The right atmosphere for any room is always entrusted to the lighting design department. The warmth, the freshness, the fascination or the solemnity of a space is always the result of the correct choice of lighting. And if this is true indoors, it is even more valid, if that were possible, for the outdoors.
Outdoor lighting must not only take account of the space to be lit but it is vital that this space is integrated with the surrounding panorama, emphasising the outstanding features of both. Gardens, terraces, swimming pools, courtyards … each of these spaces is immersed in a context that cries out to be enhanced by discreetly and confidently creating a bridge with the darkness of the night.
To achieve these results, lighting companies and businesses specialising in outdoor furniture deploy resources in avant-garde research, not only into innovative design but also the indispensable technical aspects.
Particularly complex lighting systems have been developed and there is now a very wide range of options.
An interesting example is the first outdoor collection presented by Catellani & Smith, designed by Enzo Catellani, featuring hand-moulded industrial glass. One creation with great impact is certainly Medousê, a light fitting made up of two overlapping glass bowls, green when turned off, to integrate perfectly with the landscape, and an ethereal white when turned on.
Marked by an essential lexicon of which geometry is the fundamental matrix, Nahoor’s Clay outdoor collection, designed by William Pianta, displays pure forms in which the sculptural value is enhanced through volumes laid out in an open structure.
With a retro style inspired by antique oil lamps, Philips Lighting’s Abelia is a particularly versatile solution. Suspended or placed on the ground, the portable LED lantern, with adjustable light intensity thanks to the dimmer, is powered by batteries that can be recharged via USB.
The new rechargeable wireless lamp proposed by Pedrali is inspired by the lanterns of long ago. Designed by the firm Basaglia Rota Nadari, Giravolta contains its whole essence in its name: the first part refers to the rotating diffuser and the second to Alessandro Volta and his main invention, the battery, with the option for recharging.
Another company specialising in outdoor furniture that is keen to explore the world of lighting is Kettal. It has produced Mia, designed by Michel Charlot, a range of lamps built around a diffuser made of etched glass, protected by a large polypropylene lampshade, which makes its completely impermeable.
The Aton collection (designed by Marco Acerbis) from Unopiù has a contemporary and vaguely ethnic style and offers a series of lamps featuring white or bronze coloured aluminium foil that, when twisted, creates a particularly evocative lighting effect.
Meanwhile, Toscot's Novecento collection recalls the lanterns fixed to the bows of fishing boats through a minimal design. The materials that make up the interconnected lighting elements are terracotta and blown glass.
What has by now become an icon of our times, Twice as Twiggy designed by Marc Sadler for Foscarini, is presented in an all-new LED version that takes its cue from the unmistakable silhouette of the indoor version and comes up with a complete redesign for the outdoors. The diffuser was specially designed to let the air pass through without resistance and is made of a woven composite material.