While Salone del Mobile is the world’s most important furniture fair, making its annual appearance in the Italian city of Milan, its sister fair — Euroluce — never plays second fiddle. This prestigious lighting fair happens once every two years alongside the Milan furniture fair.
Housed in a singular, commodious pavilion, this event regularly attracts the world’s most beloved lighting brands to demonstrate their creativity and technical prowess, crafting lightings destined to turn heads.
Lights are essential to any interior. Furniture, home accessories and soft furnishings may be the real stars of a home to convey a look or theme, but luminaires are vital to evoke the mood and vibe. Good lighting is purposeful and has an emotional effect on us; we are able to soak in the occasion (alcove lighting), sleep better (ambient lighting), or get work done, prepare and have a meal (task lighting).
Here is a selection of must-own lamps from that event, guaranteed to give your home a contemporary feel while being functional, relevant and purposeful.
TREND 1: PORTABLE, CHARGEABLE LIGHTS
With the signs of climate change already upon us — icebergs the size of small countries breaking off the Antarctic mainland, Earth’s rising temperature, etc — lighting brands are in a race to reduce mankind’s carbon footprint.
LED lights, with integrated chargeable batteries, are a sure way to reduce greenhouse gases. These portable lamps not only make it convenient to move them around the house, their purposeful, enigmatic glow gives comfort and some practicality. Charging by USB is also a trend as this universal technology has become ubiquitous. Best of all, these portable lights offer high-quality lighting performance, comparable to that of traditionally powered lamps. Our picks: One of Italy’s foremost lighting brands Artemide has a few tricks up its sleeve. Its Empatia Mobile rechargeable light, designed by Carlotta Bevilacqua, is chic, environmentally friendly and diminutive in size. Another Artemide product, the Emera table light, designed by Ernesto Gismondi and Daniele Moiolo, is futuristic and kind to the environment.
The Followme Plus table light designed by Inma Bermudez for Marset comes with a micro-USB charger as well as a nifty handle for you to carry it easily around your house.
TREND 2: BALANCING ACTS
Their shades make them look like they are either teetering or in perfect balance; however you perceive them, these striking luminaires definitely turned heads at Euroluce 2017. The harmonious blend of chic aesthetics and the toying with poetry in motion all demonstrate the unfettered creativity of their designers. Fragile and precarious, these luminaires clearly add a touch of luxury to any modern space.
Our picks: Alba, designed by Venezuelan Mariana Pellegrino Soto for Oluce, is inspired by a drop of water and its viscous nature of hanging down from a surface; its gold-finished frame adds a hint of luxe.
The Arrangements series of lights by Michael Anastassiades for Flos looks like a balancing rope act. This modular system of geometric lights can be combined in different ways, one of which is to rest the lighting units on each other to form a glowing chain.
The Setareh pendant light by Francesco Librizzi for Oluce features hand-blown, round satin-glass shades that appear to be balanced on gravitational dynamics; held by a thin, rigorous brass frame, it exudes poetic grace.
TREND 3: TECHNICAL INGENUITY
You can always count on the Italians to come up with novel ways to light up spaces. The three designs highlighted here have merit in technical innovation and ingenuity. Their designers have demonstrated that a lamp can be so much more than merely functional.
Our picks: Blush lamp by Formafantasma for Flos is an alluring and ingenious piece of lighting work. A unique, dimmable LED strip and a piece of dichroic glass help cast rainbow hues on a wall. This unit comes in different colour reflections to cater to any interior.
The Heliacal floor lamp by OS & OOS for Fontana Arte is inspired by the rising of the sun. The glass discs are free to rotate such that they block or allow light through, projecting light and shadow at the same time.
The Collapsible Moon by Kazuhiro Yamanaka for Pallucco reflects the simplicity of Japanese design, yet it is a highly functional lighting product. As its name suggests, the device can be collapsed and folded, thanks to a special technical fabric. A LED strip, in a variety of colours, allows it to be placed at the edge of the circular frame, which then diffuses light toward the centre of the disc.
TREND 4: BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Our feathered friends seemed to have inspired a handful of lighting designers at Euroluce 2017. These creative individuals showed us that Mother Nature’s handiwork can add something extra to artificial lightings. Whimsical and visually captivating, these luminaires possess the poetic grace of birds perching on branches, awaiting to take flight.
Our picks: What could be more enchanting than watching birds perch on a branch, singing, grooming and just minding their own business? Designed by Umut Yamac, the Perch Light Tree, manufactured by Moooi, is a striking chandelier where folded paper birds sit on a brass tree frame.
From the Yanzi range of lighting pieces by the Filipino-Taiwanese husband-and-wife duo of Neri&Hu, you can tell that these renowned architects don’t take life too seriously. Made by Artemide, these joyous creations feature birds on balanced, brass structures, emanating light to sophisticated interiors.
The mesmerising Gaku lamp by Nendo for Flos proves that Japanese designers have much to offer the world of furniture and lighting. End-users can use the supplied bowl, mirror, tray, bookends, vase or bird and stick them to the square frame via magnets, creating a bespoke LED lamp. There is also a wireless version, where the lamp can be powered via induction charging while frames come in wood, black vanished or natural ash.