Interior lighting is often an afterthought, with bland boring fixtures that are purely functional – but these 15 innovative lighting designs put the spotlight on the lamps themselves. From wallpaper that lights up in a pretty pattern to a hovering lampshade dripping with blood, each of these modern floor lamps, table lamps and built-in lighting designs are simply beaming with creativity.
Cast Stunning Shadows with Patterned Light Fixtures
When light fixtures are perforated with designs, suddenly the light itself becomes much more interesting. These designs by Sha-do take advantage of the properties of light and shadow, casting stunning patterns of illumination on surrounding surfaces, from intricate curves and waves to simple geometric shapes.
Customizable Bending Desk & Table Lamp
For those dark corners that seem impossible to illuminate with conventional light fixtures, this customizable lamp design will bend to your will. It can be molded and folded into practically any shape, winding around poles or sitting at just the right angle on your desk. The simple, minimalist design would help it fit into practically any interior.
Organic Interactive Foldable Home Lighting
Industrial designer Fredrik Farg created these unusual folding light fixtures, which can function as either hanging lamps or table lamps. Though floral motifs are usually quite traditional looking, Farg’s design is crisp and modern with large, soft pedals that can either support the light or mute it.
Colorful Lamp Seems to Float in Space
When the sun goes down, this innovative lamp design by Kristin Birna Bjarnadottir looks like a jellyfish gracefully floating in the air. Hanging from almost invisible strands of fishing line, the lampshade is made from highly reflective safety cloth that gives it a shimmering, otherworldly quality. Hanging strings finish off the effect, and the whole thing is illuminated from below with an LED light unit.
Surreal Self-Reflecting Table Lamp
When spotting this strange lamp by Oliver Schick, you might wonder whether you’re seeing some kind of odd reflection – which is exactly what the designer is going for. The ‘Self-Reflecting Lamp’ is made up of two generic lamp frames fused with a custom orb, and given that light only streams out from the slits on the bases, it’s more fun than functional.
A Twist on the Boring Bare Bulb
Bare bulbs are not exactly the height of lighting design, but this clever twist turns that idea on its head. A second working socket allows the bulb to be inserted in various ways to a variety of fixtures. It’s minimalist, but fun – the kind of fixture that makes you look twice.
Bathroom Tile Lights Give Subtle Ambiance
When you’ve got a small bathroom, getting rid of as much clutter as possible is the key to making it feel relaxing and spacious. This bathroom lighting idea takes decluttering to the max by getting rid of fixtures altogether and integrating illumination into the tiles. Available in a variety of designs, they can be configured in any way you like to create larger custom designs or provide targeted light.
Whimsical Wall Lighting for Interiors
Minimalism doesn’t have to mean spare, boring light fixtures. This conceptual lighting system by Billy May uses camouflaged lamps in three shapes, nicknamed Hang Nail, Dog Ear and Crevice for various wall surfaces. Once installed, the fixtures look like the wall itself is peeling away to reveal a light source.
Pop-Up Lamps Unfold to Illuminate
Guests that browse your coffee table books will be surprised when they open this one to reveal an actual working pop-up lamp. Made of paper and fabric, this book – which also comes in a street lamp version – has a Victorian-style lamp concealed within, great for ambiance or just as a conversation piece.
Wild Wallpaper Has Built-In Lighting
Another variation on the wall-integrated-lighting concept is light-emitting wallpaper by Jonas Samson. When the light is turned off, it looks like an ordinary wall, but flip the switch and you’ve got illumination and art. It can be set up so that it lights up in a sequence, giving some life to an otherwise blank space.
Quarter-Round Lamps Make Compact Corner Lighting
Lamps never quite fit into corner spaces, taking up much more room than they should. This corner lamp design by Ji Young Shon is basically one-fourth of a lamp, the perfect size and shape to blend effortlessly into spaces that can be quite challenging to decorate.
Floating Rippled Fixture Looks Like Dripping Water
There’s an indescribable beauty to photographs of moving water caught in slow motion, freezing a moment in time that normally happens too quickly for our eyes to follow and appreciate. This elegant drop light design by DBProjektBestaltung manages to transform that moment into a three-dimensional light fixture in which the water droplet is bulb.
Bleeding Lamp Makes Lighting Gory
Bloody brilliant: Generate Design Inc.’s blood pool lamp is certainly eye-catching with its drips of shocking red from a white lampshade. The support for the shade is concealed within the dripping blood, making it seem as if it’s floating.
Solar-Powered Light Affixed to Window Shade
Cool, or kitsch? It’s hard to call, but the idea is certainly interesting: a solar-powered interior light that mounts to the inside of your window shades and draws power from the sun. The design itself – dated-looking silhouettes on vertical blinds – is a bit ‘80s, but the concept could be taken a bit further with great success.
Cutting Lamp Shapes Out of Cardboard
The cardboard cutout lamps designed by David Graas are sort of like putting together a puzzle: just as much about the process itself as the finished product. They may not be the most stable or fireproof lamps available, but the interactive qualities and surprisingly sophisticated result make this concept a fun DIY project that can be easily disassembled and recycled.