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How LEDs Drive Lighting Design

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Just a few years ago, the design of LED lighting largely mimicked the familiar forms of incandescent lighting. Now, innovative designers are leveraging the unique traits of LED technology—along with the latest advances in areas such as light quality and diffusion—to create distinctive decorative lighting designs.

Powered by small diodes, many of these newer LED lights are characterized by slim silhouettes and intricate shapes not possible with incandescent fixtures. Some of our favorite pendants and chandeliers demonstrate the potential of LED technology to transform lighting design.

The Raimond consists of two intricate stainless-steel spheres that transport the electrical current. The spheres are punctuated by 252 tiny LEDs to create dazzling, ambient illumination.

The Rhythm consists of five 18-inch sticks containing 2.9W LED strips and five 34-inch sticks containing 5.8W LED strips. The LEDs are overlaid with a frosted diffuser to create an ambient glow. Each stick can be rotated on its axis to form endless horizontal and vertical configurations.

Individual bands of aluminum are fitted with slim LED strips featuring upward- and downward-facing lights in the Surge Linear Suspension. Each band undulates independently mimicking ocean waves and multiple fixtures can be combined to make a striking statement.


The sculptural Synapse Suspension Light produces a variety of colors, and can be controlled via remote thanks to digital LED functionality. Compact LED components fit into small lobes that make up the light’s 24 modules, which can be arranged to form custom configurations.


Inspired by Nicolas Copernicus, who in 1543 presented a heliocentric model of the universe, the Copernico 500 Suspension Light consists of seven concentric circles shaped from a single aluminum plate that supports a circuit of 384 LEDs. The circles rotate independently on two different axes, enabling multiple elegant configurations. When the fixture is closed up, it lies completely flat.

This cutting-edge take on a classic ball pendant makes the most of LED technology. Nine sculptural arcs cradle flexible LED strips inside steel and aluminum arms, and the curved form sends light in all directions.


Inspired by the Heracleum plant, this luminaire features white lenses or “leaves” that can be repositioned by rotating them on the ultra-thin suspension wires or “stems.” Sixty-three LED lights tucked into the leaves lend it a uniquely slender and delicate design.

Reminiscent of abstract trees or exploding fireworks, this refreshingly simple design uses sleek, sustainably sourced wood fitted with LEDs. The LED bulb can be reversed to illuminate inwards or out.

Inspired by the Brazil nut, the three-ribbed frame features gentle curves and handcrafted glasswork. Two of the ribs create a leaf-shaped diffuser, while the third holds a cluster of LED lights that project light onto the leaf.

LED nanotechnology enables the Vela OLED Chandelier’s ultra-thin design. Directional light is diffused across twelve ⅜-inch-wide panels, creating a striking streamlined fixture.


Tiny LED lights enclosed in the Quill’s cascading plumes create a distinctive design reminiscent of its name. It can be hung in multiples and the adjustable cable enables a variety of horizontal and vertical configurations.

This low-profile design features a sheet of extra-clear, tempered glass less than ½-inch thick. It’s imbedded with four rows of LEDs to uniformly diffuse the light and powered by an electronic circuit printed directly on top of the glass sheet.

The futuristic LED Net Line Ceiling light is part of a series designed by Michele de Lucchi and Alberto Nason. The satin-finished aluminum structure resembles a constellation featuring pods with LED circuit boards and transparent lenses that create diffuse, warm light.

The Connetix features 12 aluminum sticks punctuated at both ends with LEDs. The rectangular prisms intersect at right angles forming dramatic geometric shapes that are suspended by a self-balancing cable.

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Brendan Cleak

Brendan is a Site Merchandiser at YLighting and an aficionado of all things art and design. He enjoys spending his time working on photography and film projects, writing, traveling, and learning everything he can about the world that surrounds him.