Danish lighting designer Poul Hennningsen’s iconic PH 5 lamp for equally celebrated Danish brand Louis Poulsen celebrates its 60th anniversary this month.
To mark this milestone, the company has released the lamp in classic white, modern white and six vibrant colours to match the recently launched collection of PH 5 Minis. The timeless piece remains one of the bestselling items in the brand’s portfolio even after six decades.
Henningsen designed the PH 5 in 1958 as a follow-up to his acclaimed three-shade system, which was launched in 1926 and established Louis Poulsen as one of the most innovative lighting manufacturers of the time. His original design had been inspired by his mother’s wish for more flattering, softer light in an era when homes were still transitioning to electric lighting and incandescent bulbs, whose effects were more utilitarian than aesthetic.
Later, when lightbulbs were standardised, a shift that left Henningsen disappointed, he responded with the five-shade system to gain complete control over the new type of light. Considered ahead of its time, PH 5’s five-shade system continues to infuse spaces with 100% glare-free, even illumination, with the majority of light shining downwards at the space it is focused on rather than into people’s eyes.
The pendant uses a lightbulb, producing the ideal combination of downward and lateral light to also gently illuminate the fixture itself.