and more understated than ever.
Lamina Pendant Lamp Antoni Arola Santacole 22 Light Fixture

LÁMINA Antoni Arola’s simple and dainty lighting system packs a high color rendering index of 90. SANTA & COLE santacole.com Courtesy SANTA & COLE

Few luminaires illustrate the current trend to miniaturize and conceal light sources and their underlying components like Lámina. The modular pendants from Barcelona-based manufacturer Santa & Cole are so streamlined, they’re practically wispy, resembling a series of delicate bird feeders.

The line was created by Antoni Arola, who conducts his own lighting research and has been nicknamed “a poet of light” for his skill in marrying function and style. He describes Lámina’s refined profile as simply “a line of light and a thin metal sheet.” But it is carefully engineered to emphasize reflected illumination and maximize the glow of its tiny, hidden light sources with the generous white arch of the shade. The canopy size can be specified as narrow as roughly one foot and as dramatically wide as almost three feet. The unassuming linear housing contains rows of warm and dimmable 2700K LEDs, and what appears to be a paper for the shade is actually sheet metal and a layer of polycarbonate, which acts as the reflector. Thin power cords give the units (which come in lengths of 38 and 70 inches) a kitelike buoyancy and make it easy to combine them in new configurations.

Tobia Parete Light Fixture

TOBIA If the shape of this sconce makes you want to grab it, that’s intentional. Designer Ferruccio Laviani created the central looping node as “an invitation” to grip the LED fixture, which makes for easy installation on walls. FOSCARINI foscarini.com Courtesy FOSCARINI

Arola, whose oeuvre also extends to furniture and packaging, considers Lámina’s visual impact poetic and practical. That aesthetic seems to be catching on; the same thing could be said of a number of innovative lighting solutions we’ve found.

You may also enjoy “In Lighting Wells Fargo’s Offices, Kugler Ning Foregrounds Natural Rhythms.”

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Categories: Lighting Products, Technology