We've got a thing for lighting that's simple, functional, and falls within the "mod" category of the style spectrum. At the high end, we love lamps that combine superior quality with classic, sculptural forms that would feel at home on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey. On the low end, we're really looking for the same thing, just cheaper.
Niche Modern (New York/Online): We first met Jeremy Pyles of Niche Modern at the 2005 Brooklyn Designs, and it has been wonderful to watch him expand his line of unique glass lighting over the last few years. The Encalmo-Stamen ($1,195) fuses two bubbles of colored glass together.
Modernica (Los Angeles/Online): As a distributor and seller of George Nelson Bubble Pendants, they have a large selection of modern lighting, which ranges from the low hundreds to thousands. They're based in Los Angeles, but you can shop their full catalog online.
Artemide (Various Locations/Online): If you are looking for stylish, functional and modern lighting with an Italian flair, Artemide is your first stop. At full retail, Artemide lighting is expensive, and their best work is architectural and cool. Their Dioscuri table lamp by Michele De Lucchi runs from $155 to $545.
Ligne Roset (Various Locations/Online): Contemporary. Inventive. Very Expensive. Ligne Roset has always been synonymous with mod luxury, including its selection of modern lighting. The Dolmen is a sculptural table/floor lamp, price on request.
Lampa (Online): Their catalog is full of simple, modern forms. You'll find a lot of drum shades, globe-shaped pendants, and veneers in FSC-certified bamboo, birch, wenge, and other woods, ranging from the low hundreds to thousands. The round white Cobble Pendant is $135.
West Elm (Various Locations/Online): We've really been digging the pendant lights at West Elm recently. We used to think their lighting was a little dated, but they've upped the ante with their hanging lights (table and floor lamps still need to catch up, in our opinion). The Globe Pendant is a nice, basic design, on sale right now for $99 to $269.
CB2 (Various Locations/Online): CB2's prices are lower than their parent store, Crate and Barrel, and the designs are a little more modern. The basic white Ada Table Lamp is a favorite, and a decent deal at $60.