Ideas + Inspiration

Light Play: Shadow-Casting Lighting Designs

Playful decor doesn’t need to stop at bright accessories or unique pieces of furniture; it can translate into your lighting too. More and more lighting designers are embracing this notion of “play” and are creating modern lamps that are not only functional but add a charming touch to the surrounding environment through light play.

Light play is the exploration of the beautiful and artful relationship of light and shadows. To create these playful shadow arrangements, designers are using materials in unique and creative ways to filter light instead of simply diffusing it. Here are some of my favorite modern lights that showcase beautiful light play.

Light Play | YLighting
Floral Pendant Light from David Trubridge Design

The Floral Pendant Light from David Trubridge Design is made from pieces of wood arranged in an open, floral pattern. When this pendant light is turned on, light is filtered through the structure casting playful patterns and shadows that are perfect for adding a whimsical touch to any room.

Light Play | YLighting
Fascination 1 Light Pendant Light from Varaluz

The Fascination 1 Light Pendant Light was inspired by the breathtaking view of an old Nevada mine at sunset whose walls had been constructed of wine bottles and mud. Made from hand-forged recycled steel, this pendant light features a round-shape formed from various sized circles. Within some of the circles are colored discs made from recycled glass bottles. When this pendant light is illuminated, light shines outwards from all angles to create a playful array of shadows and colors that are cast into the surrounding space.

Light Play | YLighting
Curl My Light AP Wall Sconce from Studio Italia Design

Besides creating artful shadow arrangements, light play can also give the illusion of movement. The Curl My Light AP Wall Sconce from Studio Italia Design is made by artisans who slice metal cylinders into pieces and then weld them back together in an intricate interwoven pattern. When lit, light shines through the shade to create a playful display of shadows that look like they are dancing.

Light Play | YLighting
Mille Bolle Pendant Light from SLAMP

Light play isn’t limited to just shadows. As seen here with the Mille Bolle Pendant Light from SLAMP, beautiful prismatic reflections are cast into the surrounding area. Made from circular cut-outs of iridescent polycarbonate arranged in an elaborate composition, this pendant light catches the light just right creating a kaleidoscopic effect that enhances any space with welcomed charm.

Light Play | YLighting
Tress Grande LED Floor Lamp from Foscarini

Light play can also be subtle and add an understated elegance to a room. The Tress Grande LED Floor Lamp stands tall and features a woven design. When in use, light is filtered through the structure casting soft light patterns in all directions.

Etch Pendant Light from Tom Dixon | YLighting
Etch Pendant Light from Tom Dixon

The Etch Pendant Light uses a classic material in a new and creative way. Made by using an industrial process used to produce electronic products, the detailed design is first photo-etched onto metal sheets. Then all of the unexposed areas are dissolved with acid, creating intricate patterns cut into the metal. When lit, the shade gently filters the light casting elaborate shadows into the room.

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Becca Bird

Becca Bird

Becca is a Senior Site Merchandiser for YLighting and a firm believer in the idea that sometimes more really is more. As a lover of bright colors and bold patterns, Becca loves for her affinity of color to transcend into all aspect of her life - from her clothes to her home decor. When not at work, Becca can often be found online shopping, watching the latest scary movie, or brushing up on her fun facts.

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