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LED Lights the Way at Light! Design Expo

At Light! Design Expo, LED technology raises the bar on design and function.

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Print Pendant, RBW Lighting
The Print Pendant from Rich Brilliant Willing Lighting has an opalescent finish.

There is a lighting exposition that comes regularly San Francisco. It’s geared toward people that are not able to get to New York or Las Vegas for LightFair, which is the lighting industry’s most massive convention. This one is called Light! Design Expo. Size-wise, it is much more manageable. Usually there are around 150 exhibitors. It’s always exciting to see what the new innovations are. Here are my top choices for what is worth your attention.

Double Disc Best, The Lighting Doctor

First on the list is a disk-shaped luminaire (shown above) that can both be a wall sconce or a ceiling mount fixture. It is called the Ginger and is made by Marset Lighting. I’ve always been advocating for lighting manufacturers to offer their LED fixtures in temperatures that are warmer than 2700° kelvin. Now, many are offering warm-dim technology which does go down to 2400° kelvin or 2200° kelvin. This makes me very happy. 

This particular fixture is actually 2700° Kelvin, but the rusty copper color gives it a much warmer glow. It comes in two sizes and is rated for exterior use, which is a big bonus.

Santa Cole, Randall Whitehead
Next, take a look at this wall sconce, which is also available in a portable table version. it has the warm glow of candlelight. It is made by Santa & Cole. They are an Italian company. 

Everything they have in their line is UL listed for the United States. This is wonderful news. Here’s why: When seeing lighting shows in the European countries, there are always amazing and cutting-edge designs. Unfortunately, most of them never make it to the United States because the cost of getting a UL listing for each fixture can be cost-prohibitive. What happens is that these companies will choose the fixtures that are more generic and will sell more easily and in greater numbers in the U.S. market. We generally miss out on the really good stuff. 


Lucifer Pendant, Amber

Lucifer Pendant Uplight
This fascinating pendant fixture is made by Lucifer Lighting. It is called the Stellr LED Pendant. There are micro-particles embedded within the glass. When the light is off, it appears clear, but when it is turned on it becomes translucent. This wonderful fixture has the ability to both provide downlighting and indirect lighting, as well as a glowing decorative element. Each of these functions can be controlled separately. It comes in 2700K but can be ordered in a warmer color temperature or with warm-dim capabilities. Even though this is a translucent piece, there is no glare.


Rich Brilliant Willing, The Lighting Doctor
This is another fixture that I was drawn to. It is called the Print Pendant (shown above). This is made by a company called Rich Brilliant Willing Lighting, aka RBW Lighting. How’s that for a great name?

This one has an opalescent finish and it provides a beautiful warm glow. It is 16 inches in diameter and 12 inches tall. There are also ceiling-mount and wall-mount versions available as well. What’s also great is that it is available in glass or plastic, for those areas where the decorative fixtures needed to be a little bit more durable. 


The Elle, Axis Lighting

I was fascinated by this light fixture called the Elle, by Axis Lighting (shown above). Think of it as illuminated crown molding. It tucks in at the top of the wall where the wall meets the ceiling. This is especially useful for hallways in hospitals, hotels, and senior residence centers. The even glow adds even ambient illumination to a space and replaces the need for center fixtures. It is available in warm-dim and also fixed color temperatures from 2700K to 4000K. It can be ordered in lengths up to 8 feet, in 6-inch increments.


Lumetta, Randall Whitehead
I found this fixture also intriguing. It is called the Shadow Box and is made by Lumetta, Inc. There is an inside translucent shade which is surrounded by a second large shade. The outer shade is available in many pattern options. This shade material is antimicrobial. It is also washable and fade-resistant. This version is 27 inches tall.

Bottom line: Every time I think that all which can be designed has been designed there are people out there finding ways to make LED light become even better and more alluring.

All photos: Randall Whitehead, the Lighting Doctor

Randall Whitehead headshot

Randall Whitehead is an educator and author on the subject of lighting design. His work has been featured in many magazines, including Architectural Digest, Home & Garden and Esquire. He has appeared as a guest expert on HGTV, Discovery, CNN and Martha Stewart Living Radio.

His Latest book Beautiful Light outlines how to create successful and subtly beautiful LED lighting designs for homes and gardens. Available through Amazon and Rutledge Books.

You can see his entertaining 1-minute instructional videos at furniturelightingdecor.com. And you can follow him on Instagram:  @randall.whitehead


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