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The Raw Collection by Michael McHale

2015 March 23

We recently had the chance to catch up with former New York entertainment attorney Michael McHale to discuss his industrial approach to lighting design. Michael McHale started designing lighting by complete accident, but quickly picked up the key points of contemporary design and now offers a unique selection of products that combine industrial elements like galvanized plumbing pipe with luxury-exuding European crystal. The result is an awe-inspiring collection of lighting that can best be described as industrial-chic.

Following this same design aesthetic, Michael McHale Designs introduced a chandelier and a linear bar fixture that are both unapologetic in their straightforward industrial design. Appropriately named the Raw collection, these fixtures are made with steel pipes and a symmetric grid of steel cabling with points of light protruding from all angles. One of the best features of the new collection is that every Raw Chandelier or Raw Linear Bar can take on a different personality depending on the type of bulb you choose to use. Both fixtures display a lot of character and can fit a variety of commercial or residential applications.

Read the full Michael McHale interview and take a look at the photos of the new Raw lights below.

Michale Mchale Lighting

Michael McHale Chandelier

Michael McHale Raw Chandelier

Michael McHale Raw Linear Bar

Raw Linear Bar Light

Design Spotlight: Arturo Alvarez Lighting

2015 March 20

Starting back in 1994, lighting designer Arturo Alvarez set out to create handmade, contemporary light fixtures that could not only stand out in a space, but would also evoke emotions from people due to their craftsmanship and elegance. Today, the lighting designer and the Arturo Alvarez Lighting line is synonymous with innovation and emotion in lighting design.

Arturo Alvarez – Emotional Light

Arturo Alvarez designs some of the most decorative, emotion-inducing ceiling and wall lights available today and they have become favorites among the Lumens’ team. Here are five pendants and ceiling suspension designs we love from the Arturo Alvarez line.

V Pendant

Arturo Alvarez V Pendant
As if it was taken directly from a science-fiction novel, the Arturo Alvarez V Pendant by Hector Serrano stands out above other ceiling light designs with its spatial biconcave shape. Designed from injection-molded plastic and a Polycarbonate glass diffuser, the V Pendant is durable and at the same time, very light. V is available in a white or black finish and requires a single 100 Watt bulb.

Shio Pendant

Arturo Alvarez Shio Pendant
Natural lines become the focal point of the Arturo Alvarez Shio Pendant, as it is designed with layered plywood that just barely allows light to peak through its slim openings. Shio is available in three distinct laminate finishes – white, brown and yellow. The Shio pendant is also available in a dimmable option that is ideal for decorative mood lighting.

Nevo Grande Pendant

Arturo Alvarez Nevo Pendant
The Arturo Alvarez Nevo Grande Pendant resembles a cloud that is about to burst with rain. This elegant design, from Arturo Alvarez himself, utilizes patented SIMETECH technology. SIMETECH is a handmade material composed of a stainless steel mesh and a silicone covering that allows for a range of opacity. The handmade mesh material facilitates the emotional, expressive light delivered by the Nevo Grande.

Aros Pendant

Arturo Alvarez Aros Pendant
The Aros Pendant successfully employs polypropylene strips to create a heavenly body of light that fits well in contemporary dining rooms or decorative entryways. The layered hoops of the material allow it to cast graceful rings of light through the open spaces of the fixture that will, again, prompt emotion in people. The Arturo Alvarez Aros Pendant is available in a white or black finish and requires a single 57 Watt bulb.

Vento LED Linear Suspension

Arturo Alvarez Vento Linear Pendant
The Arturo Alvarez Vento Suspension is shaped as if it were crafted naturally from gentle gusts of wind. This contemporary design from Alavarez is made from a curved piece of awe-inspiring stained glass that is softly illuminated by a hidden LED. Vento exudes peaceful serenity and is available in a number of stained glass options to fit the decor of your space.

Top 10: Green Designs We Love

2015 March 17

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and the color green is popular everywhere today. We’re fans of the color green like anyone else is, but we are also fans of green in the sense of using eco-friendly and sustainable products. There’s no doubt that eco-friendliness has become a trend in modern design as seen in the materials used and light sources being upgraded to use energy-efficient LEDs.

Here’s ten of our favorite green light fixtures and furniture pieces by some of the most eco-friendly names in design.

Coral Pendant by David Trubridge

David Trubridge CoralDavid Trubridge Design prides itself on designing with materials that are friendly to the eco-system and this is seen in the Coral Pendant. From its design to the package it is shipped in, the Coral is environmentally conscious to help preserve ocean and land environments.

Arca LED Pendant by Cerno

Arca LED Pendant by Cerno

The Arca LED Linear Pendant from Laguna Beach’s Cerno is an elegant open-aired wood atrium with an energy-efficient LED light bar positioned in the center of it. The pendant is available in two stains of Walnut and you’ll love it hanging over the kitchen island.

Deck Chair by Loll Designs

Loll Deck ChairMinnesota’s Loll Designs is well known for manufacturing contemporary outdoor furniture from recycled milk jugs. In fact, chairs like the Loll Designs Deck Chair are made from over 300 recycled milk jugs. The result of this manufacturing process is a beautiful chair that is not only environmentally friendly, but it is also durable to withstand outdoor use and variant weather conditions.

Graypants Scraplight

Moon Scraplight by Graypants

The Graypants MOON Scraplight is designed from recycled cardboard, giving it an eco-friendly composition paired with a great source of warm downlighting. It fits well in contemporary spaces and has even been used to light many Starbucks locations across the country.

Z-Bar Gen 3 Desk Lamp by Koncept

Koncept Gen 3 LED Desk LightKoncept is a design brand we love for modern, LED-driven task lighting. Koncept’s line of energy-efficient LED desk lamps, including the Z-Bar Gen 3 Desk Lamp, have earned the company critical acclaim and can be found in many contemporary office spaces around the world.

Innit Design Acapulco Chair

Acapulco Chair by Innit Designs

The design of Acapulco chairs has been around since the 1950s and has recently been re-introduced by Innit Designs. The Innit line of Acapulco chairs are made from a recycled galvanized steel frame supporting a seat comprised of multiple strands of vinyl. This environmentally friendly chair will allow you to modernize your space and is perfect indoors or out.

Octo Pendant 4240 by Secto Design

Secto Design Octo PendantFinnish-design brand Secto Design crafts all of its handmade lighting from environmentally friendly materials including one of our favorites, the Octo Pendant. Octo is a handmade work of art whether it is illuminated or not and fits well in both modern residential and commercial spaces.

Fascination Chandelier by Varaluz

Fascination Chandelier by Varaluz

Varaluz is another lighting firm that prides itself on eco-friendly design, emphasizing the use of environmentally friendly materials. This concept is seen with the Varaluz Fascination Chandelier as it is made from numerous recycled glass discs to create a look similar to the ends of wine bottles. The Fascination Chandelier is also made from hand-forged steel that is comprised of 70% or more recycled content. If you really want to maintain a green approach to your lighting design, Varaluz is the way to go.

Recycled Tube Suspension by Castor

Castor Recycled Tube SuspensionWhat do you do when a light bulb burns out? If you asked Canadian-design firm Castor Design, they would tell you to recycle the bulb and fashion it into a new light fixture. The Recycled Tube Suspension does exactly that as it is composed of multiple, burnt out fluorescent light bulbs, re-incarnated into a suspension that works well hanging over dining tables, conference room tables or kitchen islands.

Eco Smart Fire Stix Fireplace

Stix Fireplace by EcoSmart Fire

Your campfire probably never looked like this. The EcoSmart Fire Stix Fireplace features “sticks” made from stainless steel tubes, giving this non-traditional campfire an ultra-contemporary look. The best part about the Stix Fireplace (and any other product from EcoSmart Fire) is that it uses eco-friendly bioethanol fuel for a warm flame without any smoke, soot or ash.

Other Great Options

If you love the intention of these products, you might also want to check out our LED lighting category for a full assortment of decorative, energy-efficient LED-driven fixtures.

Design Spotlight: PH Collection by Louis Poulsen

2015 March 13

It’s no secret that we are fans of the modern Danish lighting designs from Louis Poulsen. Louis Poulsen started back in 1924 in Copenhagen and got its start in lighting design by partnering up with designer Poul Henningsen to participate in an art exhibit in Paris. Henningsen was able to design the Paris Lamp (now commonly known as the PH Lamp) for Louis Poulsen for the exhibit and from that point on, they maintained a working relationship to design some of the most iconic pieces in modern lighting.

Poul Henningsen is responsible for the PH Collection of pendant lighting, sconces and lamps for Louis Poulsen and although the company offers lighting from other noteworthy designers like Arne Jacobsen and Anu Moser, we especially love the PH Collection. Here’s three of our favorite pieces from Poul Henningsen’s iconic collection for Louis Poulsen.

PH 50

PH 50 Pendant

Poul Henningsen’s pendant lighting comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all follow the same design aesthetic that Danish design enthusiasts love.

PH 50, re-issued in 2008 by Louis Poulsen to mark the 50th anniversary of the mid-century classic, shares the same silhouettes as the PH 5, but is available in additional finishes including Chili Red, White, Mint Blue, Olive Black and Wasabi Green. Instead of the classic White option of the PH 50 Pendant, these finishes allow the pendant to be used in more colorful spaces.

PH Artichoke

ph-artichoke-by-louis-poulsenAnother iconic design from Poul Henningsen, the PH Artichoke, was originally designed more than fifty years ago and still stands out as one of the most noticeable mid-century modern pieces. It’s seen in hotels, restaurants, hospitals and in entryways of residential spaces.

The Artichoke chandelier features 72 precisely positioned leaves across 12 unique rows that provide a lighting effect that is unlike any other. The Artichoke is available today at Lumens in the form of a small pendant rather than a grand chandelier shape, but it is still just as contemporary and beautiful now as when it was originally designed.

PH Snowball

PH Snowball

Following a similar form and fashion as other designs in the PH Collection, the PH Snowball is the perfect combination of the PH 5 Pendant and the PH Artichoke as it successfully takes elements from each. Snowball was initially designed by Poul Henningsen and made available in 1958, then it was re-introduced to the design world in 1983 with a slight modification – instead of the entire fixture being illuminated, only the bottom half is lit. The result of this design is a wash of diffused light that cascades down the entire fixture. PH Snowball is beautiful in commercial spaces and also works well in great rooms and large living rooms.

Other Great Options

In addition to the PH Collection, Louis Poulsen offers a great selection of other Danish pieces you will love. For a simple and timeless cylindrical globe design, look to the Wohlert Pendant and for a table lamp that shouts Scandinavian design, check out the AJ Table Lamp.

Fave Five: Pendants in the Design Event

2015 March 9

Our Semi-Annual Design Event sale is in full swing and will be running through the end of the month. In case you are having trouble finding the right ceiling light for your space, we gathered five of our favorite pendant lamps that are on sale during the Design Event from Louis Poulsen, Pablo, Marset, Niche Modern and Tom Dixon (sale starts 3/16). Take a look below and let us know what you are loving about our Design Event!

PH Artichoke by Louis Poulsen

PH Artichoke ChandelierThe Artichoke chandelier by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen is an iconic fixture that has a history dating back to 1958. The Artichoke has been seen in a number of TV shows and movies, as well as in residential and commercial spaces all over the world.

The PH Artichoke is available today in a smaller version to accommodate a wider variety of spaces. It’s available in Stainless Steel, Copper or White finishes and is just as contemporary now as it was when Henningsen first designed it in 1958.

Pablo Designs Swell Pendants

Swell Pendants by Pablo Designs

The Swell series from San Francisco’s Pablo Designs has become an instant favorite at Lumens.

This collection of pendant lamps are not only elegant and infinitely flexible, they are also driven with an energy-efficient LED light source and are rated to work in either indoor or outdoor spaces. There are multiple lamps in the collection that can be connected to one another depending on the size and layout of your space. Swell is available in a Black and Brass finish or a White and Brass finish.

We also went behind the design of the Swell collection in this exclusive Pablo Pardo interview.

Discoco Pendant by Marset

Marset DiscocoThe Marset Discoco is another favorite of the Lumens team and is also a top seller.

Designed by Christophe Mathieu for Marset, the Discoco chandelier is a series of lacquered discs floating around a chrome semi-sphere. The result of this unique design redirects and reflects light off the discs in a manner that fills and enriches any space where the light is placed.

Discoco is popular in hotels, restaurants and even in hospitals, however, it is also perfectly applicable in residential spaces.

What Shoppers Are Saying About Discoco:

I ordered 3 and placed them above the kitchen island. They also look amazing at night when the light is on. Loved the fact that is designed by one of my country men. Gracias Ghristophe. Que luces mas bonitas.

Niche Modern Solitaire Pendant

Solitaire Pendant by Niche Modern

Niche has made its name in modern lighting design by creating gorgeous glass pendant lights from its studio in New York. The company prides itself on creating designs that are made, not manufactured and the Solitaire Pendant proves this mentality with its unique design.

Designed by Jeremy Pyles, the Solitaire Pendant is a crisp, glass-blown bubble of light surrounding a single light bulb that looks fantastic on its own or in a cluster. The Solitaire Pendant is available in a variety of glass colors including Amber, Chocolate, Clear, Smoke and Sapphire.

Etch Pendant by Tom Dixon
(Sale Starts 3/16)

Tom Dixon Etch PendantThe Tom Dixon Etch collection of pendant lights and tea light holders is inspired by the beauty and logic found in mathematics. Of course, it’s one of our favorite Tom Dixon collections.

Designed by the famous British designer himself, the Tom Dixon Etch Pendant is a beautiful piece that will not only light the room in a substantially modern way, but it will also cast playful shadows on the wall due to its geometrically patterned design.

Etch is available in Black, Brushed Brass, Copper or Stainless Steel finishes.

Other Great Options

There are many design-driven pieces in our semi-annual sale from the pendants featured here to wall lights, table lamps, beautiful Danish furniture pieces from Fritz Hansen and more. Take a look at everything in the sale here.

Lumens & Sonneman Event

2015 March 6

Last month, we had the unique opportunity to host one of our favorite modern lighting designers, Robert Sonneman.

Robert Sonneman is a pioneer in contemporary lighting design who has sold designs worldwide since 1967. After starting the Sonneman Design Group in 1974, Robert sold designs in New York, Tokyo and Milan. He later founded SONNEMAN – A Way Of Light in 2003 with David Littman, another accomplished lighting professional. SONNEMAN – A Way of Light is based in New York and produces a variety of modern lighting designs that have attained worldwide recognition and have also become favorites of Lumens.

Our #LumensHuman team was happy to have Sonneman and his family visit our Sacramento showroom and we made sure to take plenty of pictures.

Did you attend the event? What did you think?

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European Prize for Architecture Goes To Alessi’s Alessandro Mendini

2015 March 4

You may have been busy thinking about the Oscars last month, but there was a different kind of award that was given out in the design world – The European Prize for Architecture. This prestigious award is given out each year and is intended to recognize “influential architects that have changed and challenged the direction of contemporary architecture today and who have blazoned a more humane and intellectual approach to architecture.”

Alessandro Mendini Award

On February 15, the 2014 European Prize for Architecture was awarded to one of our personal favorites – Alessandro Mendini.

Aside from being an award-winning designer, Alessandro Mendini is an Italian architect, philosopher, architectural theorist, visionary and a principle designer for the accessory brand, Alessi.

Mendini’s award is attributed to his sophisticated designs for Alessi including his Parrot Corkscrew, Anna Gong Cake Stand, Luna Watch and Moka Alessi Stovetop Espresso.

Check out these award-winning designs by Alessandro Mendini:

Parrot Corkscrew

Alessandro Mendini ParrotDesigned by Alessandro Mendini in 2003, the Alessi Parrot is a practical, pocket-sized corkscrew intended to add a delightful element of surprise in your kitchen.

The Parrot Sommelier Corkscrew features cast aluminum and plastic material and is hand-decorated. It is available in Black, Blue, Green or a Multi-Color design.

Give the Parrot Corkscrew a home with your other kitchen accessories today.

What Shoppers Are Saying About the Parrot Corkscrew:

This corkscrew is the best! It’s a double pull, which means you can screw it in all the way and still reach the rim of the bottle. But its best feature is the slight curvature of the first pull stop. This keeps the metal of the corkscrew from chipping the edge of the bottle. Very clean, simple design.

These corkscrews are beautifully made and are designed as works of ART.

Anna G. Folding Cake Stand

Anna Gong Cake StandAlessi Anna G Cake Stand

The Anna G. collection is a favorite at Lumens and it is no wonder why it is worthy of a contemporary design award. The Anna Gong Folding Cake Stand is Mendini’s tribute to its predecessor and Alessi’s best-seller in the 1960s, the art.898 Cake Stand.

Similar to its predecessor, the Anna G. Folding Cake Stand folds into either a table-top sculpture as a design piece or becomes a functional, multi-tier cake stand when opened. When folded, the cake stand resembles the familiar Anna Gong face we’re used to.

Luna Watch

alessi-luna-watchThe Luna Watch, named after the moon, is a simplistically modern design from Alessandro Mendini that is meant to express the calm roundness and silent mystery of the moon.

“This moon-watch, with its images of calm roundness, inspires a peaceful and astral reading and a tranquil progression of time, days, nights and seasons.” – Alessandro Mendini

The steel version of the Luna takes the next step of this concept as its silver finish is similar to that of the moon.

Add a sense of tranquility to the precision of your daily timekeeping with the Alessi Luna Watch.

Moka Alessi Alessandro Mendini

Moka Alessi Stovetop Espresso

The Moka Alessi Stovetop Espresso is a successful tribute to the Moka Express, the popular Italian espresso coffee maker designed by Alfonso Bialetti in 1930. Mendini’s rendition of the classic Alessi espresso maker retains the original espresso maker’s intimate dimensions with a modern update to fit today’s kitchen accessory aesthetics.

It is designed for use with gas or electric stoves and is available in three different sizes to accommodate your needs.

What Shoppers Are Saying About the Moka Alessi:

The style of the Alessi Moka stovetop espresso maker is unique and rivals the classic espresso maker style. The simple Italian design has been freshened like all Alessi products and is one I like seeing on my stovetop. Practical as well and used every day. Price is a little high, but I am happy with it.

The Design Event Starts Today!

2015 March 1

Lumens Design Event

We’re kicking off our BIGGEST semi-annual sale today! Save up to 40% on lighting designs from Niche Modern, Louis Poulsen, Bover and many, many more. Plus, we’ll be adding new sales throughout the month of March!

Shop the Design Event now!

Design Spotlight: Gorgeous Glass Pendants by LBL

2015 February 27

Founded in 1971 in Chicago, Lightning Bug Limited began as a family-run small business. Over the decades, the company has built a team of over 300 and provides contemporary, forward thinking lighting solutions across the country. LBL Lighting has rightly earned its reputation for fine craftsmanship, as evidenced by their spectacular glass lighting designs.

LBL has three core values – beauty, originality and quality, which guide their design choices through every step of the production process. The company combines low voltage and LED technology, unique shapes and high quality materials to provide some of the best light fixtures on the market.

One design element we especially love from LBL is their ability to create distinctive glass pendants – here’s four of our favorite glass hanging light options available from LBL.

Zuri Pendant

LBL Zuri PendantThe Zuri Pendant from LBL features a wrinkled Italian glass shade with a thin metal coat for a uniquely textural appearance.

The glossy shade is available in either Black, Silver or Copper and the metal portion of the fixture is available in either a Bronze or Satin Nickel finish.

During the day, this fixture is reflective and attractive, but when the light is turned on, the shade transforms with a translucent appearance.

LBL Rock Candy Pendant

Rock Candy Cylinder Pendant

Sporting another interestingly textured glass shade, the Rock Candy Cylinder Pendant draws inspiration from the classic children’s candy. LBL achieves the fixture’s unique granular texture by rolling the shade through Clear Crystal frit before flash heating it to solidify its appearance.

It features an inner Opal glass diffuser for a soft, pleasant glow. The pendant light is available in Amethyst, Dark Amber, or Steel Blue for a punch of color. If you’re looking for something more subtle, there are also Clear and Smoke options.

Choose from Bronze or Satin Nickel finishes, as well as Incandescent or Compact Fluorescent lamping options.

What Shoppers Are Saying About the Rock Candy Cylinder Pendant:

I looked for months before finding these beautiful pendant lights and am so glad I didn’t settle for any other light. They are perfect and complement the kitchen better than any other light I have seen.

Zollo Pendant

Zollo Pendant by LBL LightingThe Zollo Pendant from LBL has a smooth, spherical shape made from thick Italian glass with an interesting organic crackle pattern.

The fixture is available in either Blue or Gray with Bronze or Satin Nickel finish options.

These glass pendants are perfect for contemporary kitchens or dining rooms and look great on their own or arranged in a row.

Choose from LED or Xenon lamping options.

LBL Julep Pendant Light

Julep Pendant

For a distinctly modern look, the Julep Pendant has a fluted shape and a clear glass shade over three feet long.

This glass pendant lighting option displays colorful cords in either Blue, Red or Black & White for a unique expression.

Julep can use incandescent Classic Edison bulbs, a twisted fluorescent Plumen or Half-Chrome bulbs depending on the look you want.

Other Great Options

LBL offers much more than our favorite glass pendants discussed here. Take a look at our LBL assortment for a variety of hanging lights, wall lights, outdoor lighting and more. Finally, if you love the look of these pendants, you may want to check out all of our glass pendant lights from Tech Lighting, Hennepin Made, Niche Modern and more.

Update the Kids’ Play Room with Modern Furniture

2015 February 25

It is always fun to get a little creative with your design efforts and go for a look that isn’t so reigned in. While we might not want to go overboard with areas of the home where we tend to do the most entertaining like the living room or dining room, kids’ rooms are a great spot to go for that whimsical look and give your children a fun room that they’ll always remember. And, just because it’s a room for kids, it doesn’t mean it can’t have some seriously elegant style.

We gathered three of our favorite distinctive kid’s chairs for some design inspiration in the play room:

Lou Lou Ghost Chair by Kartell

Kartell Lou Lou Ghost Kids ChairOne of our perennial favorites, the Ghost Chair by Philippe Starck for Kartell, has been transformed into a child-sized version with the Lou Lou Ghost Child’s Armchair.

The translucent polycarbonate chair is a petit 25 inches tall, and comes in fun kids’ colors like Transparent Lilac, Transparent Pink, or of course, the traditional Transparent Crystal. It’s the perfect addition to any young sophisticate’s room.

What Shoppers Are Saying About the Lou Lou Ghost Chair:

These chairs were a great addition into making my little girl’s room look modern. We got the pink color for her after we noticed how much she liked the clear normal sized ghost chairs we have in the dining room.

Fatboy Junior

Junior Bean Bag by Fatboy

For the modern kid who wants something a little bit more relaxed but still stylish and fun, the Fatboy Junior never disappoints. One of the standard childhood dream pieces, this modern take on the classic bean bag chair is a cool compromise between casual fun and contemporary style. It comes in a wide selection of vibrant colors and features a durable, easy to clean, coated nylon fabric exterior.

What Shoppers Are Saying About the Fatboy Junior Bean Bag:

Purchased the junior Fatboy chair for my 3 year old granddaughter, the construction is extremely durable and the quality is excellent. She loves that she can lay down on it and still fits. Excellent value for the price (you get what you pay for) this chair should last her for years.

Baba’-Jr Illuminated Kids
Armchair by Domitalia

baba-junior-illuminated-chair-by-domitaliaLooking for a way to light up your kid’s room that goes above and beyond the standard wall plug-in nightlight? The Baba Junior Illuminated Kids Chair by Orlandini & Radice for Domitalia is a fun and youthful piece. The surprisingly comfortable chair is made from translucent roto-molded polyethylene to give it a durable structure that’s kid and cleaning friendly. But the real fun of this piece is of course the diffused light that comes from inside! It’s energy efficient, a-ok for outdoor use and 100% Italian. What more could you ask for?

Go ahead, be a little playful designing the kids’ play room with some fun modern kids furniture.

Other Great Options

Looking for something a little different than these options? Not to worry, we have a ton of other options from which to choose. You’ll also want to check out the adult versions of these designs in our modern furniture selection.

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