by Tina Manzer
German industrial designer and engineer Curt Fischer invented some of the earliest examples of task lighting in 1919. One hundred years later, his sculptural lamps had writer Akiva Blander, at design magazine Metropolis, waxing poetic. “Under Fischer’s company Midgard, his first designs were the result of intense, almost ontological contemplation of human behavior and the prescriptions of context,” wrote Blander, “from the slightly asymmetrical lampshade that mimics a worker’s desk-side slouch to the punctilious placement of arms and selection of axial joints.”
Fischer, who many consider the inventor of directional lighting, may have been a master of ergonomics and the darling of the Bauhaus, but he never could have imagined where Daylight Company would eventually take task lighting.
Daylight was founded in 1987 by Patrick Jacquelin in London, where many of his friends were artists, painters and sculptors. Their complaints about working with poor lighting struck a chord with Patrick, who had recently rediscovered new technology – a blue, tinted daylight bulb. He introduced it to artists at public shows, and it was an instant success. Next, he introduced it to people who craft, quilt and sew, and they were also enthusiastic.
The Daylight Company was born.
With headquarters in London and the U.S., Daylight is poised to become an international company. “That’s our goal,” says Regina Bross, brand marketing associate. “We want to be an international company that provides the best solutions for lighting. We believe we can make a difference in people’s lives by allowing them to do what they love – like paint, or sew, or sculpt – for longer periods of time and in greater comfort.”
Daylight’s various lighting solutions – there are about 40 options in their collection – are all driven by ergonomics, quality of light, and design. How those three factors are incorporated depends on the task
“Artists – painters for instance – want color-balanced light that allows them to view their work with confidence and clarity,” notes Regina. “They want a high CRI value, which will give them a fuller red/green/blue index. The lights we’ve introduced most recently are 95-plus CRI, as close to natural daylight as possible.
“Then, in terms of light spread, which speaks to light quality and ergonomics, artists working on an easel probably need a light with a spread that goes across the canvas, like our Techne Easel Lamp can provide,” she continues. “If an artist is working on a really large canvas, they may not want something that’s actually attached to the easel. They might want something towards the side where they can angle the light where they need to, to provide the most amount of light for a large space, like our Artist Studio lamp.”
A crafter working on a tabletop surface, for instance, may need just the opposite – light focused on one main part of their work area. “Something with a round shade like our new Tricolor Lamp would work really well,” Regina explains. “That’s what’s great about our wide range of lamps. If you need one that attaches to a table, we have that for you. If you need a lamp that sits right next to you on the floor we also have that. Maybe you don’t have a power source at all – well, we have a lamp that’s re-chargeable. Over the last 30 or so years, we’ve been able to create lamps that suit a wide range of needs, whether you’re an artist, a crafter, a beautician, a musician, an electrical engineer or even a person experiencing sight loss.”
Daylight’s product development team is very active and innovative. Last year, the company introduced five new lighting solutions over the range of market sectors the company serves. This year, they’ve already introduced two solutions and have at least five more coming. “Primarily, the updates on our lamps are to improve the quality of light, which is great for our consumers,” she says. “Then, we focus on ergonomics and combine all of it with a modern contemporary aesthetic that’s simple and clean. As a result, they never go out of style.”
Daylight Inc. has been distributing its products in the United States for 20 years. Interest in its lighting has growing rapidly here, especially in the fine art and crafts sector. “The beauty category is also actively growing – salons, spas, and nail artists are interested in our lamps, too,” adds Regina.
To help retailers sell their products, Daylight maintains a large database of high-quality images that stores can use, along with clear and compelling product descriptions that include technical information and in-situation images. Daylight supports it retail customers by offering a store-locator map on daylightcompany.com, and is constantly reaching out to consumers with its Brand Ambassador program and on social media. “The best piece of advice I can offer retailers, though, is to display our lights in their stores as if they were in a studio,” says Regina. “They’re items that consumers never knew they needed, but when they see them, the lights become something they can’t live without.”