Poulsen’s IT lamp and the ghost of PH
In view of their seminal influence both in Denmark and internationally, it is no surprise that Poul Henningsen’s ideas on lighting design were guiding the in-house design department at Louis Poulsen even long after his 1967 death. His legacy was explicitly acknowledged in the PH 80, issued by Poulsen in 1974 as a posthumous tribute to the designer’s 80th birthday, and also in the IT desk lamp, designed by Poulsen’s in-house team led by Bent Gansel Boysen and introduced in 1972.
An advertisement for the IT lamp dating from October 1972 ran as follows:
"So Poul Henningsen’s concept of a work light with an elliptical reflector has become reality. The elliptical form provides the best combination of maximum and evenly distributed light, and also creates a focal point, which can be very useful for demanding work or for the partially sighted."
An additional feature of the IT lamp was the so-called 3-lys (3-light) system, first seen the previous year in the Verner Panton-designed Poulsen light the Panthella, whereby a single specially created bulb provided a choice of brightness settings – in the IT lamp’s case 40, 60 and 100 watts. The IT was available in matte black, matte white or chrome.