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Midcentury lighting

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1970s Abo Randers Danish tall Stat pop art ball lamp in red

Standing 36 cm tall, this tall vintage pop-art style desk/table/bedside lamp has a strong and glossy..

£95.00

1970s purple table/desk lamp by Abo Randers of Denmark

Standing 36 cm high, this tall vintage pop-art style desk/table/bedside lamp has a strong and glossy..

£95.00

Askepot industrial-style pendant light by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup, 1970s

Askepot, which translates into English as Cinderella, is an unusual industrial-style Jo Hammerborg p..

£175.00

Award-winning Piccolo orange and chrome table lamp by Lyfa of Denmark, 1970s

The International Forum (iF) Product Design Awards have been presented annually since 1953 to produc..

£299.00

Central industrial pendant light by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup, 1967

Designed in 1967 with a diameter of 22.5cm and height of 31.5cm, the Central is a member of Jo Hamme..

£199.00

Chocolate brown LilleBror wall lamp/spotlight by Louis Poulsen of Denmark, 1970s

Dating from the mid 1970s (the vintage advert included above is from a November 1976 magazine), this..

£99.00

Corona Danish art light by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup, early 60s

With its futuristic rocket-shaped outline, Jo Hammerborg's Corona is a space-age classic and beautif..

£320.00

Dania pendant light designed by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup, 1960s

Designed by Fog & Mørup's head of design Jo Hammerborg and produced by F&M in the late 1960s..

£375.00

Danish 1950s midcentury modern pendant light by Bent Karlby for Lyfa

Designed by Danish architect-designer Bent Karlby and produced by Lyfa in the 1950s, this midcentury..

£320.00

Danish hygge style Matador lamp by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup, 1960s

A little known and rarely seen Jo Hammerborg design entitled Matador, this is the perfect lamp for c..

£199.00

Danish modern pendant light in brass, designed by Bent Karlby for Lyfa, 1960s

Danish architect Bent Karlby's classic Pan pendant light was made in the 1960s in two versions, a pl..

£475.00

Danish modern Zenith pendant light by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup

One of Hammerborg’s most easily recognised and most widely imitated design concepts was a structure ..

£120.00

Danish space-age ball pendant lights pair in glossy bright orange, 1960s

These glossy, bright orange space-age pendant lights were made in Denmark in the 1960s and are based..

£199.00

Data pendant light by Bjarne Bo for Fog & Mørup, 1970s orange

An ultra-rare collectors' item, this ufo-like pendant light was created at the beginning of the 1970..

£99.00

Eiffel modernist pendant light by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup, mid 1960s

Dating to the late 1950s/early 60s, the Eiffel (aka the Eifel) was one of Jo Hammerborg's earliest d..

£245.00

ES Horn of Denmark space age wall/table/spot lamps pair, 60s/70s

Larger and more substantial than the usual Danish ball lamps from the 60s and 70s, these v..

£99.00

ES Horn of Denmark white space-age ball-shaped pendant light, 1960s/70s

This classic space-age glossy white enamelled steel pendant light was made by Danish lighting compan..

£120.00

Green Falcon pendant light by Andreas Hansen for Fog & Morup, 1960s

The Falcon was designed by Andreas Hansen for Fog & Mørup in the early 1960s, this example in a ..

£299.00

Hydra II pendant light designed by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup, 1969

A decade after creating his seminal and much-copied Saturn pendant light, Jo Hammerborg designed the..

£245.00

Kvadrille wall, table or shelf lamp designed by Bent Karlby for Lyfa, 1960s

Designed by architect Bent Karlby and produced by Lyfa in the late 1960s, the Kvadrille is a Danish ..

£450.00

Mandalay pendant lamp designed by Andreas Hansen for Louis Poulsen

Designed by Andreas Hansen and produced in the 1970s by Louis Poulsen A/S, the Mandalay has a diamet..

£145.00

Metro pendant light designed by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup

A classic early (pre-1963) Jo Hammerborg design in his much-imitated signature copper-and-black comb..

£275.00

Midcentury 1950s Danish designer cased glass pendant light by Lyfa

This high-quality 1950s pendant lighting fixture was produced by Danish lighting company Lyfa and is..

£235.00

Nova pendant light designed by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup, early 1960s

First issued by Fog & Mørup in 1963, Jo Hammerborg's Nova was produced in three versions – ..

£275.00

Optima white ufo pendant light by Hans Due for Fog & Mørup, early 1970s

Hans Due's ufo-like Optima lamp series was launched by Fog & Mørup in October 1972 in white, wit..

£125.00

Orange and brown Milieu by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup

Jo Hammerborg's early 1970s Milieu pendant light series was produced by Fog & Mørup in three siz..

£275.00

Orange Facet-Pop Danish art light designed by Louis Weisdorf for Lyfa

Designed by Danish architect Louis Weisdorf and issued by Lyfa in 1970, the Facet-Pop is constructed..

£195.00

Orient Major pendant light designed by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup

The first five years of Jo Hammerborg's 23-year reign as head of design at Fog & Mørup were the ..

£499.00

Rare brushed aluminium Fog & Mørup Semi pendant light for Norway, 1960s

The Semi was designed in 1967 by Claus Bonderup and Torsten Thorup and was one of Fog & Mørup's ..

£295.00

Rare golden Facet pendant light by Louis Weisdorf for Lyfa, late 1960s

Designed by Louis Weisdorf in 1963 and produced by Lyfa from 1966, the Facet pendant light is constr..

£265.00

Red Ny-Mag ball lamp pair by Abo Randers of Denmark, 1960s

Offered as a matching pair (but with non-matching on/off switches), these top-quality vintage pop..

£90.00

Red Semi pendant light by Bonderup and Thorup for Fog & Mørup, late 1960s

Designed in 1967 by Claus Bonderup and Torsten Thorup and put into production by Fog & Mørup whi..

£275.00

Red space-age ball lamp by ES Horn Belysning A/S of Denmark

This Danish space-age ball lamp was produced in the 1970s by ES Horn Belysning of Aalestru..

£45.00

Regent spun aluminium and ebonised wood table lamp by Jo Hammerborg

The Regent is an elegant table lamp designed by Jo Hammerborg in the mid-1960s and produced by top D..

£199.00

Sektor pendant light designed by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup

Designed by Jo Hammerborg and put into production by Fog & Mørup in the mid 1970s, the uncomprom..

£120.00

Sera pendant light designed by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup, 1960s

The Sera pendant light first appears in the record in 1968 and with its diameter of 38cm and height ..

£245.00

Small orange ES Horn Belysning of Denmark ball pendant spotlight, 1960s/70s

Measuring 13 cm in diameter and height, this small ball pendant is designed for use as a h..

£65.00

Space-age Danish Pantre art light designed by Bent Karlby for Lyfa, late 1960s

Pantre (Three-Pan in English) is one of several panpipe-themed lights Danish architect-designer Bent..

£299.00

Top-quality classic Danish modern layered pendant lamp by Form-Light

This stunning multilayered pendant light fixture is an original and rarely seen Danish Form-Lig..

£650.00

Vesuv pendant light pair by Jo Hammerborg for Fog & Mørup, 1960s

Jo Hammerborg's early 1960s Vesuv came in two sizes, and here we have a rarely seen example of both ..

£450.00

Vintage Danish modern art lamp with psychedelic aurora effect, 1980s

Offered for sale individually (the price shown is for one lamp but we have two available), these spe..

£499.00

About midcentury lighting

Lighting is an essential element of midcentury modern design, playing a key role in the aesthetics and functionality of modernist interiors. In Denmark, the birthplace of midcentury modern, lighting design has been treated as an integral part of architecture ever since Danish modernist design principles first emerged in the mid-20th century, and at the peak of the midcentury era architectural project briefs would invariably include a complete specification for lighting. This is the reason so many Danish architects, including Andreas Hansen, Bent Karlby, Jørn Utzon and Louis Weisdorf, were actively invoved in lamp design in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Why we love midcentury lighting

During the midcentury era the production quality of household fittings like lights and lamps was extremely high, especially in affluent nations like Denmark, and particularly at the luxury end of the market occupied by modern design-driven companies such as Fog & Mørup, Lyfa, Louis Poulsen and Nordisk Solar Compagni. No expense was spared by these companies in the development and production of their light fittings, which were designed and built to last a lifetime.

Inevitably this approach meant the lights were often expensive, sometimes costing the equivalent of a week's average wage at the time. But their high quality means that many of them are still in excellent condition today, half a century or more after they were produced, while their timeless modernist style remains fresh and relevant to both retro modern and contemporary modern homes.

How to use midcentury lighting

The role of lighting in midcentury modern interior design is to help define different activity zones and to create appropriate lighting and atmosphere for each area. These functions originate in the open-plan architecture of midcentury modern interiors, but are also appropriate to non-open-plan layouts. In the midcentury lighting style, instead of using just one or two centrally-positioned light fittings to illuminate an entire room, multiple lights are deployed across different areas to provide specific activity-appropriate illumination.

For example, a localised pool of light beside an armchair or over a coffee table will create a cosy area for reading or relaxing, while a pendant lamp hung just above head height over a dining table can provide a well-lit but glare-free and inviting environment for family meals and entertaining dinner guests. Indeed, one of the defining characteristics of the midcentury modern lighting style is that pendant lamps are often hung low or even very low when they're being used to provide localised ambient light in the Danish hygge mode. Pairs and multiples are also a common feature.

Check out our gallery of original vintage midcentury lighting styles below for ideas and inspiration.

Midcentury lighting styles
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