Portable lamps may not be as grand as chandeliers, but they remain a significant part of every home. It offers something that either desk or standing lamps cannot fulfill: flexibility. With no extensions to lug around, you can bring them with you anywhere. Plus in keeping with today’s modern times, you can charge them with any of your usual USB ports (some are even USB-C), which means that you don’t have to bother with changing the batteries too.
While you can’t always rely on it exclusively as sources of light (although this home with no overhead light fixtures may suggest otherwise), even when switched off, they can be very svelte pieces of home decor as well. Lamp Downlight
Which is why with so many design choices for this type of lighting, I feel it’s best to present you with 7 of some of my most favourite aesthetically pleasing portable lamps. As a result of the collaboration between some of the leading lighting brands and creative geniuses of today, these items, at the very least, are a great source of inspiration:
Even when switched off, The Flos Last Order table lamp is a great addition to a minimalistic home. It is actually a continuation of the table lights originally created for the Four Seasons restaurant in New York City. What’s cool is that renowned designer M. Anastassiades actually referenced ancient columns in conceiving this design, which comes in either clear or fluted transparent solid crystal base.
So unlike regular lamps, the light diffuses through the base. When switched on, it truly reminds me of an ancient column lit by torches.
Produced by Flos – the Italian lighting giant – there are various options available for the top cover, from metal to colour finishes. This includes stainless steel, brass, satin copper, or a green opal coating.
You can order it from the Flos Official Shop at €378.
The Bicoca Table Lamp is akin to a miniature spotlight in my book. Aside from its elegant and stylish design, the shade is actually adjustable. It allows you to change the angle and tilt of the light to anywhere you need it to focus. This is perfect for late night reading, when you don’t want to wake up your significant other, or wreck some retinas from reading off a lit screen at night. Real books FTW!
Made out of a lightweight polycarbonate, the collection is available in a variety of colours, ranging from baby blue to bright yellow. You can recharge it via a USB charger, which is already included. The lamp has additional accessories available, allowing you to secure it in its place – even on uneven surfaces. For example, a magnet can be fixed to the bottom of the fixture, allowing you to place it to metal surfaces. Or an armchair accessory to drape over armrests, sofa backs, or headboards – this makes the Market Bicoca Table Lamp an even more flexible version than most table lamps.
I must admit that I’m a fan of the old-school look, or, at least, designs of an era long gone. And this Obello Table Lamp produced by Gubi is one such item. Designed by Bill Curry in 1972, he drew his inspiration from LA’s 1970s pop culture, including the space race and the atomic age, and not at all hallucinogenic mushrooms which we’ll pretend weren’t a ‘70s pastime. Now, 50 years later, Gubi has resurrected the design.
Aside from its style, what sets Obello Table Lamp apart is that it’s the first of its kind. It’s crafted from a single piece of frosted mouth-blown glass, and is thus the first single-module lamp. When fully charged (it takes about 4 and a half hours), this lamp can stay on for up to 40 hours. One drawback though: it’s only available in a white finish.
You can order it from the Gubi Official Store at €249.
Here’s another contemporary portable lamp designed for minimalists. This time, the designer who conceived this is Philippe Malouin, a London-based, award-winning designer. His list of clientele includes Swarovski and Umbra. While it only comes in a black finish, its universal colour will work well in any home. And needless to say, it’s a great lamp for those who have monochromatic home styles, particularly black and white.
Untethered, its lithium battery offers 6-30 hours of use depending on which of its 4 settings are used – night, ambient, reading or task. Travel ready, the stem is also demountable for easy flat packing.
The lamp has a lithium battery which allows it to store a charge ranging from 6 up to 30 hours of use, which depends on which of its 4 settings are used (night, ambient, reading, or task). Don’t look down on its small frame too, as The Arca Portable Lamp comes with a single and powerful 110lm LED module. You can also remove the stem from the base for easy packing in case you want to bring it with you on trips.
You can order it from the Mattermade US Store at US$325.
Dubbed by the makers as a contemporary candle, this lamp creates a warm and cosy atmosphere similar to the real thing. But that’s where the similarities end. The SALT & PEPPER Table Lamp by Tobias Grau has a splash-proof surface and a touch-sensitive head for easy dimming adjustment. Its conical, hourglass shape makes it easy to carry. It also gives off a 360 degrees warm glow, which offers up to 100 hours of light when used in the dimmest option. This seems like the lamp you want to bring to a BBQ pit, or into your glamping tent.
Unlike most table lamps out there too, the SALT & PEPPER Table Lamp offers a touch that makes sense when it comes to dimming the light. Hold on for a longer press to dim it, or to brighten it.
Perhaps there’s more to the name SALT & PEPPER, but I never got to learn how it relates to this design. Except maybe because it comes in two colours – dark and light matte – which is like salt and pepper.
You can order it from the Tobias Grau Shop at €398.
This Panthella Portable Lamp is the smallest version of the iconic Panthella Table Lamp from 1971. Compared to other Scandinavian contemporaries of his time, designer Verner Panton created his lamps with a sense of personality. Because of its small scale, you can easily carry this around to the patio, living room, or bedroom.
It only comes in a white opal finish, yet it’s a perfect colour to complement its glare-free and diffused light. The lamp can be charged via USB and comes with an integrated LED light source. If you want to add charm and elegance to any space, this Panthella Portable Lamp is one of your best options. It also comes in a mini version too, with a variety of colours that will complement any space looking for a stylish addition.
You can order it from Xtra at $505.
The Fatboy Bolleke LED lamp isn’t really a table lamp in a conventional sense, as its shape is spherical. You can either just place it on a table, or hang it anywhere using its rubber loop, which is akin to a huge hairband. And since this is waterproof, it can withstand any sudden Singapore showers. This lamp was conceived by Netherlands designer Nathalie Schellekens, who focuses on incorporating pragmatic features in her iconic designs.
Bolleke LED Lamp is a smart and stylish lamp that you can charge via USB. Its battery can last for up to 24 hours. With three different light settings, you can enjoy the cosy ambience it creates from 6 to 24 hours. Whether you decide to hang the Bolleke LED lamp on your balcony or your child’s bedroom, you’re sure to have uniform lighting all around with this illuminated pearl.
This is, incidentally, a perfect extra touch for your Christmas tree this season.
These lamps are just the tip of the iceberg of what you can find – online and offline- to elevate your home’s charm. When choosing a lamp, just remember that it’s not just about the light but how it interacts with its immediate surroundings. I can always tell I’ve gotten myself a good piece when the portable lamp adds to the room’s ambience, even when it’s switched off.
Adriano is an old school real estate guy. Prior to establishing his own architectural/engineering design firm in New York City, he’s worked for a Brooklyn-based developer developing multifamily residential projects across the 5-Boroughs. In Singapore, he has experience with managing hospitality projects and rehabilitation of conservation shophouses. In his free time, he enjoys photography.
My name is Sean and our goal is to help home buyers and sellers in Singapore make the best decision for themselves. Have a question in mind? Send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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