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10 Modern Pendant Lights to Rival the Times Square Ball

2013 December 31
Times Square Ball

Times Square balls from 1907, 2007, and the current ball in 2009 and 2012.

There is perhaps no place more spirited than Times Square on New Year’s Eve. The flashing lights, the fluttering confetti, and the star of the show, Ryan Seacrest the Times Square Ball (which has its own website and rather fascinating history here, by the way. Oh, and its own Twitter account, natch).

The Times Square Ball has seen a number of changes since it debuted in 1907. The current (6th) iteration sports 32,256 LEDs around the 12-foot-wide ball, which weighs nearly 6 tons. But gargantuan numbers aside, there’s something to be said for the beauty and the energy that they ball represents for us once a year.

To capture that festivity year round, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite modern ceiling lights that rival the glitz, shine and essence of the Times Square Ball – you know, in case your space can’t quite accommodate a 11,000-pound light fixture. Here are our 10 favorite fixtures that give the Times Square ball a run for its money:

Sputnik Pendant By Jonathan Adler
The old-school Edison bulbs and vintage appeal of Jonathan Adler’s Sputnik Pendant reminds us of the very first Times Square Ball, which was fitted with 100 incandescent bulbs.

Avir Suspension By Manuel Vivian for AXO Light
The dramatic color of the Avir Suspension by Axo Light is reminiscent of the modern Times Square Ball, which has a palette of more than 16 million colors thanks to LED modules and kaleidoscope-like crystal triangles.

Hope Suspension By Francisco Gomez Paz, Paolo Rizzatto for Luceplan
It’s no wonder the Hope Suspension by Luceplan has its own Time Square-worthy glam factor—the Paolo Rizzato design was inspired by the Hope Diamond.

Raimond LED Suspension By Raimond Puts for Moooi
More than 250 brilliant LEDs emanate from the Raimond Suspension by Moooi, which was created by a dutch mathematics professor.

Da Vinci Suspension By Schonbek Lighting
Encircled by Swarovski Crystal precision-cut jewels, the Da Vinci Suspension by Schonbek Lighting is one festive showstopper. Not to mention, the crystal globe is dishwasher safe (take that, Times Square Ball!)

Ball Pendant By Tom Dixon for Swarovski
A dazzler from Tom Dixon, the Ball Pendant by Swarovski looks like it would fit right in at a Great Gatsby party, or even in the middle of Times Square.

G.R.A. Suspension By Bruno Rainaldi for Terzani
The G.R.A. Suspension by Terzani gets its wow factor from the shadows created my the metal rings that make up the sphere-shaped shade.

Etch Web Pendant By Tom Dixon
The irregular pentagon pattern of the Etch Web Pendant by Tom Dixon reminds us of the crystal triangles that surround today’s ball.

Celestial Pendant By Trend Lighting
Glowing like a full moon, the Celestial Pendant by Trend Lighting is composed of fine aluminum wires that give it a soft, pillow-y appearance.

Argyle Pendant By Varaluz
The bling! Even though its inspiration came from the classic sweater pattern, the Argyle Pendant by Varaluz has a luster that’s right in line with the sparkly glow of New Year’s Eve.

Digital ceramics? Meet the Scotch Club by Xavier Mañosa for Marset

2013 December 20
by Lumens Staff
Scotch Club Pendant By Marset

Scotch Club Pendant
By Mashallah, Xavier Mañosa for Marset

In 2009, at the age of 28, Xavier Mañosa returned to his native Barcelona and started working alongside his parents in their ceramics workshop. Trained in Berlin in industrial design, Mañosa was perfectly poised to build upon traditional ceramics techniques by using the tools of today’s design trade – namely, a computer.

This was the tool he used to create the Scotch Club Pendant by Marset, which was inspired by a disco ball and designed in collaboration with Berlin design studio Mashallah. Mañosa says: “We created a prototype on the computer, we printed it, we turned it into plaster, and from there we created ceramics. So, in some ways, we are printing ceramics. The computer and the digital process were an integral part of this whole process to create a useful ceramic piece such as this lamp.”

And useful it is, as well as being simple, versatile and beautiful. The outside of Scotch Club is glazed in a choice of matte tones, while the inside truly shines in either brilliant white or shimmering gold. Mañosa makes his design intentions clear, though, noting that, “the idea of working with gold was not to achieve a bling bling effect. It was about finding the reflective effect of light on the facets, providing a really warm light.” Available in three sizes and numerous finishes, this lovely light is available exclusively at Lumens.

Scotch Club Pendant By Mashallah, Xavier Mañosa for Marset

The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas 2013 – Day 12

2013 December 12

Well, this is it. The final day of our 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas. Hope you’ve been enjoying reading about the lamps on our list, and maybe even finding something that would make the perfect gift for a loved one…or yourself. Even if you haven’t been with us until now, there’s still plenty of time to choose a giftable lamp in time for Christmas. To look over this year’s choices, you can start at Day 1. That same post can also guide you to giftable lamps from previous years’ lists, if you’re so inclined.

Thanks so much for reading, and Happy Holidays!

For our final lamp, some festive color:

12. Kalis LED Cube by Artkalia

The Kalis LED Cube by Artkalia

The Kalis LED Cube by Artkalia

Part of the reason why I find Christmas so wonderful is that it brings cheerfulness and colorful twinkling lights into what would otherwise be a dark, dreary time of year. For me, the Artkalia Kalis LED Cube embodies all the merriment of the season in one little 5-inch square.

This little guy is part of Artkalia’s extensive portable “mood light” line, with color-changing LED modules that glow for up to 12 hours on one charge inside waterproof polyethylene shades. But in contrast to the soft, white forms of the rest of the collection, Kalis is all dressed up in shining metal. Around its internal plastic cube, it has stainless steel etched on five sides with a lovely lacy pattern. The pattern is so intricate, delicate and subtly exotic that it makes Kalis a bit of art whether it’s turned on or not.

But it’s when the light is turned on that the artistry really comes through. The pattern is infinitely transformable with the various light colors and effectsof the internal LED module—including steady colors, scrolling colors, fade and candlelight effects. (While basic options are easily controllable with buttons on the light’s base, more complex effects require the use of a separate compatible remote control.)

Simply put, Kalis is pretty. And happy. And who wouldn’t want to find something pretty and happy waiting for them under the tree?

Kalis LED Cbue by Artkalia


The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas 2013- Day 11

2013 December 11

So today is December 11, which means there are exactly two weeks until Christmas morning. If you haven’t found all the gifts you need quite yet, there’s no need to panic. The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas and I are here for you, highlighting some of the latest modern lamps that are perfect for gifting. If you wanna look over the 10 lamps we’ve highlighted throughout the beginning of December, I recommend you start from the beginning.

Then come on back to check out one mouth-watering desk lamp:

11. Gravy LED Desk Lamp by Koncept

The Gravy LED Desk Lamp by Koncept

The Gravy LED Desk Lamp by Koncept

Like gravy does with mashed potatoes, Gravy just makes a modern office space better. (Well, it probably won’t actually taste as good, but it’ll sure look quite a bit cooler.) The Koncept Gravy LED Desk Lamp is an award-winning design that uses specialty Edge Lit technology in its disc-shaped head to provide a soft, evenly distributed wash of warm light on a workspace. The unique control is a touch dimmer located on the center of the underside of the head’s light ring.

The shape of the head is duplicated in the base. The base is topped with warm wood to match the head’s arm. And the natural wood offsets the slick coordinating metal finish. Such is the lovely aesthetic balance of the piece (which could be punctuated by a bright pop of color via the power cord depending on the color combo you choose).

But Gravy is also balanced functionally, as the arm slides back and forth through the notched aluminum stem. The head also rotates 360-degrees for the perfect placement of light. The unique style and convenience of the Gravy Desk Lamp makes it a truly delicious gift.

Gravy LED Desk Lamp

The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas 2013- Day 10

2013 December 10

Hey there! Glad you could make it to day 10 of our 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas. With only a few lamps left to highlight, this is what I consider the list’s homestretch. If you wanna take a look at lamps 1-9 or just need a quick refresher on our giftable lamp criteria, start here.

And then number 10:

10. Bling Bang Table Lamp by George Kovacs

The Bling Bang Table Lamp by George Kovacs

The Bling Bang Table Lamp by George Kovacs

For me, it just wouldn’t be Christmas unless there was something sparkly waiting under the tree. Jewelry is nice, but really it can be anything that puts a literal twinkle in my eye. And I know I’m not alone.

Designed by Alecia Wesner for the George Kovacs lighting line, Bling Bang is a complete modern lighting collection that picks up where her Bling Bling collection left off. The Bling Bang Table Lamp features a shiny chromed body with strategic square and rectangular cut-outs all around the offset drum shade. Within these openings, crystals are suspended. These jewel-like accents sparkle whether the light is turned on or off (definitely a bit more when turned on, of course).

You can choose either a silvery chrome lamp with clear crystal or–for a few dollars more–go with the unique Chocolate chrome and warm teak-colored crystals. Sparkle AND chocolate? Yes, please.

Bling Bang Table Lamp by George Kovacs

The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas 2013 – Day 9

2013 December 9

Happy Monday! Now that we’re on day 9 of the 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas, you may want to refresh your memory on just what it means for a lamp to be “giftable.” You can take a quick look at the criteria right here.

And then on to lamp #9:

9. Joy Table Lamp by Design House Stockholm

The Joy Table Lamp by Design House Stockholm

The Joy Table Lamp by Design House Stockholm

Cold enough for ya? Where I am, we’ve been breaking records for the cold left and right. As such, I was inspired to find a lamp that could beat some of the winter chill with the warmth of candlelight.

The Design House Stockholm Joy Table Lamp could probably be more accurately termed an electrified candelabra, a unique sculpture more than a super-bright light source. That being said, it does provide lovely warm, flickering ambiance as a tabletop centerpiece. Made out of white-lacquered steel, it features seven “candles” that are leaning against each other, appearing to stop just short of falling over. Each taper uses a specialty flame-tip bulb to complete the realistic look. (Extras come in the box.)

This modern candelabra makes the ideal gift for the person who loves to entertain, and is sure to make a great conversation piece at their next dinner party.

The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas 2013 – Day 8

2013 December 8

Welcome back!

Today is day 8 of our 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas, which means we’ve already highlighted seven great giftable lamps. If you’ve been reading along from the beginning, thanks! But if you’re just joining the party, why not take a few minutes to check out what makes a lamp “giftable” and look over the lamps profiled before today. It started a week ago, on Dec. 1.

Then come on back, and you’ll be all ready to read about #8:

8. The Limoges Dakota Table Lamp by Justice Design

The Limoges Dakota Table Lamp by Justice Design

The Limoges Dakota Table Lamp by Justice Design

Know someone who’s a nature lover? Then the Justice Design Limoges Dakota Table Lamp will make a great gift. Likes graphic retro patterns? The Limoges Dakota Table Lamp again. Enjoys a warm, candlelight-like glow?

Well, you get the picture. The Limoges Dakota Table Lamp appeals to many tastes, due primarily to its overall clean, modern form and numerous customizable options. It is also functionally versatile, with a size and shape that make it useful as either a tabletop centerpiece or more subtle ambient light source off to the side.

It features a cluster of three shades made out of translucent porcelain, which glow like pillar candles at staggered heights atop their metal base. These cylinders are given greater decorative interest with a variety of possible patterns embossed onto their surface, the intricate details of which are only enhanced when the lights are on. Once you’ve chosen the right porcelain pattern, then you can decide on the finish for the base.

The final piece makes the ideal gift mostly because it is perfectly personalized to whomever you give it. It will satisfy their design tastes, complement their decor and show that you’ve been paying attention to both.

Limoges Dakota Table Lamp by Justice Design

The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas 2013 – Day 7

2013 December 7

Hope you’re having a great Saturday morning. Maybe you’re still in your jammies, leisurely sipping a cup of coffee as you read up on our 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas. Today is day 7 of the list. So if you haven’t had a chance before now to check this out, I recommend starting on day 1.

Then if you feel like browsing through the rest of our giftable lamps, feel free. After all, it’s Saturday; we’re in no rush.

7. Ledino Table Lamp No. 66702 by Philips

The Ledino Table Lamp No. 66702 by Philips

The Ledino Table Lamp No. 66702 by Philips

The Philips Ledino Table Lamp No. 66702 has a minimalist design ideal for those with contemporary workspaces or reading areas. Made out of lightweight aluminum in a versatile black finish, it is also slender, elegant and effortless to use.

It features a unique paddle-shaped head that houses a bright, energy efficient 7.5 watt LED. It puts out up to 350 lumens of warm white light, controlled by a touch dimmer on the base. And the dome-shaped ribbing on the top of the head is also more than just an interesting decorative detail; it’s the LED’s heat sink, ensuring a long 50,000-hour life for the light source.

A pivoting joint allows you to move the head up and down and rotate it around the stem for perfectly precise light placement. It’s enough to make you wish Christmas was over so you could get back to work. (Well, almost.)



The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas 2013 – Day 6

2013 December 6

Welcome to day 6 of our 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas! We are officially halfway through, with plenty more goodies to come. To check out the giftable lamps that have come before, you can start from the beginning. Or, if you’re eager to move forward, then read on to learn about lamp #6…

Instead of putting a lampshade on your head at a Christmas party this weekend, try putting it on your table:

6. Teca Mini Table Lamps by Flos

Sure, these might not have a woman’s leg in fishnets holding them up, but these classic shades are still sure to bring a smile to whomever receives them this holiday season.

Teca Mini Table Lamps by Flos

Teca Mini Table Lamps by Flos

Designed by Ron Gilad, the Flos Teca Mini Table Lamps are at once contemporary and playful; the sight of a fringed shade glowing inside a glass box is certainly unexpected. More than that, though, the impression is one of a display in a museum, which is entirely intentional. The name of the collection, after all, is a play on the Italian word for “reliquary,” or a container that holds ancient and/or sacred relics.

In other words, these are shades that are deserving of display and respect. They are representative of a certain point in time in lighting history. More than that, with their ornate and frilly designs, they can now be considered works of art as much as functional parts of a lamp.

The first of these lamps is the Teca Mini Victorian Grandeur Table Lamp. With its intricate embroidery, thick lace ribbing and inward curve (evocative of a tightly laced corset), you can truly see this shade casting a warm glow around a 19th century salon:

The Teca Mini Victorian Grandeur Table Lamp

The Teca Mini Victorian Grandeur Table Lamp

And then there’s the Teca Mini Renaissance Cupola Table Lamp. It too has thick ribbing, but with a more relaxed bell shape. It is also quite a bit flirtier with a thick border of red fringe:

The Teca Mini Renaissance Cupola Table Lamp by Flos

The Teca Mini Renaissance Cupola Table Lamp by Flos


The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas 2013 – Day 5

2013 December 5

Hey there! So we’ve made it to Day 5 of our 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas, our list of twelve of the most giftable lamps out there, perfect for Christmas or anytime. Not sure what “giftable” means? It’s all outlined for you on Day 1.

There’s no doubt that lamp #5 meets all the giftable criteria with great aplomb. It’s a cute little thing that kids might just mistake for their new toy:

5. Top Four Mini LED Lamp by LUXIT

The Top Four Mini LED Lamp by LUXIT

The Top Four Mini LED Lamp by LUXIT

When it comes to the toys I loved as a kid, LEGOs are at the top of the list. So imagine my reaction when I saw a task light that looks just like those colorful building blocks. The whole collection is glossy, cheerful and toy-like, but it’s the LUXIT Top Four Mini LED Lamp that has the proportions most evocative of LEGOs. So it was my immediate favorite of the bunch.

Its three segments make it easy to adjust the direction of light coming from the four LEDs on the top segment. It’s absolutely acrobatic, able to hold any number of positions with minimal effort on your part.

Its compact size makes this lamp even more charming…and useful. It definitely does not take up a lot of space; hunched over it stands less then 5 inches tall and 4 inches deep. You can bring it in tight for illuminating a keyboard or paperwork or keep it off to the side for more general illumination of a desktop. And you have to admit that it just looks adorable doing it. All-in-all, Top Four is the perfect task lamp for that special someone who plays as hard as they work.

Top Four Mini LED Lamp by LUXIT

(This lamp is probably my favorite for 2013, which I usually save for the finale of the 12 Lamps list. But in this case, I thought I’d sneak it in a bit early since its currently giftable price is supposed to go away mid-month. But don’t worry; my second favorite is also pretty darn cool.)

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