Top Picks for Modern Lighting Designs
There’s a common theme to the lighting that captivates me: modern forms crafted with artisanal techniques. And if they’re made with natural materials, like walnut or bamboo, all the better. I’m drawn to designs that have an architectural feeling and distinctive details. Here are some of my top picks for modern lighting across a mix of categories:
I like handmade designs that are simple and original. I can see this as the focal point of my entryway, and the 2-foot table lamps would be great on my bedside table. The LED modules for the floor lamp can be switched around and reversed to create a completely different look.
The Pleat Box collection is a great example of technology and artisanal techniques coming together to form a completely original modern lighting design. The grey finish with the gold interior is my favorite, and the process for applying the gold finish to the ceramic shade is truly impressive.
The Mr. N lamp has a cool arch shape and emits ambient light in all directions without taking up a lot of space. Plus, it’s well priced so it would make a great gift.
This minimalist, low-voltage pendant showcases the LED components in an unusual way and integrates them as a part of the overall design. Its open center makes it appear as if it’s a floating ring of light. This modern lighting design would work well in my kitchen, maybe suspended from a monorail or cable system.
The Coral Pendant creates a stunning display of light and shadow, but uses a minimal amount of material. I can see one of these in an entertaining area, such as over a bar or concrete kitchen island.
I bought one of these for my bedroom, so every night I get to go home and feel like Don Draper while enjoying the ambient light it produces. Modern classics speak for themselves—they’ve been around all this time for a good reason.
“Another excellent example of the union of LED functionality and handcrafted design. I love how the light escapes through small slits on the side of the walnut body. Cerno produces only LEDs and all of their lights are made here in California.”
My favorite thing about the Heracleum is that the frame itself conducts the low-voltage current. It’s suspended and powered from a single point, creating a more minimal look.
I have one of these on my desk at home. Pablo incorporates USB ports into portable lighting so you can charge your phone without having to occupy a computer USB port or wall outlet. The black finish with the walnut veneer base looks terrific, and the orange is nice for a pop of color.
I appreciate designs that showcase the materials—in this case wood and metal—in the construction process. Scantling’s name is a nod to an old unit of measurement, but its silhouette is modern and simple.
I love that the reflective surface was inspired by an astronaut’s helmet and the copper is a great finish that would warm up any room.
Hubbardton Forge is in a modern lighting category of its own with its sculptural lighting, which is some of the highest quality on the market. The Axis collection, specifically in the vintage platinum finish, is one of my favorites. It has clean lines and LED technology combined with a hand-forged iron body.