Lights of Imagination – 10 Smashing Lighting Fixtures and Furnishings, from the Whimsical to the Sublime

To close out the year with a Bang, here’s an awesome collection of lighting products from around the world. Whether they were developed by well known designers, or of more obscure origins, these unique creations will charm you with their playfulness and dazzle you with their smart looks. Some showcase green lighting solutions while others feature cutting edge materials and production methods. Come join in the fun and pick your favorites – I’d love to hear from you!

Here is proof positive that you can create Haute Couture from home furnishings! This ornate headdress of delicately etched floral patterns is a creative adaptation of an award winning lamp shade by Tord Boontje. He used advanced laser cutting technologies on metals to produce cascading 3-D floral patterns that vaguely is reminiscent of a SE Asian tribal headdress I saw at Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum (it’s not a typo – the official name is Civilisations with an ‘s’). The light shade is an alchemy of organic lighting design and tech savviness.

To deploy it as a lamp shade, you simply drape the Garland around a bare light bulb and secure it to the base with a clip. One can intertwine several strands together for a more voluminous creation. Materials available include brass or stainless steel, but for those who desire more bling, there is a 24K gold plated option!

Headdress made from Garland Lights

A festoon of silver Garland Light strands artfully hand crafted into a chic headdress!

This colorful chandelier is one of 3 limited edition fixtures created by Johanna Grawunder, who was a partner with Ettore Sottsass of Memphis fame. The ceiling lighting, essentially a 31.5” cube, is made from polished acrylic, stainless steel and LED lights. It was listed in an art auction for an estimated value of $32-36,000 earlier this year, so come with your wheelbarrow of dollars if you want one!

Square lamp in red, magenta and orange colors

The vibrant and crisp, clear colors of this pendant lighting fixture make it a great piece of functional art.

Here’s a clever way to upcycle and repurpose everyday goods into decorative furnishings – in this case, old books. Available as a table lamp or pendant light, each custom fixture is fashioned from a single book. In this way, all parts – the pages, spine and covers – are put to good, use minimizing landfill one book at a time! As the books are intended to reflect customer interests, art and coffee table books are great choices.

Table lamp made from recycling hardcover books

Casting a soft glow, the lighting fixture functions well as a mood light. An ingenuous way to re-lamp: fluorescent light bulbs can be replaced by removing the book covers.

Close up of engraving of book name at lamp base

A nice touch – each light fixture comes with a custom lamp base engraved with the name of the book from which it was made.

By taking advantage of carbon fiber’s outstanding strength & nominal weight, lighting designer Marcus Tremonto was able to create a ceiling light that resembles a swirling ribbon frozen in mid air. Electroluminescent electronic paper is used to maintain the thin profile of the lighting strip.

Ribbon-like light fixture hung from the ceiling

Some likened the pendant lighting fixture to a giant soft serve ice cream cone hanging upside down from the ceiling!

A whimsical ceiling lighting fixture designed by award winning designer Ingo Maurer that is playful and creative. This lamp comes with sheets of paper as part of the lighting and is designed so they can be hung at random on stainless steel wires around a heat resistant frosted glass diffuser.

Pendant light fixture of paper printed with poems and proverbs in different languages

This fixture is almost 48” x 48” and features a collection of 31 sheets of paper with English, French, German, Swedish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian proverbs and poems. There are also 49 sheets of blank Japanese paper, allowing aspiring poets to hang their writings up for the world to enjoy.

Pendant light fixture made with sheets of paper printed with comic book characters

POW! This limited edition chandelier packs a visual punch. The colorful lighting fixture has 80 sheets of paper, each of which is printed with either a comic character or word.

Want a green and sustainable lighting option? Look no more! Upcycling and repurposing out-of-ink Epson cartridges into lighting fixtures is as eco friendly as you can get. The casings are translucent and come in a plethora of colors: Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Light Cyan, Light Magenta, Black, and 2 Grays.

Chandelier made from recycled empty Epson color ink cartridges

The chandelier version includes all the ink colors, but at 12” diameter and 8” tall, the 100W fixture feels more like a pendant than a grand chandelier.

Desk lamp made from a single ink cartridge

The single ink cartridge can be used as a 6 W desk lamp, night light, or hanging lamp.

OK – this entry isn’t technically a lighting fixture, but NunoErin’s interactive Lightning Bench lights up like a X’mas tree on contact! The secret? Hidden under the touch-sensitive resin ‘skin’ is a network of sensors that detect electrical charges within the human body. When the bench is touched, it’ll produce a display of flickering lights at the points of contact.

Bench seat in an unoccupied room

The translucent, luminous bench surface is made of resin with 40% recycled content, making it a both cool AND environmentally friendly piece of furniture.

Furniture lights up as children play on top and touch the bench

Keeping the public entertained – the lighting effects, shapes, and colors are all customizable for an even more dynamic experience.

Looking like a delicate bird’s nest spun from silk threads, this chandelier is the creation of Alicja Wasielewska when studying at the Edinburgh College of Art. By taking the unconventional approach of applying traditional crochet techniques to new fiber optic technology, she was able to fabricate the fixture’s ethereal design.

Chandelier lit by thin strands of fiber optic fibers

Fiber optics strands loosely form a bowl shape and tumble like strings of fine pearls from the Chandelier.

Another design born from the dynamic partnership between nature and technology. The sculptural lighting pendant consists of 8 laser-cut “leaves” made from sustainable and recycled/recyclable materials, such as renewable cotton mat and cardboard. Lamping options include LEDs or 40 Watt light bulbs. All of the leaves are interchangeable with one another, so you can mix & match the different patterns, colors, and materials within the series to your creative heart’s desire.

Pendant lamp shade in shape of leaves

Patterns of the ‘leaves’ are precise and modular, an ironic counterpoint to the organic aesthetic of nature’s forms.

Inspired by the centuries-old folk art of shadow play, Michael Rosing and the Cologne-based artist Dennis Thies created a unique floor lamp called Shining Image. It offers 10 different patterns that can be projected onto any blank wall in a house.

Floor lamp projecting shadow play like images onto a wall

Whimsical and playful, the two-dimensional sculptures will appeal to everyone’s inner child!

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