UL and NRTL System No Longer Required for Lighting Manufacturers

UL logo red

Via Philips on LinkedIn HERE, NAILM and ALTA have announced that lighting manufacturers will no longer be required to use UL. Note, however, that Fine Lighting News has not been able to substantiate anything about NAILM or ALTA, so CAVEAT LECTOR!

Also, most lighting manufacturers are aware that they can use other laboratories: the problem is more that they don’t know which ones are available to them.

Nevertheless, assuming that the facts are correct, the story is a useful lesson in how UL got into its virtual monopoly position, and why they can charge so much. 

We would welcome any informed comment on this post — please “Leave a Reply” using the boxes at its foot.

This is what ALTA/PHILIPS are saying: Continue reading

Posted in Articles, Information | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Maison et Objet: Balloons and Memory from Brokis — and a puzzle!

Brokis Memory ceiling lights

If i were to tell you that two of the lights presented by Brokis at Maison et Objet were called Balloons and Memory, you’d obviously realise what those in the image above are called.

But you’d be wrong. They are called Memory. These are their Balloons:

Brokis Balloons floor and table lights

This matters because Brokis is a very important new brand — we are excited by them. So you’ll be seeing these designs around and you’ll be wanting to specify them (you’ll see…)

Like several other companies, Brokis are drawing on the unrivalled glassworking expertise still to be found in Bohemia. What distinguishes Brokis from the rest is the quality of designer that they are using.

Responsible for the Balloons are Lucie Koldova (who gets the prize for the world’s most minimal home page — follow the link!) and Dan Yeffet, who also did Muffins for them — see our post.

They come in three sizes, two shades of glass and a range of colours:

Brokis Balloons table and floor light colours

and can look like this:

Red Balloons floor light and table light from Brokis

and — gloriously — like this in copper:

Brokis Balloons floor light and table light in copper

Now let’s look at the balloons, which are called Memory, designed for them by Boris Klimek. Continue reading

Posted in Interior, Lights | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maison et Objet: PCM Design

PCM Design TERRACOTA table light

In our Handy Guide to Maison et Objet, we wrote that:

We had not heard of PCM until we were going through the list of exhibitors showing lights at this fair. We have included them because of their mission. Founded in Spain in 2011 by the architect Paloma Cañizares, they are “…trying to search product from very talented and young designers coming from the best design schools.” Production is rooted in local materials and skills. So what’s not to like? Well, possibly the designs themselves. But from what is shown on their web site – e.g. the Terracota pendant and table light by Tomas Kral – there should be no problem on this score!

I’m delighted to say that our optimism about PCM Design was well-placed!

At the stand, we met the charming Paloma Cañizares herself, who has an impressive track record, not just as an architect and designer, but also as a teacher and a juror. She told us that the Terracota lighting items on display would be added to. Currently, there is the table light above, which reminds me a little of a Franciscan Friar, and the lighting body of the table light is also available as a pendant (now it looks like a bell rather than a cowl):

PCM Design TERRACOTA pendant light Continue reading

Posted in Articles, Features, Interior, Lights | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maison et Objet: Arabesques from Céline Wright

Céline Wright Arabesques GM and PM a poser

An essential stand for us at Maison et Objet is always Céline Wright‘s. Having lived for some years in Japan, her principal material, now that she is back in France, is the semi-translucent paper used in shoji walls, doors and windows:


Whereas the Japanes use is formal, in Céline Wright’s hands this wonderful paper, which is white, never fades, is untearable and fire-resistant, becomes informal floating shapes of clouds and cocoons or — because there is so much variety in her work — formal, in her own way: Diva, for example:

Céline Wright Diva plafonnier

Everything is made by hand by Céline and her team. It was a great idea for this fair to have one of her craftswomen creating a light on the stand who, besides concentrating on what she was doing, was very patient and informative with nosey visitors! Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Maison et Objet: most endearing light — Companion from Discipline

Discipline Companion task light by SmithMatthias

Endearing. There are lights that are cute — maybe they look like little people, or birds, or animals — but Companion, IMHO, is not cute. Companion is endearing.

The Italian company producing it, Discipline, seem to think so too — they point out that its “…animated look make it it an ideal desk companion, enjoyable and likeable” (hence the name!).

And the British couple who designed it, Jack Smith and Gemma Matthias, think of it as “engaging and elegant in appearance, intuitive and effortless in function”.

But it is not just endearing, it is also an unobtrusively clever piece of design, because you don’t see the cable at all, once it has entered the base. The power is carried invisibly up the ash structure to the lamp in the steel head. Continue reading

Posted in Interior, Lights | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maison et Objet: Nautic’s Caret lamp — the single most important item there

Nautic Caret Squirrel Cage lamp replacement

We stuck our neck out and wrote in our Handy Guide to the show  that “the Caret Squirrel Cage lamp may be the most important object in all of Maison et Objet“. We added:

You can usually see the lamp in lanterns. Traditionally, therefore, lamps that are attractive to look at have been used. For Nautic, this has meant the incandescent squirrel cages. Politicians are going to ban squirrel cages. What to do? Erik spent four years researching an alternative. It is now available as the Caret Squirrel Cage lamp that replaces the wire in an incandescent lamp with loops of cold cathode tube. The light it casts is wonderfully warm. It will be the saviour of all existing, and future, lanterns. That is why it is so important. Because, if you don’t use these, what are you going to use?

Those who visited Tekna at the fair (Nautic is one of Tekna’s brands) will have immediately understood the excitement, because the entire stand was lit using the Caret lamps!

They produce a good amount of light (350lm) that is wonderfully warm (2300K), and they can be dimmed (with a compatible dimmer).

They are energy-saving (EU Energy group A — the most energy-efficient) and are rated to last 25,000 hours, so they can be put in locations which are difficult to access.

What is more, they look great. Sometimes an amateur photo is more helpful than a professional image, so here is the Caret lamp (plus Cheryl’s hand) photographed in our offices:

Posted in Articles, Exterior, Features, Interior, Lights | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Maison et Objet, Paris January 2013: a handy guide

M&O logo
MAISON ET OBJET, January 2013
A handy guide to good lighting stands, courtesy of Cameron Peters Fine Lighting

This guide is handier as a PDF (click on M&O 01 13 handy guide), with the info split so that each hall starts on a separate page. This means that you only have to have out the pages for the hall that you are in. There are also PDF indices, by hall (M&O 01 13 handy guide summary by hall) and alphabetically (M&O 01 13 handy guide alphabetical summary). Continue reading
Posted in Articles, Exterior, Information, Interior, Lights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making…Ilide’s Tick

Ilide Tick pendant light wood

As you will recall from our post introducing the new Italian lighting company Ilide:

They are bringing designers together with artisans who work in different materials: glass, ceramics, wood, marble…. They found the best by selecting the top 20 from a competition they held in 2010 that attracted more than 1,000 participants from all over Italy.

The material and the craftsperson are therefore central to each light. To illustrate what we mean, here are some images of a wooden Tick being made:

Ilide Tick pendant light being made 1

Ilide Tick pendant light being made 2

Ilide Tick pendant light being made 3

Ilide Tick pendant light being made 4

Ilide Tick pendant light being made 5


Posted in Interior, Lights | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Making…Prandina’s Gong

Prandina Gong pendant light

Prandina have introduced Gong, a pendant light made from blown glass that is painted on the inside. It is in the language of their excellent Notte series…

Prandina Notte pendant light

…the difference being that, whilst Notte is basically a source of direct light downwards, the sides of Gong are more translucent. Therefore it provides ambient light as well.

The picture above shows Gong in its most dramatic colourway — aubergine and black. But it also comes in all white…

Prandina Gong pendant light white

…or all ivory, or ivory and white.

One understands any light so much better if one has some idea of how much skill and effort has gone into making it. We are therefore delighted to make available to you this short (just two minutes) film, showing how Gong is made. It even has a a lovely gongy sound track!

Posted in Interior, Lights | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New to the light finder: Millelumen

Millelumen Sculpture linear pendant light white

The tone of any business is set at the top. At the top of Millelumen is the founder, Dieter K. Weis. He was a professional photographer, so he has a heightened awareness of light. He has also been designing light fittings for over thirty years.

His preferences are for straight lines, clear and reduced shapes, concentration on the essentials, whilst always considering the impact of light. The search for purity of form means that it can take years to finalize a design. There will be no visible screw heads or fixings. The point where two surfaces meet is always carefully managed.

Here, for example, is what happens when the wire suspension cable meets the body of Sculpture (shown above):

millelumen sculpture linear pendant light fixing detail

The fixing of the cable to the structure happens within the structure itself, a wider (beautifully edged) hole surrounding it.

This Sculpture collection of linear pendants stopped us in our tracks when we first saw them. It may have been the quality of the finish — high gloss or rich matt, with carbon fibre options….

millelumen sculpture linear pendant finishes

…as would be seen on a very expensive motor car.

In fact, the lines of this gorgeous design… Continue reading

Posted in Articles, Features, Interior, Lights | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment