Piet Hein’s 1969 Ra lamp for Lyfa
Bengt Rooke’s Tidsfasetter, a collation of historical art and design news items from Scandinavia, includes a 1969 piece entitled "Piet and Lux and Lyfa", which reports on the innovation behind Piet Hein’s Ra lamp design for Lyfa (pictured below). Here is our translation:
Piet Hein, the Dane who has achieved world renown as a theorist, inventor and poet, has created a new lamp for Lyfa A/S. Piet Hein calls his lamp the Ra lamp, after the ancient Egyptian sun god. The Ra lamp has been introduced both in Denmark and in the international market, and is based on a new Piet Hein discovery – isoluxfladerne – which basically is a way of providing as much regular light as possible without dazzle. After Grooks and Superelipses and much more, Piet Hein now offers us a bright new light.
We have not translated the Danish term for Piet Hein’s discovery isoluxfladerne, not least because we couldn’t come up with a neat equivalent in English. The word has three components, the first of which – iso – is derived from the Greek word isos, meaning equal. The second component – lux – is the SI unit of illuminance, equal to one lumen per square metre, and more generally means luminescence or simply light. The third component – fladerne – is Danish for surfaces. Piet Hein’s innovation in the Ra lamp is thus, as described in the 1969 news item, the illumination of surfaces in an even (and non-dazzling) manner.