As a Feather


Let There Be Light

Experience is a dim lamp, which only lights the one who bears it.

- Louis-Ferdinand Celine

A new generation of light fixtures provides little illumination, but lots of atmosphere - from mood indigo to pretty in pink.  Many of the fixtures change colour, washing over rooms with their hues.  Other low-level lights can replace drippy wax candles on a table.  Some have L.E.D. bulbs, which are rechargeable and never burn out.  But if you are looking for a good reading light, these won't fit the bill...

The Mood Light is a wall lamp that constantly changes colour.  A remote control adjusts the colour patterns and the rate at which they change.
A 20-inch-square unit with four colours is $399; nine units are shown above.  At Lee's Studio, 220 West 57th Street, (877) 544-4869


The 24-inch-long 13 Slide Light gives a low-level background glow.
Personal slides mounted in glass can be inserted into the fixture,
which hangs vertically or horizontally; $250. A four-foot-long version is $325;
at the Terence Conran Shop, 407 East 59th Street, (866) 755-9079 or


The Flora Dee table lamp, by Ingo Maurer, is a circuit board
with 221 lo-watt L.E.D. bulbs.  The lights turn on and off
when the lamp is touched; $2,940 at Moss, 146 Greene Street
(Houston Street), (866) 888-6677 or


The Spike Wall Light by Tom Kirk, a London designer, is an anodised aluminum box with multicolour resin spikes lighted by a hidden neon tube.
It comes in two sizes: 7 inches by 38 inches ($590) or 40 inches square ($3,250) at the Terence Conran Shop


Three 150-watt halogen bulbs fit inside Nur, a 22"-diameter spunaluminum dome.
A remote control changes the colour.  It can be set to stay one colour
or change automatically every 10 seconds as it works its way through the spectrum.
Nur by Artemide is $2,500 for showroom locations nationally.


The Yin is a four-foot-high plastic cylinder, which covers four l00-watt halogen bulbs
and four colour filters. The lamp is operated by a remote control with 11 settings
to change the colours; $2,900 from Artemide.


The Star L.E.D. wireless lamp has one L.E.D. bulb.
It operates with three rechargeable batteries and comes with
a transformer that can be plugged into any wall socket; $195
at the MoMA Design Store, 44 West (Crosby Street), (800) 447-6662


The Ombra wall sconce changes colours
when you rotate the knobs at the sides of the fixture;
$815 from the Lighting Center, 240 East 59th Street
 (212) 888-8385.


Handblown glass globes come in orange, green or yellow.
Each holds a 15-watt incandescent bulb; $79 at Lee's Studio.


The Happy Candle has an L.E.D. bulb that turns on and off
and changes colour when the tip is pressed.
It operates on a rechargeable battery; $189 at Lee's Studio.

See also:

bulletA Chair-i-table Effort - for some truly unusual chairs and tables (along with some information on what makes a chair great...)

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