90 years of the three-shade principle
In 1926, Poul Henningsen created the first lamps to feature his trail-blazing threeshade principle, which soon became world-famous.
This innovation took as its starting point the logarithmic spiral – a design that proved to make optimal use of the point-shaped light source. Reckoned and calculated.
The shape of the shades was determined by the way they had to shape and reflect the light, and the fixture was designed to be glare-free.
Louis Poulsen commenced production of the three-shade lamps, thus helping disseminate PH’s new perspective on illumination.
A limited family
The copper versions of the PH 3½-3 pendant and PH 3½-2½ table lamps have both become striking successes. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the introduction of PH’s now legendary three-shade principle – which was originally developed in 1926 and fully patented in 1929 – so to celebrate, we are launching a floor lamp from the same exclusive family.
One thing that is for sure is that PH, although he was never one to hide his light Under the proverbial bushel, could hardly have dreamed of the success his trailblazing design concept would achieve.
As he himself said: “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.” There was only one time when he claimed to have created a classic, and that was on the launch of what went on to become the world-famous PH5 pendant. By then, however, he had been working in the sector for more than 30 years and had built up invaluable experience.
Light genius, provocateur, inventor and brand
Poul Henningsen devoted most of his life to taming the incandescent lamp. He had a clear idea about how artificial light should be used by people and for people.
His mantra was glare-free light, and his name is mentioned all over the world whenever people are discussing or seeking knowledge about this concept. He understood how to develop his lamp designs to their very limits as regards both use and shape. Today, his lamps illuminate exhibitions, operating theatres, dental clinics and dining tables in everyday homes.
His tireless input – which was not limited to the field of illumination – made him a brand long before this word took on its contemporary definition. He created the PH brand, which has been firmly linked to Louis Poulsen for décades.
A collector’s item
Some people view it as an investment, others as a collector’s item; whatever the perspective, most people consider it a daily delight to experience illumination from a beautifully refined, painstakingly designed lamp. The light is a chapter unto itself.
No matter whether you choose the top shade in copper or glass, you can be sure of atmospheric, functional and deliciously pleasant lighting.
The copper is untreated, which means it has not been given any kind of surface finishing in the form of lacquer or similar. You can either choose to leave it to develop a charming verdigris from its surroundings, or keep the beautiful shiny surface by polishing it regularly with a non-abrasive polish.
A quiet moment
Rest and relaxation at the end of a long day. Personal space, with time for reflection.
A mental oasis, your own little world.
An armchair, a reading lamp, a good book, the newspaper, craft-work, time for yourself. Time to
recharge your mental batteries. The floor lamp generates intimacy, warmth and cosiness.
One classic icon – two looks
The PH 3½-2½ copper table lamp was launched with two different top shades: a copper version and an opal glass version. The same applies to the PH 3½-2½ copper floor lamp, so the decision to match the table lamp or simply choose the version that best suits the surroundings is yours and yours alone. The glass shade releases diffuse, comfortable light around the lamp itself, while the copper shade with its white-painted lower surface provides a more downward directed, soft light on the area directly below the lamp. Throughout his life and work, Poul Henningsen experimented with different materials, white or coloured, and different combinations of size, but he generally remained committed to either glass or metal shades. Each type has its own special properties: the glass shade is more decorative, allowing the light to spread gently around the lamp. The metal version is more ‘controlling’, reflecting the light and directing it downward, cutting off illumination from the area around and above the lamp.
The two shade options therefore allow you to choose precisely the atmosphere and effect you desire.
“The good light”
“The core of PH’s lighting philosophy is that light culture is both art and design for living.
Light adapted to the laws of physics generates well-being and a perception of space and sense, irrespective of whether we may be eating, making love, working, playing sport, taking lessons or looking at art.
PH was first and foremost an artist. His greatest works of genius are the journal Kritisk Revy (Critical Revue), his film about Denmark (Danmarksfilmen), renewal of the revue – and above all else, the lamp.”
“However, it was as an artist that he kept going to the end, playing with kites and words and light fittings – the models that are still being adapted to suit new settings all over the world. The lamp from 1926 was born of the style revolution of the age, but it transcended it, illustrating the famous PH paradox: ‘Only contemporary art lives for ever’. And the magical lamp certainly does just that.” Extract from the article entitled Det gode lys (The good light), by Hans Hertel, author of the great PH biography. To read the full article (in Danish) go to www.louispoulsen.com.
Design: Poul Henningsen
Concept: The fixture is 100% glare-free, with a design based on the principle of a reflective three-shade system, which directs most of the light downwards. The top shade is available as either mouth-blown opal glass or copper with a white inner surface. The copper top shade has a copper outer surface and a white inner surface that ensures soft, downward light distribution The glass top shade is made of mouth-blown white opal glass and provides more diffuse light. The two lower opal glass shades provide a larger lighting surface to make more efficient use of the light source. The glass shades are polished on the outside and matt on the inside. The downward light is both soft and pleasant.
Surface: Polished, unlacquered copper. White opal glass.
Materials: Top shade: Spun copper or mouth-blown white opal glass. Inner shade: Spun aluminium. Middle and lower shades: Mouth-blown white opal glass. Shade holder: Copper-plated cast brass. Stand: copper.
Installation: Cord type: Plastic with plug. Cord length: 2.5 m. Switch: On the cord
Weight: Max 9.5 kg
Class: Ingress protection IP20. Insulation class I
View the PH 3½-2½ Copper Floor Lamp brochure below, or download it at the right hand side.
See more of the lamp in the video below.