Modern Lighting A Critical Design Element

Some people view lighting fixtures as a necessity for life, however they are far more: The right light fixture is an important design element in any home. What they look like and how they illuminate your space sets the mood and defines your style. Today’s designers are making the most of lighting technologies, combining them with novel materials and methods to create modern lighting fixtures that are as much art as they are functional hardware.

Taking advantage of LED technology, this curvy jumble of polished metal encases the light tube. The piece is available through the Friedman Benda Gallery.View in gallery
Taking advantage of LED technology, this curvy jumble of polished metal encases the light tube. The piece is available through the Friedman Benda Gallery.
Fragile Future 3.14 is made of dandelion seed, phosphorous bronze, LED, and perspex. Pieces from this series are available through the Carpenter's Gallery Workshop.View in gallery
Fragile Future 3.14 is made of dandelion seed, phosphorous bronze, LED, and perspex. Pieces from this series are available through the Carpenter’s Gallery Workshop.

A delicate display that provides subtle mood lighting is characteristic of pieces by Studio Drift, which was founded in 2006 by Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn. Their modern lighting pieces “explore the relationship between nature, technology and mankind. Their philosophy is based on creating a dialogue between opposites: nature and technology, knowledge and intuition, science fiction and fairylike poetry,” according to their statement.

All their creations — whether site-specific installations or pieces for your living space — they are indeed artful pieces fill of fairy-like lights.

Lathe Lamp, made of anodized aluminum, by Sebastian Brajkovic.View in gallery
Lathe Lamp, made of anodized aluminum, by Sebastian Brajkovic.

Dutch furniture designer Sebastian Brajkovic is known for his Lathe series of furniture and lamps.  His childhood obsession with when reel-to-reel tape decks and car wheels inspired his sculptural pieces that focus on rotation and the skewing of an object. This is fascinating piece of modern lighting.

Dog lamp available through the Carpenter's Gallery Workshop.View in gallery
Dog lamp available through the Carpenter’s Gallery Workshop.

If you like a little kitsch in your decor, this lamp is perfect.  If you’re not a big fan of dogs, this piece can serve as inspiration for creating your own artsy lamp, with whatever you happen to collect.

Each piece in the "Light Mesh" collection is unique and comes in a different color.View in gallery
Each piece in the “Light Mesh” collection is unique and comes in a different color.

Nacho Carbonell’s works are unusual and fantastical, and often very large.  This lamp from his ““Light Mesh” series uses an interesting technique of coating mesh in a special plaster made of sand and textile hardener to create these balloon-like shades that are anchored by an organic form.

A close-up of the mesh, which gives the impression of a hot air balloon, especially when lit. These lamps would be an interesting, organic design addition.View in gallery
A close-up of the mesh, which gives the impression of a hot air balloon, especially when lit. These lamps would be an interesting, organic modern lighting design addition.
The Flower Lamp is available through the Demisch-Danant Gallery.View in gallery
The Flower Lamp is available through the Demisch-Danant Gallery.

Great modern lighting designs can stand the test of time, such as this Flower Lamp by French artist Jean-Pierre Vitrac. Created in the 1970’s it features stainless steel.  If you have the time and the budget, vintage modern lighting fixtures are stunning finds that you can add to your decor.

Collection of lamps produced by Verre Lumière, a French lighting company founded in 1968. The Damisch Danant Gallery carries a number of these vintage modern lamps.View in gallery
Collection of lamps produced by Verre Lumière, a French lighting company founded in 1968. The Damisch Danant Gallery carries a number of these vintage modern lamps.
Pierre Paulin's rare "Elysée" lamp (left) is made of brown lacquered metal and was created in 1972. The French designer's world are handled by Galerie Philippe Jousse in Paris.View in gallery
Pierre Paulin’s rare “Elysée” lamp (left) is made of brown lacquered metal and was created in 1972. The French designer’s works are handled by Galerie Philippe Jousse in Paris.
Devriendt's creations are available through The Pierre Marie Giraud Gallery in Brussels.View in gallery
Devriendt’s modern lighting creations are available through The Pierre Marie Giraud Gallery in Brussels.
The range of colors, shapes and sizes gives you lots of options for your living space.View in gallery
The range of colors, shapes and sizes gives you lots of options for your living space.

These mushroom-like lighting fixtures by Belgian designer Jos Devriendt cast a soft downward glow thanks to their muted colors and and unique profiles. Just one or two of these modern lamps would be an interesting update to your decor, while a grouping would create a statement-making modern lighting collection.

Galerie Kreo's wonderful pendant lights are perfect to install over your dining table or a kitchen island.View in gallery
Galerie Kreo’s wonderful pendant lights are perfect to install over your dining table or a kitchen island.
Burst lighting fixtureView in gallery
A sputnik-style burst wall light fixture from Galerie Kreo.
More a sculptural mobile than a traditional fixture, we can envision the wonderful glow that wold come from a bulb nestled in this creation.View in gallery
More a sculptural mobile than a traditional fixture, we can envision the wonderful glow that would come from a bulb nestled in this creation.

Neone room dividersView in gallery

While it has flirted with being a trend, neon lighting can certainly have a role in modern home decor. Although the artistic content of these particular stainless steel pieces is questionable (each one is devoted to a serial killer) the concept of neon lighting used in a room divider is intriguing.  For the right space, these would function as fantastic dividers…with different subject matter, in our opinion.

Neon lighting can add a very colorful dimension to a room.View in gallery
Neon lighting can add a very colorful dimension to a room.
While stenciling quotations on your wall has become passe, rendering your favorite words in neon is a modern way to express yourself and add color at the same time. Unlike a stencil, this is a piece of art that you can reposition or move to a new home.View in gallery
While stenciling quotations on your wall has become passe, rendering your favorite words in neon is a modern way to express yourself and add color at the same time. Unlike a stencil, this work of modern lighting is a piece of art that you can reposition or move to a new home.
Sometimes bigger IS better, such as with this great geometric light. If you have the (massive) space in your home for something like this, it's pretty much all the statement you need.View in gallery
Sometimes bigger IS better, such as with this great geometric light. If you have the (massive) space in your home for something like this, it’s pretty much all the statement you need.
The construction of the globe, both inside and out, is fascinating. How the geometric shapes creates the illusion of movement is the most interesting thing about this fixture.View in gallery
The construction of the globe, both inside and out, is fascinating. How the geometric shapes creates the illusion of movement is the most interesting thing about this modern lighting fixture.
The colorful profile of this blown glass lighting fixture does double-duty when rendered as a painting on the wall. The pair is available through the Barbel Grasslin Gallery in Frankfurt, Germany.View in gallery
The colorful profile of this blown glass lighting fixture does double-duty when rendered as a painting on the wall. The pair is available through the Barbel Grasslin Gallery in Frankfurt, Germany.
These pieces use a single white neon tube that is embedded in cast resin. Marcelis' work is available through the Victor Hunt Gallery.View in gallery
These pieces use a single white neon tube that is embedded in cast resin. Marcelis’ work is available through the Victor Hunt Gallery.

This pair of is from the “dawn lights” series by Sabine Marcelis. The artist explains that the series is “an exploration of the relationship between light and colour inspired by a time in the day where the sun, clouds and sky join to create a momentary riot of hues. This moment is suspended in a unique series of light sculptures.”

Hundreds of individually crafted brass moths make up these lighting fixtures. Actually, Limited moths is part of the RealLimited series, which points out limitations in reality. The design is a portrait of the moth species Catcall converse, which is highly endangered in Austria.View in gallery
Hundreds of individually crafted brass moths make up these modern lighting fixtures. Actually, Limited moths is part of the RealLimited series, which points out limitations in reality. The design is a portrait of the moth species Catcall converse, which is highly endangered in Austria.
Each "swarm" is separate lighting fixture made up of unique moths. Mischer'traxler create works that "balance between handcraft and technology" according to their statement.View in gallery
Each “swarm” is separate lighting fixture made up of unique moths. Mischer’traxler create works that “balance between handcraft and technology” according to their statement.
The placement of individual moths can determine the size of the fixture.View in gallery
The placement of individual moths can determine the size of the fixture.
Each moth is unique and individually crafted.View in gallery
Each moth is unique and individually crafted.
A wide variety of woods and shade options make this a great for any style home.View in gallery
A wide variety of woods and shade options make this a great for any style home.

Sometimes a new modern lighting fixture can quickly move toward becoming an icon. This signature chandelier, sold exclusively by the Southern Guild collection, can be scaled to fit any space.  Whether you have a large dining room, or want a smaller version for your kitchen, South African designer David Krynauw can customize it for you. It is made from  from solid timber and each arm swivels independently 360 degrees

Illuminated Crystal Cluster Sculpture by Jeff Zimmerman, 2015. Available through the R and Company Gallery.View in gallery
Illuminated Crystal Cluster Sculpture by Jeff Zimmerman, 2015. Available through the R and Company Gallery.

Usually, the term “crystal chandelier” conjures up visions of something more traditional.  In the hands of cutting-edge glass designer Jeff Zimmerman, it takes on a whole new meaning.  This modern lighting fixture plays on the concept of crystals in a fresh take on the chandelier.  Zimmerman, known as a maestro among glass artists, has created a large body of work that includes many, many modern lighting fixtures that will appeal to different tastes.

Photos cannot do justice to the stunning light these fixtures emit.View in gallery
Photos cannot do justice to the stunning light these fixtures emit.
Zimmerman's pieces are available in different hues.View in gallery
Zimmerman’s pieces are available in different hues.
Hanging along a wall or from a very high ceiling, we would love this frost-looking piece in our home. It is the Illuminated Ice Flow Sculpture by Jeff Zimmerman.View in gallery
Hanging along a wall or from a very high ceiling, we would love this frosty-looking piece in our home. It is the Illuminated Ice Flow Sculpture by Jeff Zimmerman.
This "Ponte" floor lamp would be perfect over a sofa or set of chairs. Created by Studio A.R.D.I.T.I, it has fixtures on a chrome-plated steel arch with two marble bases. The length and the height are adjustable.View in gallery
This “Ponte” floor lamp would be perfect over a sofa or set of chairs. Created by Studio A.R.D.I.T.I, it has fixtures on a chrome-plated steel arch with two marble bases. The length and the height are adjustable.
It may look like a coated wire mesh culture, but this piece is entirely made of glass by artist Thaddeus Wolfe. It is a Unique Line Relief Pendant in hand-blown, cut and polished glass with custom cast bronze hardware and is available through R and Company.View in gallery
It may look like a coated wire mesh culture, but this piece is entirely made of glass by artist Thaddeus Wolfe. It is a Unique Line Relief Pendant in hand-blown, cut and polished glass with custom cast bronze hardware and is available through R and Company.
This piece is available in any number of strands with one, two, or three lights in each strand.View in gallery
This piece is available in any number of strands with one, two, or three lights in each strand.

Talk about setting the mood — whether you use this piece as a piece of art or to divide a space, it is definitely dark and dramatic. “Mercury,” by Bec Brittain, consist of 35 individual strands made of LED tubes, oversized stone beads, and massive suede tassels. Brittain is also known for her stunning stick light creations, which were a hit at ICFF2015.

The combination of details makes for an artful and spectacular modern lighting fixture.View in gallery
The combination of details makes for an artful and spectacular modern lighting fixture.
More art than light, this piece by Tobias Rehberger is made from wax and LED lights. It's another example of what's possible with LED technology. It would have been impossible to combine wax with old fashioned incandescent light bulbs.View in gallery
More art than light, this piece by Tobias Rehberger is made from wax and LED lights. It’s another example of what’s possible with LED technology. It would have been impossible to combine wax with old fashioned incandescent light bulbs.