Louis Poulsen Buyer's Guide
Danish brand Louis Poulsen is one of the world’s most renowned luxury lighting manufacturers. The brand is synonymous with sophistication, elegance, and function.
With dozens of products of various types and styles, there is an abundance of options to choose from. We have put together this Louis Poulsen buyer’s guide to spark some inspiration and help you find the perfect product for your home or architectural project.
We will explore the rich history of the brand, their style, and how they make their products. We'll discuss the different categories of products available, examples of the products in homes and other indoor spaces.
About Louis Poulsen
An Iconic Brand
The Louis Poulsen brand was founded in 1874 by Ludvig R. Poulsen, with his son Louis joining the venture in 1896. The company predates the Scandinavian modern design movement of the 20th Century, although became one of the key brands manufacturing products in the style.
World Renowned Designers
With designers and architects such as Poul Henningsen, Verner Panton, Arne Jacobsen, Alfred Homann, Louise Campbell, Øivind Slaatto, and Oki Sato working with the company over the years, Louis Poulsen has become one of the most coveted producers of decorative lighting in the private and professional markets.
Louis Poulsen Style
Louis Poulsen products are inspired by the traditions of mid-century modern design and Scandinavian modern design.
Mid Century Design
The mid-century modern style originated in the US around the 1950s and quickly became extremely popular. The movement eschewed traditional designs in favor of futuristic ones, using new technologies and materials to create furniture that was bold and artistic yet functional.
Materials like fiberglass, plastic, plywood, and aluminum became popular due to their malleability and applications for curved edges. These were often juxtaposed with straight lines (such as chair or table legs) for aesthetic and functional purposes. Bright colors, rather than natural tones, became the order of the day.
In the Nordic countries, designers put their own twist on the style. Scandinavian modern design kept the minimalistic approach while favoring neutral tones and natural materials.
Scandinavian modern design remains one of the most popular schools of design, due to its simplicity, lack of clutter, and ability to evoke a sense of tranquility in the home.
Form + Function
The combination of beauty and functionality was—and remains—the driving principle behind Scandinavian modern design. The style allows form to follow function, and each product enhances the space it occupies both aesthetically and practically. Anything unnecessary is stripped away.
Light is Everything
Louis Poulsen follows these values, with light being the operating principle. Every product is designed to naturally shape light to create warm, inviting spaces that promote peace and simplicity.
Louis Poulsen’s craftsmanship is of exceedingly high quality, with each product built in Denmark with passion and expertise.
It's all in the Details
Every tiny detail is designed to support the natural flow of light, with no detail superfluous. While Louis Poulsen lights are inspired by minimalism, they are also designed with artistry and the aesthetic of the product itself in mind.
Fueled by Inspiration
While the original inspirations remain, designs are constantly updated so that the brand stays at the cutting-edge. For example, the popular AJ indoor and outdoor wall lights have been updated to use LED lights—increasing their practical functionality while retaining the aesthetics that made them design classics.
The mission for perfection never ends, however successful a product has been.
Louis Poulsen Product Categories
There are many different categories of Louis Poulsen products, including:
- Ceiling Lights: Louis Poulsen’s range of ceiling lights includes products for indoor and outdoor purposes.
- Pendants: Pendant lights are the classic single-bulb light, suspended from a ceiling by a cord, rod, or chain. Despite their simplicity of design, there are many styles of pendant light available.
- Cirque Pendants: Louis Poulsen’s distinctive Cirque design is a bold yet classic take on the classic pendant style, inspired by hot air balloons and available in a range of vibrant colors.
- Desk Lamps: Desk lamps are some of the most sought-after and popular lighting products. Louis Poulsen’s AJ Mini and NJP table lamps excel both practically and aesthetically.
- Floor Lamps: Louis Poulsen’s range of floor lights includes the classic adjustable AJ and Yuh designs, as well as the smooth edges and soft light diffusion of the cozy Panthella lamp.
- Mini Lamps: The soft illumination and attractive design of the Panthella is also available on a smaller scale, for desks or other compact spaces.
- Table Lamps: Louis Poulsen offers a range of different table lamps, including compact versions of the AJ, Yuh, PH, and Panthella products.
- Wall Lamps: If you want to benefit from the expertly-designed light diffusion of Louis Poulsen lamps without needing a desk or floor space, wall-mounted versions of many Louis Poulsen products are available.
- Wall Lights: The floating oval design of the popular Flindt wall light and the more traditional design of the classic VL38 are designed to optimize light distribution and provide warm ambience.
- Wall Sconces: Louis Poulsen’s AJ Eklipta—available in both LED and traditional incandescent light versions—wall sconce light is an industry classic, with a multi-layered minimal design.
Examples of Applications
Louis Poulsen lights are designed for a variety of applications and come in many styles. From ceiling lights that illuminate an entire room, to wall sconces or mini lamps for mood lighting, there is a product to suit your needs.
What’s more, most products are available in a range of colors to match any space.
Here are a few examples of how these products can enhance the spaces around them.
Here we can see the iconic AJ floor lamp next to a comfortable armchair. The natural daylight from the window makes the room feel spacious and airy. During the nights, this lamp will provide a functional and focused light that makes the room feel cozy and enables anybody sitting here to read a good book in peace.
This dining room is a wonderful example of the mid-century modern and Scandinavian modern traditions. The dining table is the visual and functional centerpiece of the room.
The Louis Poulsen PH5 pendant ceiling light illuminates the table, drawing attention to the centerpiece and providing light for the dining experience. The warm orange and yellow tones of the glass are an effective juxtaposition to the darker blue of the table.
In this workspace, the elegant and functional Yuh table lamp provides a small, targeted amount of light that enables crystal clear visibility of the materials on the desk. This makes the space ideal for writing, drawing, or any other project which requires close attention and visibility. The lamp’s adjustable shade enables control of the amount and direction of the light.
The classic AJ lamp design is not limited to indoor spaces—this exterior wall is the perfect place for a lamp to provide light on the doorstep when greeting guests in the evenings. The AJ 50 LED outdoor wall lamp is powered by energy-efficient LED lights.
Brands that Work Well Alongside Louis Poulsen
Louis Poulsen products are designed to work in a large variety of environments. They are particularly attractive alongside products from the following Danish brands, which all follow the Scandinavian modern design principles:
- Skagerak: Skagerak offers a range of minimal wooden home accessories, from trays to stool and small tables.
- Ferm Living: Ferm Living’s range of products is truly inspiring, from champagne glasses to plant pots to hand towels.
- Menu: Menu Furniture collaborates with some of the world’s best designers to produce products and furniture for kitchens, bathrooms, and more.
Functional and Peaceful Lighting for Any Living Space
The Scandinavian design style aims to promote clarity of purpose in our lives, aided by furniture created with that concept in mind. Louis Poulsen products are no exception, with lights designed to create a beautiful ambience that makes spaces inviting.
Louis Poulsen lights are the ideal accessory to almost any living space. If you are interested in transforming your home into a peaceful place to live, relax, and work, then shop our full line of Louis Poulsen Lighting products.