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String Light by FLOS

One Light, Three Ways String Light by FLOS

Is there anything the String Light can’t do? We tasked 3 interior designers with solving their design dilemmas with this infinitely-configurable fixture.

Written by Nissa Hallquist

Most lighting fixtures have pretty limited possibilities for how they are installed or used. A pendant is a pendant, a task lamp is a task lamp…But then there are those rare lighting designs that are able to take on not only a number of different applications, but a pretty much infinite choice of decorative configurations.

One such design is the String Light Pendant by FLOS. Designed by Michael Anastassiades, this pendant includes a choice of shape (sphere or cone) and installation type (hardwire or plug-in). But where it really sets itself apart is with its cord. The shortest available cord length is 39 feet, with the intention being to make the cord part of the finished design by swagging and stretching it up, down and across a space.

To see what this light could really do, we tasked three Lumens trade partners with using this infinitely configurable String Light Pendant fixture to solve specific interior design challenges. As expected, the pendant was able to achieve 3 very different solutions...and then some:

Solution #3
Solution #3

Solution #1
Bringing a Huge Room Down to Size

There’s no question that the preference for homeowners these days is a sense of openness to their living spaces. That being said, they still want to feel grounded and not overwhelmed by these grand, over-sized spaces.

For Virginia Navid at Navid-Oster Design in Baltimore, MD, the design challenge she faced was to create a sense of intimacy and brighter light in a large-scale room without actually closing it off and reducing the original intended design. The String Light proved itself well-suited to the task.

"The length of cord allowed us to make linear connections between inside and outside corners of walls, ceilings and a second floor overlook that enclose the room," said Navid. That way, "the fixture created a smaller scale, single-use program space with architectural rather than decorative elements."

Basically, the cord provided a more defined outline of the room’s unique architectural details. Additionally, the cord was strung in an open, horizontal configuration, which both drew the eye to the middle of the tall wall and placed the spherical pendant in ideal reading light height behind the sofa.

The result is that, with the String Light floating in the space the 2-story room remains impressively expansive. Yet it has a suggested lower visual ceiling and, at night, a bright all-around glow that keeps the space feeling warm and cozy.

“...the fixture created a smaller scale, single-use program space with architectural rather than decorative elements.”
Solution #1

Maria Bortugno used a String Light in place of three task lamps that had previously cluttered up her client's desk space. The overhead fixture provides focused light on the space below (not to mention, seems to be puppy approved).

Solution #2
Out-of-the-Way Task Lighting

Maria Bortugno’s client: a lawyer, very tall, not great eyesight, looking for something unique and easy to use to take the place of the 3 task lamps cluttering up his desk.

As a certified interior designer for more than 20 years—and current owner and lead designer for B Designs in Albany, New York—Bortugno is used to meeting all kinds of design challenges. In this case, she determined the best way to free up space on her client’s desk was to have the task lighting hang from above.

Of the two shapes, the cone-shaped String Light offered the most direct downlight. By swagging it over and behind the desk, Bortugno was able to keep the cord out of the way. Yet it still allows the cord to be a fun visual detail in the clean, modern office space. The pendant is easily controlled with a touch dimmer on the shade, provides more than ample lighting and doesn’t hit Bortugno’s client in the head.

Bortugno's praise for the pendant extends beyond its clear convenience and functionality. She chose the plug-in version of the pendant, which translates into flexibility. You can take it with you if you move, or create a “built-in” design, even if you’re in a rental. You can change the cord configuration on a whim.

The best part about it for Bortugno (besides a very happy client)? "I was able to install it myself!"

Solution #2
Solution #2

Solution #3
Having Light Where Light Could Never Be Before

Alison Keene (lead designer and owner of Slant Design in Berkeley, CA) used the String Light Pendant because there wasn’t direct access to a junction box in the space for which she was designing the interior.

For the overall project, Keene was tasked with opening up a “mid-century modern with good bones.” This involved taking down walls and removing dropped ceilings in the kitchen, living room and the stairwell, which is where the String Light wound up. The closed-off stairwell was opened up, with steel posts and a guardrail installed to provide structural stability (and a cool industrial look) and a skylight above for added natural light. In that newly opened space, the spherical String Light addressed both that pesky no-electrical-access issue and added an intriguing design element.

“The String Light has just the flexibility that we wanted for this space, as it is able to span the width of the stairwell and attach to both the walls and steel posts,” said Keene.

“The ‘string’ cable adds a three-dimensional, sculptural interest to the space.”

In addition to the aesthetic of the pendant itself, Keene added, “The light quality is just what we were looking for in that spot. It is both subtle and a good, clear LED light. The fact that it is easily dimmable is a bonus.”