Most lighting fixtures have a limited number of possibilities for how they can be installed and used. A pendant is a pendant, a task lamp is a task lamp. But then there are those rare lighting designs that can take on not only a number of different applications, but a near-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 the design 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 the full capability of FLOS’ String Light, 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.
Bringing a Huge Room Down to Size
More recently, a sense of openness in living spaces has grown more and more popular in design. While openness is desired, so is the feeling of being 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 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 enclosed the room,” said Navid. That way, “the fixture created a smaller scale, single-use program space with architectural rather than decorative elements.”
The String Light’s cord was able to provide 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.
With the String Light floating in the space, the 2-story room remains impressively expansive. A suggested lower visual ceiling is created and, at night, a bright all-around glow that keeps the space feeling warm and cozy.
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. The cord configuration can be changed on a whim.
The best part about it for Bortugno (besides a very happy client)? “I was able to install it myself!”
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 found its home. 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.
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 dimmable is a bonus.”