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The Home Front: Portable, rechargeable lighting popular for 2022

Vancouver Sun logo Vancouver Sun 2022-01-14 Rebecca Keillor
Luci portable table lamp by Pablo Designs. © Provided by Vancouver Sun Luci portable table lamp by Pablo Designs.

In the same way people don’t often go back to dealing with plugs and cords once they’ve discovered cordless vacuums, there is a growing demand for portable, rechargeable lighting solutions — table and floor lamps — for indoor and outdoor use.

In Europe, cord-free floor lamps are growing in popularity, especially in restaurant and hospitality settings, says San Francisco-based lighting designer Pablo Pardo, of Pablo Designs.

“It really comes down to a simple realization that a portable light offers more convenience and freedom of applications, wherever one goes,” he says.

They’re also attractive from a cost-saving perspective, says Pardo. As electricity costs are rising in many parts of the world, people charge up their portable lighting during off-peak hours and use them during peak electricity hours.

Pablo Designs recently released a new range of indoor and outdoor portable lights at New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), North America’s biggest contemporary furniture design fair.

 Luci portable floor lamp by Pablo Designs. © Pablo Pardo Luci portable floor lamp by Pablo Designs.

These lights are designed with the latest in lithium-ion battery technology, with some of their lights running for hundreds of hours before recharging is required, says Pardo.

These lights have been designed specifically with hotels and restaurants in mind; to be free of the need for electrical sockets and allow for the ultimate freedom of movement and low maintenance, he explains.

Luci is a portable indoor/outdoor light made from aluminum and offers glare-free and cord-free illumination. Being portable, it can be moved around the house and outdoor living areas with little fuss.

Pablo Design’s Nivél table and floor lamp is portable and rechargeable and has a furniture feel. Designed with a hardwood post and height-adjustable tray and lampshade.

Because these lights have the latest LED technology, Pardo says that users can tune and focus their lighting in ways not possible before and create a candle or torch-like environment when they desire.

Pardo and his fellow designers follow a human-centred design philosophy when creating all their products, he says. Seeking to evoke a sense of calm and balance in whatever environment they’re placed.

 Nivel portable pedestal light by Pablo Designs. © Pablo Pardo Nivel portable pedestal light by Pablo Designs.

The ongoing pandemic has been hard on them all, he says, with many “learnings along the way.”

Like many design studios and businesses, they’ve had to adapt to a work-from-home model combined with studio meet-ups, vital for the design and review process. But, overall, they’ve made it work well, he adds.

Last year was their busiest year yet for Pablo Designs, says Pardo, as their customers spent more time than ever at home with their families, reassessing their furniture and lighting needs.

“They want to upgrade as well as create separate personalized work and leisure zones around the home,” he says.

This year, they’re focusing on reconnecting with their customers at design events and trade shows postponed because of COVID-19.

Pardo predicts we’ll be seeing a lot more portable lighting solutions this year, along with modular, system-based lighting.

“Our new Sky collection represents this approach by leveraging common lighting elements across pendant and flush mount applications while each brings a unique materiel palette and form factor and utility to the user,” he says.



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