Strong arguments against LEDs, despite their improved efficiency and lifespan, include harsh brightness and lack of interchangeability with other bulbs and lamps. Italian-based lighting design company Foscarini has a solution to the gripes against LEDs—make the bulbs they need themselves.
In 2012, Foscarini obtained the UNI EN ISO 14001: 2004, an Italian certification for organizations marking establishment and implementation of an environmental management system and a dedication to sustainability. Foscarini’s president Carlo Urbinati says “the company has a commitment to operate in respect of the environment and with the continuous goal to reduce the impact of its activities. Furthermore, we strive to create timeless designs, untied to current trends. This way we are always promoting longer use of our products, which is really the essence of a more sustainable future.”
The sleek designs from the company have evolved since the company’s inception in 1981, like with recent addition of LED lamps, which led the company to realize the design benefits of making the bulbs themselves. The latest series exemplifying environmental commitment is in the Allegro LED line, which includes light sources designed and produced by Foscarini. The aluminum, hanging lamps are fully assembled by the company after hefty research and development to determine the best option for each lamp.
“We set the bar high for our LED lamps in that we are only satisfied when the LED versions of our lamps are able to achieve the same emotion and natural feeling light as the original design. This usually requires us to produce our own light source, rather than use a standard LED solution available,” says Urbinati. In addition to lamps always having the appropriate light for the design, producing the light source has the added environmental benefit of lamps being user-ready upon delivery and eliminating of energy used to produce and transport bulbs from elsewhere.
Other lines have evolved to include LEDs such as the award-winning Mite lamps designed by Marc Sadler and debuted in 2000. The tall, cylindrical lamps are ideal candidates for bright LEDs by dispersing light throughout the design and maximizing its size. Check out a video about the design behind the Mite below.
Foscarini will debut new sustainable designs this year, which in addition to annual exhibitions in Milan will make their way into the company's two physical locations—Foscarini Spazio Brera in Milan and Foscarini Spazio Soho in New York City.