Early inspiration

Poul Henningsen (1894 – 1967) witnessed the bare electric bulb as only light source as a young child. This experience inspired him to find a solution to shield the bulb and the direct light from it. He gained his first experiences as a lamp constructor in 1916 – 1920 working for acquaintances. This led to work with light rays and curvature of shades -acknowledging the necessity of several shades for each lamp to make it work. In 1925 at The Paris Decorative Arts Exhibition he presented pendants and table lamps, yet PH was not satisfied.

He continued working on perfecting the shading system, sourcing materials and surfaces for the shades. Finally, the three-shades system, we now see as icon, was made. The corresponding shades work in different sizes, from 16 to 85 cm, and were manufactured by Louis Poulsen in diverse materials and surfaces. The system was used for several designs and was followed by lamp design with several shades as well as lamps inspired by the spiral. The light design by PH were used in private houses, in public spaces as well as in industrial buildings. A unique design with a multi-facetted use was evolved from the early experience of the bare bulb, and PH kept his desire to solve the problem throughout his life.


The same system worked for several purposes. The floor lamp was designed in 1931, and this version has white glass shades.