For 99 percent of human history, there was little concept of doing anything after nightfall except, well, making more humans. Today, all we have to do is flip a switch—but we've all been doing that a little too much. (Candlelight is definitely primed for a comeback.) A few years ago, I designed SwitchLamp, which forces you to confront the specialness of light every time you turn it on. Here are some other pieces by people who make light seem almost as interesting as the dark.
The world's first designer low-energy light bulb. The dynamic, sculptured form provides a welcome contrast to the mostly dull shapes of other low-energy bulbs. The Plumen 001 is a centerpiece, not afterthought.
Plumen 001 by Plumen, $30 at www.plumen.com
Studies have shown that bright-light therapy increases vitality and energy levels during the wintertime. The Kubo's clear geometric lines and playful design create an enjoyable atmosphere around this softly dispersed light.
Kubo lamp by Innosol, $494 at www.innosol-lichtterapie.nl
Excel Floor Lamp
The New York City based design trio, Rich Brilliant Willing, has come up with one of my favorite floor lamps to date. It somehow makes something very simple and spare the centerpiece of any setting.
Excel floor lamp by Rich Brilliant Willing, $1,800 at www.rollandhill.com
—By Joe Doucet