After years of client conversations that start with: “I’d like you to imagine . . . “ I’ve reached the point where I really need to harden-up on my descriptions of light fittings. I suppose if all you’re specifying is downlights, then there’s not much to talk about . . . not even the design. But once you enter the Realm of the Decorative then we need to be clear on our vocabulary. Careless talk costs clients!
I’ve decided – and feel free to join me in this or not – to use three group terms for light fittings that suspend from the ceiling and the three words are what you see above. Developing the argument a bit further, here is where I’m going:
Chandelier: if it’s a fixture with more than one light source that are defined by a number of supporting branches, then it’s a chandelier – regardless of what its made from or how trad or contemporary the beast may be. And, yes, I'm calling this cluster of light bulbs as a chandelier, since you ask.
Image lifted from Cralux Lighting - whoever you are . . .
Pendant: this is a trickier proposition because pendant also acts as a verb that describes anything hanging down. But I’ve decided that a pendant is really a suspended light fitting from which light is directed, usually downwards; and usually made of metal, though not always. That means that a lot of modern pieces, starting around the time of Poul Henningsen, probably, count as pendants.
Yes: the ultimate modern classic: PH5 from Louis Poulsen
Lanterns: and this one I’m reclaiming from the dustbin of history because its too useful not to have in the lexicon. The real clue here is in that definition. Its about a light source being surrounded by a translucent case that stops the flame from being blown out. In other words, you can’t see the light source – and there’s probably only one in there, but there may be two or three, but the ‘casing’ doesn’t affect the light distribution. This is an Inverse Square Law piece if ever there was one.
The 'Havana' from Foscarini - lovely!
A (very) basic guide to ethical specification
Lighting design: it's a client thing
Calculating obtrusive light: whose job is it?
When there's nothing in the catalogue
When is a chandelier not a pendant? When its a lantern!
When clients learn too much . . .
One of our details is missing
Where will light fittings come from?
The end of the light bulb?
Always something new . . . again
Always something new . . .
Combining old and new
On being in the dark . . .
Riffing The Internet of Things
John Bullock writes a regular column for lighting magazines. You can find all of the archived pieces here.
BLOGS - LIGHTING DESIGN
John Bullock writes about all things and anything concerning architectural lighting design; new technologies and old lamps; anything,really.
HOME LIGHTING CONSULTANT
John Bullock designs innovative lighting designs for people's homes. By working closely with clients he is able to deliver solutions that meet - and exceed - their expectations.
BLOGS - CPD RIBA CORE PROGRAMME 2015
John Bullock will be presenting a seminar on latest lighting design and technologies as part of the RIBA CPD Core programme 2015
BLOGS - SUSTAINABILITY
John Bullock believes that the UK lighting industry needs to embrace a sustainable way of delivering good quality product through good design, fabrication and end-of-life management.
BLOGS - LIGHTING HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Lighting has a vital role to play in our health and wellbeing.
CONDUIT (6) - Lighting for Winter Gardens
CONDUIT 5: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (2)
FX Magazine: Lighting Focus - Sustainability (Issue 258)
CONDUIT 4: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (1)
Can Smart Lighting Save The Planet?
CONDUIT 3: Home Lighting - The Bathroom
Can Lighting Save Us From Ourselves . . . NO!
CONDUIT 2: Home Lighting - The Dining Room