Ten Classic Task Lamps

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Though they’ve taken on many different forms over the decades, the function of task lamps has yet to stray far from the simple systems we find so useful in our work spaces. From industrial-chic designs to futuristic instant-classics, take a look at this roundup of a century’s worth of task lamps that will always perform well and look great in the home or office.
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1. BZ Bench and Table Pendulum by Johan Petter Johansson for Triplex, Sweden, 1919 With chrome metal ball joints and a lamp body that mounts with screws to its surface, the BZ model’s industrial-age feel and turn-of-the-century good looks make it a winning pick for any workspace (if you are lucky enough to get your hands on one). Via B4
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2. Anglepoise Original 1227 Lamp by George Carwardine, UK, 1932 Considered a major innovation when designed in 1932, Carwardine’s idea to balance weight through springs, cranks and levers has inspired desk lamps for decades to follow. $250 via Anglepoise
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3. L-1 by Jacob Jacobsen for Luxo, Norway, 1937 The quintessential self-balancing desk lamp, the L-1 was the subject of Pixar’s first animated short, and currently comes to life as their antic-ridden animated logo. $255 at DWR
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4. Signal Task Lamp by Jean-Louis Domecq, France, 1950 Originally intended for utilitarian purposes, Jean-Louis Domecq actually designed the Signal Task Lamp for use in his own workspace. With its signature ball-and-socket joints and circular wire ornamentation, the Signal caught on quickly during a growing minimalist trend. $440 at Horne

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5. Tizio Table Lamp by Richard Sapper for Artemide, Italy, 1972 Making use of counterweight balance, the arm and head of the Tizio will always remain constantly parallel to the table. I think Maxwell put it best when saying this task lamp is “reminiscent of Darth Vader.” $365 via YLighting.com

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6. Tolomeo Table Lamp By Michele de Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina, for Artemide, Italy, 1987 With its dazzling aluminum finish and 360-degree rotatable head, the Tolomeo embodies the perfect marriage of design and engineering and has remained a lasting favorite for over two decades. $365 via YLighting.com

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7. Kelvin T Adjustable Table Lamp by Antonio Citterio for Flos, 2003 Featuring a simple fixed arm and adjustable head in die-cast aluminum alloy, the clean lines of the Kelvin T make it continually popular amongst architects and interior designers today. $344 via Form Plus Function
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8. Leaf Light Designed by Yves Béhar for Herman Miller, 2006 The Leaf’s sharp aesthetic and use of LED’s has made it quite popular since it first hit the scene in 2006. With an integrated microprocessor, the Leaf will actually remember the user’s dimmer settings every time it turns on. $379 via DWR

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9. Archimoon by Philippe Starck, for Flos, Italy, 2000 With it’s silver aluminum arm and plisse cloth shade, the Archimoon provides both direct and indirect light and its modest looks make it great for a home or office. $464 via Unica.com

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10. Kelvin LED Table Lamp by Antonio Citterio, Toan Nguyen for Flos, Italy, 2010 With it’s minimal, double pantograph arm and 359-degree swiveling head, just a simple touch of the Kelvin LED will turn the lamp on or off and toggle between different light intensities. With this 2010 redesign, Flos has created an instant-classic. $396 via DWR

For more on task lamps, check out these related posts on Apartment Therapy:
Top Ten Task Lights
Best Task Lights 2008
Task Lamps by Famous Names

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