Portable lights to beat the winter blues
Illuminate dusky afternoons with warm lanterns and portable lights from leading brands and designers. Our edit of the best portable lights include rechargeable lamps by Artemide, Flos, Marset, Hay and more
Browse our edit of the best portable lights and rechargeable lanterns to brighten up your winter nights. Designed by some of today’s most brilliant creative minds, from Bouroullec Studio to Philippe Malouin and OEO Studio in collaboration with leading lighting brands, these portable lamps are the perfect adaptable companions for your everyday needs, able to swing between home and (home) office with impeccable ease.
Portable lights: Wallpaper* picks
‘Setago’ portable lamp by Jaime Hayon for &Tradition
Spanish designer Jaime Hayon was inspired by Japanese lanterns and the shape of mushrooms for his ‘Setago’ series of portable lights for &Tadition, offering up to ten hours of warm illumination. Inspired by the possibilities of a cordless lamp design, Hayon kept his design’s silhouette minimal and uncluttered, playing with colour combinations including blue and cream (pictured), beige and green and rust with grey, enriched by a discreet brass dimmer.
‘Arca’ by Philippe Malouin for Matter Made
Philippe Malouin continues his collaboration with Matter Made with the new ‘Arca’ portable lamp. Developed as a multifunctional rechargeable light, it features a 110lm LED module and promises up to 30 hours of use depending on the setting (which can be selected from night, ambient, reading or task). Demountable to easily pack and take it on trips, it’s the perfect flexible light, ‘from bedside to bath-side’.
‘Pepa’ by Francesco Faccin for Astep
Italian designer Francesco Faccin was inspired by the movement of a pepper grinder to create this wireless portable lamp for Danish lighting brand Astep. As you would twist a pepper grinder to finish a dish, the ‘Pepa’ rechargeable lamp is switched on by twisting (the action also adjusts the light intensity). Made of a solid wood body concealing a technological soul (featuring a sophisticated multi-axis magnetic field sensor technology that eliminates the need for wiring), the tactile lamp is a marriage of craft and innovation. It’s a design that exemplifies Astep’s approach to lighting: founder Alessandro Sarfatti creates meaningful pieces that celebrate the design heritage of the lighting industry while looking to its future.
‘Folia’ portable lamp by Saint-Louis
The ‘Folia’ collection of lanterns is inspired by the patterns from the forests surrounding the Saint-Louis crystal manufacture. Its design is defined by the contrast between the smooth wooden top and geometrically cut crystal, its organic bevel-cut patterns created as an homage to the Moselle woodland. The portable lights are suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and can last up to 25 hours between charges. The perfection of the crystal craft is evident when the lantern is on, casting a charming, enigmatic patterned shadow on its surroundings.
‘Salt&Pepper’ portable lamp by Tobias Grau
A classic hourglass form conceals the advanced cable-free technology in these compact portable lights by German lighting design specialist Tobias Grau. Fully portable with no compromise on intensity, the ‘Salt&Pepper’ lamp presents a literal beacon of light, comfort, and kinship. Offering eight hours of light when on full power (increasing to up to 100 hours when used with the touch dimmer option), the lamp is recharged via USB-C cable.
Lanterns by Zanellato Bortotto for Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades
Italian designers Daniele Bortotto and Giorgia Zanellato have created a duo of rechargeable lamps for Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades, featuring a blown glass dome diffusing light through the intricate leather pattern of the shell. Characterised by a honeycomb pattern made of interwoven strips of Louis Vuitton leather, the lamp also includes details inspired by the maison’s bags, such as a practical carrying strap and three brass feet protecting the leather. ‘A journey east, a summer dinner with friends, a walk on the beach: we imagined this project as a collection of memories woven into a lantern,’ say the designers. ‘An intimate and personal object to keep with you to gently illuminate precious moments.’
‘Nui Mini’ outdoor portable lamp by Meneghello Paolelli Associati for Luceplan
Part of a family of outdoor rechargeable lamps comprising floor and wall lighting defined by simple geometric compositions, the ‘Nui Mini’ portable lamp by Luceplan is an outdoor table lamp whose rechargeable nature makes it perfect for an evening in the garden. Featuring a transparent crystal base and a top available in three colours (white, greige and sand), this elegant, dimmable light seamlessly transitions from terrace to indoors.
‘Bellhop’ portable light by Barber Osgerby for Flos
Originally designed for the Design Museum’s restaurant and inspired by a simple formal intuition, Barber Osgerby’s ‘Bellhop’ lamp for Flos is a small but mighty portable light. The flexible, rechargeable lamp now features brand new bright shades – yellow and grey-blue – which light up the product’s existing rich palette of red, white, grey and brown. The compact portable light lasts up to 24 hours between charges, and the designers selected edge-lighting technology that ensures an evenly lit surface. ‘Bellhop’ also includes anti-glare glow and a dimmer to modify the light’s intensity from ten to 100 per cent.
Mini portable light by Studio Word
This minimal portable lamp is the result of a collaboration between Korean designers Kyuhyung Cho and Jungyou Choi of Studio Word and ceramic craftsmen Kim Deok Ho and Lee In Wha. A project initiated by the Korean Heritage Preservation Society, the functional piece merges the designers’ simple sculptural language with a sublime craft touch. The portable, rechargeable lamp was created using a traditional throwing technique, involving first shaping the form on a rapidly spinning wheel, then finishing it by slowly shaving away at the sides by hand: a method that achieves different levels of transparency and brightness.
‘PC’ portable light by Pierre Charpin for Hay
Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, Pierre Charpin’s ‘PC’ portable light for Hay is updated with a colorful palette. Featuring a composition of shapes characteristic of Charpin’s work, and a chromatic arrangement referencing Memphis colours, the battery-powered light’s injection-moulded plastic body is completed with a matte finish that is both scratch- and water-resistant.
‘Haute’ by Federico Peri for Purho
Designer Federico Peri’s ‘Haute’ portable light bridges innovation and tradition. Working with Murano glass artisans, Italian manufacturer Purho has been developing a new approach to an ancient craft. ‘Haute’ takes this collaborative method to the next level: Peri experimented with glass textures and minimal contemporary shapes to reinterpret the ancient craftsmanship traditions. The rechargeable glass lamp is the result of Peri’s research around the theme of glass engraving, with techniques such as banding, pleating and ribbed excavations creating three different models. Inside, the lamp’s technology merges with more artisanal marvels, with a multilayered coloured glass composition (called ‘murrina’) which adds depth to the illumination. The final effect, the designer explains, is like ’a soul is suspended inside’.
‘Mūn’ rechargeable lantern by OEO Studio for Stellar Works
This rechargeable lamp’s design combines Asian aesthetic sensibilities with Danish design practice OEO’s signature timeless aesthetic, packaged in a practical portable lamp. Designed to be ‘playful, analogue and sculptural’, the ‘Mūn’ lantern’s design marries essential form and function and is part of a larger family of lighting accessories. Its name references the Japanese word for moon, and its sophisticated appearance mimics its subtle movement.
‘Bontà’ by Davide Oldani for Artemide
The ultimate combination of light and gastronomy, chef Davide Oldani’s ‘Bontà’ light conceived for Artemide is intended as a tool for conviviality. The rechargeable light bottom is topped with bowls of different shapes and sizes, to combine serving food with illuminating the table. ‘Bontà is not a decorative element,’ says Oldani. ‘It creates an atmosphere, it supports and enhances food, it is open to welcome different shapes of containers.’
‘FollowMe’ by Inma Bermúdez for Marset
Portable in name and spirit, these classic rechargeable lamps by Inma Bemúdez for Marset comes back in a new palette of pastel hues. This small lantern’s playful spirit makes it a perfect indoor or outdoor lamp, adding a touch of after-dark whimsy and serenity.
‘Sylvestrina’ by Enric Sòria and Jordi Garcés for Santa & Cole
A 1974 design revisited to fit with contemporary life, Enric Sòria and Jordi Garcés’s portable lamp design for Spanish lighting company Santa & Cole was originally conceived with the intention to reproduce the effect of an oil lamp. After nearly five decades, the simple formality of the ‘Sylvestrina’ lamp is updated as a rechargeable lamp that preserves the original’s warmth with the added practicality of LED technology and long-life battery.
‘Easy Peasy’ by Luca Nichetto for Lodes
Italian designer Luca Nichetto has created this series of doll-like portable lights for Lodes. With a combination of jewel tones and smoked glass concealing the light source, the rechargeable lamps are playful and practical. Lightweight and dimmable, Nichetto’s characterful designs are intended to enrich a domestic environment, or to add a special touch to hospitality spaces.