Introducing Lightly: A line of radically sustainable architectural linear LED lighting pendants, made from wood, wool and hemp. Lightly strips away high-carbon, toxic materials in favor of bioderived, biodegradable components with a refreshingly simple, circular-economy ready design that ultimately results in a gorgeous new paradigm for architectural lighting. Thanks to ingenious optical configurations, overall fixture efficacy is uncompromised while using as few components as possible. For project teams that want to bring real change to their construction projects, the fixtures are Red List Free with complete EPD documentation.

Last year I worked with Sean Darras and the rest of the Lightly team to help bring this radical idea to market. Sean was highly influenced by my Koerner Design “bamboo pendant” concept, which won the grand prize in the U.S. DOE’s 2019 Manufacturing Innovator Challenge for Sustainable Luminaires.

I advocated for a radically simple approach in stripping away needless complexity and toxicity from light fixtures. I recognized the key trend that LED sources have reached such high efficacies that they no longer need complex metal heatsinks, especially for linear configurations. Natural materials like wood, simple component assemblies and an overall minimalism could lead to beautiful, high performance LED light fixtures – a design and engineering philosophy that doesn’t dumbly chase lumens/W efficacy at the expense of all else. Combine that with the trend towards DC power in net-zero energy buildings, which allows the AC-DC driver to be removed from the fixture altogether, and you get lighting fixtures that are about as truly sustainable as possible – no greenwashing required. Done right, sustainability is lower cost both upfront and in the long run.

Lightly is launching initially with two series named Butterfly and Glow, offering a wide range of optical and aesthetic configurations to cover most typical commercial office applications.

Beyond the essential natural wood finishes, white-wash and black-stained options take the products out of the stereotypical “crunchy granola” league into luxury categories. The products look so good, I’m sure they will become major hits also in hospitality and residential applications.

Toxic metals, petrochemical-based finishes, needless complexity, disposal unrepairable design – it is time the lighting industry cleaned up its act and discovered the timeless beauty of natural materials and elegant design.