Halogen bulbs revolutionised home lighting.

Richard Sapper ‘Tizio’ Table Lamp Artemide, Italy, 1972
Richard Sapper ‘Tizio’ Table Lamp Artemide, Italy, 1972

The halogen bulb is the first new invention to completely transform the lighting industry since Thomas Alva Edison succeeded in creating the incandescent lamp by successfully making a loop of carbonized cotton thread glow in a vacuum for 40 hours.

Arrived in the 1970s

It made its way into homes in the early 1970s as the driving force behind the svelte Tizio lamp, accompanied by a barrage of accolades praising its flawless design and an ideal functionality. It quickly evolved into the silicon chip of lighting, fundamentally altering the design of ordinary lamps in the same way that chips did for computers.

Xenon halogen lamp (105 W) for replacement purposes with an E27 screw base
Xenon halogen lamp (105 W) for replacement purposes with an E27 screw base

Benefits: lower cost

The accomplishments of this supreme lighting device are now legendary. It can generate 10 times as much light as an incandescent bulb. A 100-watt halogen bulb, 2.5 by.25 inches in size, produces 1,800 lumens, compared to a 100-watt incandescent bulb that is about 4.5 inches long and 2.25 inches in diameter. It lasts up to seven times longer than its bigger brother while using roughly half the power and producing half the heat.

Design greatest impact

The tiny, adaptable halogen has, however, had the greatest influence on design. Lamps are no longer clunky necessities that test the creativity of designers. Now, recessed halogen lighting works well in small spaces, and a single halogen torchiere illuminates an entire room. Modern halogen lamps are sculptural, functional works of art that are often suitable for museum collections.
However, the superbulb’s early years were modest. E.H. Wiley and E.G. Fridrich, two General Electric scientists in Cleveland, created the mini bulb for home use in 1959. The bulb was first filled with a mixture of halogens, including iodine, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and astatine.

Before marching triumphantly into the home, the halogen bulb spent a dozen rather obscure years illuminating two American institutions: football fields and parking lots.

Italian Designers transform the Halogen

It was the Italians who first made this American invention a household star. Richard Sapper, the designer of the celebrated Tizio lamp, pleads necessity. Sapper produced the sleek Tizio for Artemide in 1971. He says he designed it “because I needed a good work lamp for myself.”

As elegant and gracefully balanced as an Alexander Calder mobile, the Tizio has become a coveted symbol of the ’80s. New York City’s Museum of Modern Art included the Tizio in its permanent collection in 1973, and it remains a top seller, at a price higher than a good armchair, in the museum’s gift shop.

Sapper’s sleek use of the diminutive halogen dynamo spawned remarkable lamps by other Italian designers. Marco Zotta’s precisely balanced Arcobaleno is also in the Museum of Modern Art’s design collection. Achille Castiglioni’s Bip-bip, from Atelier International, has a wire halo perched on a thin stem.

Until recently, most halogen lamps were European imports, but international designers are at the drawing board to reclaim this American Invention.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

Halogen Lamps – Newspapers.com. (1986, August 7). Newspapers.Com; http://www.newspapers.com. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/106579213/halogen-lamps/

Advertisements

Interiors – Amazon

* This website may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on links at no additional cost to you.  As an Amazon and Sovrn affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Advertisements

More Lighting Design

  • Metalarte – Spanish lighting firm

    Metalarte – Spanish lighting firm

    The Riera family owns Metalarte. In the 1960s, the company began producing a Modern line of lighting alongside its historicist turned-brass models. The 1975 Calder halogen swivel table lamp by Enric Franch was an exception to a return to conservative production. Read More →

  • Halogen bulbs revolutionised home lighting.

    Halogen bulbs revolutionised home lighting.

    The halogen bulb is the first new invention to completely transform the lighting industry since Thomas Alva Edison succeeded in creating the incandescent lamp by successfully making a loop of carbonized cotton thread glow in a vacuum for 40 hours.Read More →

  • Livio Castiglioni (1911 – 1979) 🇮🇹 Italian industrial designer

    Livio Castiglioni (1911 – 1979)  🇮🇹 Italian industrial designer

    In 1938, Castiglioni and his brother Pier Giacomo Castiglioni set up a studio with Luigi Caccia Dominioni, which closed in 1940. Read More →

  • Boris-Jean Lacroix (1902-1984) 🇫🇷 French Lighting Designer

    Boris-Jean Lacroix (1902-1984) 🇫🇷 French Lighting Designer

    Boris-Jean Lacroix (1902-1984) was a French Lighting Designer born in Paris. Biography Lacroix was aRead More →

  • Josef Pohl (1894 – 1975) Czech lighting designer

    Josef Pohl (1894 – 1975) Czech lighting designer

    Josef Pohl (1894 – 1975) was a Czech lighting designer. He designed the 1929 precursor of the adjustable lamp. Gerd Balzer produced his model. As part of its Kamden collection, Korting und Mathieson created a similar lamp. Pohl and others at the Bauhaus also executed the prototype adjustable wall lamp illustrated in Staaliches Bauhaus, Weimar and produced by Jucker. In 1932, Balzer and Pohl were given the task of coordinating Bauhaus students’ work, which culminated in a competition for conference and furniture design.Read More →

  • Andre Salomon (1891 -1970) French Lighting Engineer

    Andre Salomon (1891 -1970) French Lighting Engineer

    He was an engineer at Tompson before setting up the small electrical firm Perfécla (Perfectionnement de I’Ecla), regularly working with architects and designers, including Pierre Chareau, and André Lurcat, René Herbst, and architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. For the latter, he produced the widely published 1929 lighting fixture designed by Francis Jourdain in the form of a suspended concave metal ring projecting rays onto the ceiling and reflecting a soft indirect light elsewhere. Read More →

  • Kurt Versen (1901 – 1997) Swedish lighting designer

    Kurt Versen (1901 – 1997) Swedish lighting designer

    In the 1940s and 1950s, executed many assignments from architects for flexible lighting appropriate to Modern interiors.Read More →

  • Walter Kantack (1889 – 1953) – American Lighting Designer

    Walter Kantack (1889 – 1953) – American Lighting Designer

    Walter Kantack was an American Lighting Designer born in Meriden, Connecticut. He completed his studies at the Pratt Institute in New York.Read More →

  • Arteluce Italian Lighting Firm (1939)

    Arteluce Italian Lighting Firm (1939)

    Arteluce Italian Lighting Firm it was one of the modest businesses that contributed to Italian design’s international success in the 1950s. READ MORERead More →

  • Lisa Johansson-Pape (1907 – 1989) Finnish Designer

    Lisa Johansson-Pape (1907 – 1989) Finnish Designer

    Between 1928-30, she designed furniture for Kylmakoski; 1928—37, she was a textile designer for Friends of Finnish Handicraft. From 1952, its artistic director, 1937—49, was furniture, textile, and interior designer for Stockmann, Helsinki. Read More →

  • Flos Italian Lighting Manufacturer

    Flos Italian Lighting Manufacturer

    Dino Gavina established the lighting firm Flos in 1962 to complement his furniture manufacturing at Gavina. In Merano, at first, it moved to the Brescia area. Maria Sinoncini and Cesare Cassina were directors, followed by Sergio Gandini. Read More →

  • Adolf Loos (1870 – 1933) – Moravian Architect and Designer

    Adolf Loos (1870 – 1933) – Moravian Architect and Designer

    Between 1893-96, he travelled to America and worked as a mason and floor layer. He saw the work of the Chicago School, including William Le Baron Jenny, Burnham and Root, and Louis Sullivan. He settled in Vienna in 1896 and began to write and work as a designer and architect, turning away from the Vienna Sezession style and abandoning all decoration and ornamentationRead More →

  • Louis Poulsen Danish Lighting Manufacturer

    Louis Poulsen Danish Lighting Manufacturer

    The company began manufacturing in the 1920s. Poul Henningsen’s well-known ceiling lamp for Poulsen was put in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Tugendhat residence in Brno from 1929 to 1939.Read More →

  • Lapo Binazzi (b.1943) Italian Designer

    Lapo Binazzi (b.1943) Italian Designer

    Lap Binazzi (b.1943) is an Italian Designer born and professionally active in Florence. Education HeRead More →

  • Yki Nummi (1925 – 1984) Finnish Interior Designer & Colourist

    Yki Nummi (1925 – 1984) Finnish Interior Designer & Colourist

    The versatile designer Yki Nummi (1925-1984) was born in China to a missionary family. He studied in Finland and after graduating from the University of Art and Design Helsinki, he was hired as a lamp designer for Orno. His most famous products are the timeless icons Modern Art table lamp and Skyflier pendant lamp.Read More →

  • The Wit and Humour of the Gibigiana Table Lamp

    The Wit and Humour of the Gibigiana Table Lamp

    Castiglioni’s approach to design is characterised by wit and humour, which is portrayed here by a shape that resembles an animal or bird. The Gibigiana is a table light that may be adjusted. It includes a dimmer and produces reflected light. Read More →

  • Jean Perzel (1892 – 1986) Austrian Lighting Designer

    Jean Perzel (1892 – 1986) Austrian Lighting Designer

    He began painting on glass at a young age and worked as a stained glass artist in Munich. He worked in many workshops in Paris starting in 1919, including Jacques Gruber’s. He saw that electric illumination was nothing more than a transformation of oil lamps and candlesticks. He made his first lamps in the style of Romanesque church windows. Read More →

  • Triana floor standing lamp from metalarte

    Triana floor standing lamp from metalarte

    Triana is a floor lamp from yesteryear. One metre tall, elegant and stately. With a sculptural body and chintz lampshade. SEE MORERead More →

  • Eclipse Minimalist Lighting from Lee Broom

    Eclipse Minimalist Lighting from Lee Broom

    Eclipse Minimalist Lighting from Lee Broom. One of four new lighting collections to be launched during Salone del Mobile (2018). Read MORERead More →

  • Serge Mouille (1922- 1988) French Lighting Designer

    Serge Mouille (1922- 1988) French Lighting Designer

    Serge Mouille was a French Lighting Designer; he was born and active in Paris. Mouille studied silversmithing, École des Artes Appliqués, Paris to 1941.Read More →

  • Gingko Octagon One Plus Portable Alarm Desk Light- Walnut

    Gingko Octagon One Plus Portable Alarm Desk Light- Walnut

    The New Octagon One Plus Desk Lamp has the same exquisite design as the global multi-award winning Octagon One Desk Lamp. Read More →

More design articles

❤️ Receive our newsletter

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.