Green Light for Eco-Friendly Lighting

As building standards continue to push towards a more sustainable and energy efficient environment, lighting holds abundant promise to meet these challenges. Exciting developments in green lighting technology yields increasingly high performance light bulbs with good color renditions. On another front, designers are forging ahead to create sustainable lighting from recycled materials. Below are some eco-friendly fixtures that meet one or both criteria. Just to liven things up, I’ve included some innovative products that inherently emit light, even though they aren’t light fixtures in the traditional sense. Enjoy!

Pendant light fixture from yellow traffic light glass

A pendant fixture that rescues trashed traffic light lenses from the landfill.

Go Green Stoplight hanging lamp from Greenlight Concepts is available in 3 traffic light colors and 2 sizes. As more cities switch to LED traffic lighting, cast glass lenses from the mounting pile of discarded traffic signals can be upcycled into these retro-cool lamps.

Table lamp from old coffee pot.

Salvaged antique coffee pot finds new life as a table lamp.

French designer Gilles Eichenbaum transforms old kitchenware such as kettles, colanders and broken toasters into lighting fixtures that are veritable works of art.

Light fixture made from empty plastic bottles

Ingenious light fixture made from depleted Yakult bottles and simple plastic ties – this is upcycling at its best!

Winner of the Phillips Bright Ideas competition, this organic looking lamp can be made from any translucent bottle that allows for clean perforations.

Lighting collection by Issey Miyake

Sculptural lighting collection by Issey Miyake on display in showroom.

Renowned Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake created the ‘IN-EI’ – Japanese for ‘shadow, shadiness, nuance’ – collection in collaboration with Artemide. Amazingly the fixtures are each made from a single piece of fabric. Folds in the lamp shade causes the play of light and shadow through layering.

Issey Miyake fabric shade lamps

3-D table lamps that are designed to be 2-D and stored flat when not in use, but magically unfurls into shape as needed.

The eco-friendly shade material is recycled from PET bottles using a technology that reduces both energy consumption and CO2 emissions up to 40% compared to new production. The fabric, with a special surface treatment, allows the shades to keep their shape without an internal frame and can be re-shaped as needed.

Pendant fixture recycled from red velvet coat hangers.

A suspended lighting fixture from clever repurposing of household products.

Another lighting fixture made from the humble coat hanger. These shoulder-shaped velvet hangers, which are stacked in a neat spiral, casts a delicate tracery of light on the surrounding walls.

Portable walls with integral lighting

Integral LED lighting highlights the delicate visual texture of the pleats in the modular cellular partitions. The material is a polyethylene made from up to 15% recycled content and is 100% recyclable.

Molo portable products come in ‘wall’ or ‘block’ form and can be compressed, expanded or rearranged as required. The flexible structure modulates ambient lighting through the interplay between the LED lighting strips, white (translucent) and black (opaque) partitions.

Floor lamp from recycled cardboard.

A sustainably made lighting fixture upcylced from cardboard scraps.

Floor lamp with a twist. Made from cardboard boxes and treated with a non-toxic fire retardant the Stellar scraplight by Graypants takes its inspiration from the stars, warping the familiar 5-point shape into a tubular abstraction.

Translucent eco-resin sink lit by LED light

LED lighting from translucent eco-resin sink infuses the bathroom with a gentle glow.

Re-sink by architect Bruno Bondanelli redefines the bathroom experience by turning the sink into a lighting fixture. It’s available with dimmable, static LED or programmable color changing RGB LED strips. The basins are hand cast in Italy using environmentally safe pigments and resins.

Pendant light fixture made from recycled printed paper

A low wattage LED light bulb glows gently from within the pendant fixture.

Dutch Architect Anja Verdonk created this attractive Booklight. The paper lampshade can be upcycled from any type of printed matter, be it recycled comic strips, sheet music, or literary novels.

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2 thoughts on “Green Light for Eco-Friendly Lighting

  1. These eco-friendly light fixtures are all so detailed and elegant! Do these aesthetics get in the way of practical lighting?

    Are there practical green light fixtures that can be incorporated into a regular household?

    • You’re very perceptive. They are best for dining tables or bars counters as they are considered ‘ambient lighting’, aka mood lighting. In other words, the lighting fixtures look great but don’t count on them to read a book with!
      Depending on your definition of green, for overall lighting, fluorescents are very energy efficient and therefore eco-friendly. They come in many shapes, sizes and colors so I use them a lot in residential remodels. There is much hype about LEDs, but for good quality fixtures with high light output, the price still needs to come down.

Please send me your thoughts!