Inhabitat reporters descended upon the International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Jacob Javits Center in New York last week, ready and excited to take in the freshest eco-conscious furniture design. We expected the presence of innovative lighting designers at the event, but we were surprised to see such a diverse array of energy efficient fixtures and bulbs of all shapes and sizes. Some of these designs venture into complex geometric forms and versatility of use, but Humanscale relies on emergent nanotechnology and tasteful, simple aesthetics to create the elegant low profile of their Horizon LED Task Light. Designers Peter Stathis and Michael McCoy have produced a highly sustainable, fully dimmable, energy-efficient fixture that delivers innovative lighting design in a desirable, graceful package that turned heads at the fair.
The Horizon represents the first utilization of Thin Film Technology in a task light. Several transparent layers of microscopically thin polycarbonate and optical film are surrounded by high-intensity LEDs to produce a wide swath of light with minimal fixture thickness. At the ICFF floor, we were immediately impressed with the effects of this technology on the quality of light emanating from Horizon. The ergonomic lamp emits a glare-free, even plane of light at a warm white 3000K color temperature that beautifully illuminates any environment.
Horizon’s built-in dimmer, with touch sensitive controls, provides additional energy savings with seven adjustable levels of illumination. At each different level, the LEDs flicker at different frequencies, leading to different brightnesses. At full brightness, Horizon consumes 11 Watts of power; at its lowest level of illumination, a nightlight feature operates at 10% of its full capacity, or merely one watt! This versatile feature results in an extended lamp lifespan of up to 60,000 hours.
The Horizon’s green features extend beyond its electronics and energy performance. The Red Dot Award-winning task light is constructed from 95% recyclable content, and most of the frame consists of recycled aluminum. Yet the fixture’s striking aesthetic transcends styles and trends, which together with its robust materials should lead to a long life of maintenance-free use.
The lamp’s elegant base and head are connected via a thin aluminum arm, through which all wiring is pulled in order to preserve a clean aesthetic. These components are connected via spherical joints that allow a wide breadth of movement, enhancing the task light’s versatility. The pivoting arm connects smoothly at both ends, as the design team eschews clunky sockets in favor of extended profiles that wrap around the sphere. This detail is evocative at the lamp head, where the lens smoothly diverges from its flat profile to envelop the pivoting joint in a mystifying glow.
Humanscale’s innovative task light represents an important step in lighting design: the adaptation of technological advances into minimal, exquisite products that anyone would be proud to own; the Horizon task light could represent LED technology’s giant leap into the mainstream lighting fixture market, and a possible lighting revolution!