Image courtesy Eangee Home Design

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By Lois I. Hutchinson

WHY ECO-FRIENDLY LIGHTING IS RIGHT FOR YOU AND THE PLANET

A sustainable home is our way to honor a commitment to being kinder in the world, and eco-friendly lighting is part of that. It all begins with LEDs. Carefully chosen LED lamps (a.k.a. light bulbs) provide beautiful lighting that can be used throughout your home. Many new hardwired household light fixtures come with the LEDs built right in. Other manufacturers often include LED bulbs with newly purchased fixtures. LEDs are super energy-efficient and last longer than the typical light bulb. Warranties are commonly 3 to 5 years, but they could last a generation. LED lamps and light fixtures can be up to 90% recycled as electronic waste (reducing what ends up in the landfill).

But there’s more we can do to lighten our load on Mother Earth. For a classic or retro décor, older light fixtures can be refurbished or reused. But a newer, contemporary home deserves up-to-date styling, so look for manufacturers who make reducing their environmental impact part of their core mission. 

There are two basic ways that lighting fixtures become highly sustainable: production and waste control/recycling. Are the brands using recycled, renewable, and/or sustainably produced materials and energy sources to manufacture their products? Are they minimizing resources in their manufacturing processes and recycling or repurposing their waste streams? Do they focus on sustainable packaging or local transportation? Do they choose nontoxic and low-VOC materials and processes that make both factories less-polluting and our homes safer?

You’ll want to note whether the lights have a wet, damp or dry rating, so you’ll know if it can be used outdoors or in a bathroom. And, you might notice a California Prop 65 warning in a light fixture description; it’s basically there to let you know that something associated with the fixture could pose a health risk. Since lighting contains metals, it is common to see this warning. You should be aware of the issue before you buy.

Numerous lighting designers and manufacturers in the forefront of style embrace their role in protecting the environment. Homeowners no longer have to choose between taking care of this earth we live on and terrific lighting. Whether it’s overhead lighting through a pendant or chandelier, or ambient lighting thanks to a sconce or table lamp, make it a conversation piece.

BICYCLE GLASS CO. BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO RECYCLED GLASS

Bicycle Glass luminaires in Minnesota combine beauty, sustainability, and economy: bringing those values into homes that honor lighting. Bicycle Glass fixtures use 100% post-consumer recycled glass that is melted down to 2000 degrees F and individually hand-blown into globed shapes—each a unique work of art. The art of hand-blown glass lighting goes back thousands of years and the artisans at Bicycle Glass celebrate the impurities that make recycled glass more difficult to work with. But beyond their lights, their own business practices are sustainable too, as they use wind source for electricity, have pollinators on site, and have their own internal recycling system. Not to mention, they make even the process of getting your light fixture into your home as green as possible, using recyclable cardboard and recycled and biodegradable geami paper for their packaging.

767 Spun Single Pendant Light Bicycle Glass Eco-Friendly Lighting Glass Globe Green Light Fixture

BICYCLE GLASS 767 SPUN: SINGLE PENDANT LIGHT

With a captivating trail that adds movement as it travels around the glass globe, the 767 embodies the fluid nature of hand-blown glass. Because the trail is added by hand, no two pieces will be exactly alike. Suspended from a ceiling canopy by a single cord, the glass globes can be aligned along a bar top or kitchen island, or grouped in staggered heights in a dramatic entryway.

FEATURES

  • Available in 3 glass colorways: Eco Clear, Steel Blue, and Slate Gray
  • Dimensions: 8″ Dia x 6.5″ H
  • Maximum wattage: 60 watts; warm white
513 Lunar Wall Sconce Glass Bicycle Glass Eco-Friendly Lighting

BICYCLE GLASS 513 LUNAR: WALL SCONCE  

The “seeded” glass cylinder in this classic design is created by artisans adding bubbles to the molten recycled glass by hand, giving each piece its distinctive nature. With a textural quality that reminds us of the ancient surface of the moon, it becomes effervescent when illuminated by a tubular LED lamp. Here the clear shade with striking black hardware would work well in many different styles of decor from traditional to modern. Form 513 is the smallest offering of the 510 series, fitting as a single sconce on a landing or marching along a hallway or other transitional space. 

FEATURES

  • Available in 3 glass colorways: Eco Clear, Steel Blue, and Slate Gray
  • Available in Brushed Nickel, Black, Antique Bronze, and Polished Brass
  • Dimensions: 3.5″ Dia x 9″ H
  • Maximum wattage: 60 watts; warm white
763 Lunar Double Wall Sconce Glass Bicycle Glass Eco-Friendly Lighting

BICYCLE GLASS 763 LUNAR: DOUBLE WALL SCONCE

The 763 Double Sconce will feel right at home in a bathroom, powder room, hallway, or at your bedside. The double globes curve right into the delicately fluted hardware, providing ample light for small areas. The “seeded” twin globes match but are never identical, paying tribute to the work of the Midwest artisans.

FEATURES

  • Available in 3 glass colorways: Eco Clear, Steel Blue, and Slate Gray
  • Available in Brushed Nickel or Black
  • 6” Dia x 5” H; 6” out from the wall
  • Maximum wattage: 60 watts; warm white

EANGEE HOME DESIGN HANDCRAFTS BIOPHILIC LIGHT FIXTURES

Eangee Home Design’s mission to provide eco-friendly, fair-trade home goods brings us creative, biophilic designs using renewable and/or recycled materials. The leaves used in their products are either collected after being naturally shed from a tree or are plucked from a living tree without harm. Hand-made by artisans across the globe using only nontoxic dyes and low-impact finishes, Eangee’s plug-in lighting fixtures are strikingly natural and comforting with often-vivid colors and soothing patterns. And, because the brand has been long committed to eco-friendly and socially responsible practices, Eangee is a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

EANGEE OUTDOOR-INDOOR SQUARE SHELF LARGE LAMP IN SEA BLUE

The simple, stitched shade design features fossilized cocoa leaves hand-placed on a durable UL lampshade backing. The wrought iron shade frame and square shelf are hand-welded then sanded and finished with environmentally friendly powder coat, making this sturdy fixture an elegant addition to your outdoor living space. It includes a wet-rated LED bulb and can be used indoors or out.

FEATURES

  • Standard UL lampshade backing
  • Indoor/Outdoor lighting system; includes a wet-rated LED bulb
  • Dimensions: 10” x 10” x 48”
  • On/off cord switch
  • Handcrafted in the Philippines

EANGEE OUTDOOR-INDOOR BUTTERFLY TABLE LAMP IN SEA BLUE

Alibangbang leaves almost seem to take flight on this carefree table lamp. Natural and colorfully dyed “butterfly leaves” are hand-placed and laminated using a nontoxic adhesive. Purchasing the leaves from Filipino farmers provides a secondary income and ensures that they continue to care for these beautiful orchid plants. The 17-inch-high lamp shade and petite wooden feet are suited for outdoor locations but would brighten any sunroom or a young child’s bedroom.

FEATURES

  • Outdoor lighting system; includes a wet-rated LED bulb
  • Dimensions: 7” x 7” x 17”
  • On/off cord switch
  • Handcrafted in the Philippines

EANGEE MINI GUYABANO IN PURPLE 

Only 9 inches tall, the Mini Guyabano lamp provides a good deal of light and a splash of interest and color whether it’s on or off. When lit, the overlap of the hand-placed guyabano leaves actually adds complexity to the organic branching pattern within the leaves. Choose LED candelabra-based lamps for this fixture to both conserve energy and to prevent incandescent or compact fluorescent lamps from harming the shade.

FEATURES

  • Indoor lighting
  • Dimensions: 9” x 5” x 9”
  • On/off cord switch
  • Handcrafted in the Philippines

NEW ZEALAND-BASED DAVID TRUBRIDGE MARRIES MATERIALS AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

“Good design means bringing cultural nourishment to people’s lives without using up precious resources and energy.” That’s the mantra through which New Zealand–based David Trubridge has become a world-renowned leader in environmentally responsible design. As single, statement pieces or cluster installations, his airy, repeating-pattern light fixtures express unique, flowing forms, and fascinating light patterns.

Trubridge’s love of nature has led his design studio into the production of kit-set lighting and environmental activism, as the brand supports the Maraetotara Tree Trust, which enhances and restores the land along the Maraetotara River. His highly sculptural luminaires are inspired by the sea and other elements of nature, and the processing and manufacturing of his designs are done as environmentally as possible. A commitment to a light environmental footprint employs sustainable woods. And shipping as kit sets—for simple assembly at home—reduces the harmful environmental effects of excess packaging and moving bulky items around the globe.

David Trubridge Beau Pendant Eco Lighting

DAVID TRUBRIDGE BEAU PENDANT

The larger-scale Beau Pendant Light in natural bamboo casts light primarily downward yet glows like a lantern, creating a figurative hearth over a dining area or above a reading or conversation nook. Bamboo is a tremendously fast-growing and naturally renewable tree-like grass that requires very little water to grow. Plus, it can regrow from its own root system, and thus does not require replanting. 

FEATURES

  • Small Dimensions: 11” H x 24” Dia
  • Large Dimensions: 14” H x 30” Dia
  • Kitset ships flat and requires assembly
  • LED or CFL bulb compatible
David Trubridge Bounce Pendant Eco Lighting

DAVID TRUBRIDGE EBB BOUNCE PENDANT

The lines of the Ebb family are inspired by lines of the flowing tides. The highly sustainable Bounce pendant is made from natural birch plywood, a fast-growing wood that has high durability along with a smooth, rich sheen. The soft blades that create the rounded shade allow light to escape, casting sweeping shadows and warm ambient light. Yes, each fixture can ship flat and be easily assembled at home by you.

FEATURES

  • Self Assembly Required Dimensions: 18” H x 18” Dia
  • Self Assembly Required Wire: 10′ L
  • Ships Assembled Dimensions: 18” H x 18” Dia
  • Ships Assembled Wire: 10′ L
David Trubridge Navicula Eco Lighting

DAVID TRUBRIDGE NAVICULA PENDANT

Navicula is inspired by microscopic diatoms: single-celled algae that float around in the oceans. Through carbon fixation, diatoms take more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than anything and produce enough oxygen for every second breath of humankind. Floating above a long table or foyer, Navicula, made using responsibly sourced bamboo plywood, glows from within via a strip of energy-efficient LEDs.

FEATURES

  • Dimensions: Small, 57″L X 8″W X 22″H; Medium, 77″L X 15″W X 35″H; Large, 100″L X 8″W X 22″H
  • Ships assembled
  • Includes white cordset and nylon rivets
  • ETL Listed for Dry Locations

GRAYPANTS REPURPOSES CARDBOARD INTO LUXURY LIGHTING

Architects Seth Grizzle and Jonathan Junker founded Graypants in Seattle in 2007, reimagining a material as simple as cardboard into hip, contemporary works of art. Since then, they’ve expanded with a studio in Amsterdam as well and have continued to grow from their flagship line of Scraplights, which provide a warm and intimate yet functional glow. Each precision laser-cut light is handcrafted using repurposed cardboard and hand-assembled using nontoxic adhesive. Meant to be used in dry locations, they’re also treated with a nontoxic fire retardant to produce tough and elegant pendants in a dozen bold shapes.

Graypants Bell White Large Eco Lighting

GRAYPANTS BELL16 PENDANT WHITE

Custom-made entirely of white corrugated cardboard, the Scraplights White series offers a twist on Graypants’ signature layered cardboard look. The pure-white shade in a more traditional form exchanges the natural cardboard look for a clean slate, but maintains the soft undulations of the recycled material. The medium-base lamp (included) can be changed out to a long-lived LED, providing functional down light below it.

FEATURES

  • Fixture Dimensions: Small, 11” H x 10.5” Dia; Large, 15” H x 15.5” Dia
  • Sandblasted glass bottom diffuser (Large size only)
  • Round white ceiling canopy
Graypants Hive9 Pendant Eco Lighting

GRAYPANTS HIVE9 PENDANT NATURAL

Using a precision-cut laser technique on the natural recycled cardboard material gives depth and dimension to Hive9’s textured appearance and allows warm light to filter through the corrugation. Hive9 is the smallest of these organic shapes, attracting attention with its angled layers. Not to worry, though; the cord will still hang straight thanks to a custom built-in inner ring.

FEATURES

  • Fixture Dimensions: Small, 11″ H x 9″ Dia; Medium, 14″ H x 12″ Dia; Large, 18″ H x 15″ Dia
  • Also available in White
  • Handmade in Netherlands
Graypants Drum Eco Lighting

GRAYPANTS DRUM36 SCRAPLIGHT PENDANT NATURAL

This contemporary, oversized drum luminaire presents a spinning, airy aesthetic. Three medium-base LED lamps (not-included) sparkle through the laser-cut shade, which almost seems to be in motion. Soft, meaningful light is cast down through the sandblasted glass diffuser.

FEATURES

  • Fixture Dimensions: Small, 8.5″ H x 18″ Dia; Medium, 9.5” H x 24” Dia; Large: 13.5” H x 36” Dia  
  • Sandblasted glass bottom diffuser
  • Shade is nontoxic and fire retardant
  • Handmade cardboard shade with steel structure

CERNO FUSES CALIFORNIA COOL AND RESPONSIBLE MANUFACTURING

The thoroughly California lighting studio Cerno is known for its high-end, minimalist designs and natural wood and metal finishes. Founders Nick Sheridan, Dan Wacholder, and Bret Englander focus on responsibly sourced materials and low-waste, and vertical manufacturing by doing all of the design and build in-house. Efficient use of raw materials puts Cerno at the forefront of sustainable design. Freed from traditional forms by built-in LED light sources, Cerno places the utmost importance on marrying innovation with craftsmanship.

Fortis LED Wall Sconce Eco Lighting

CERNO FORTIS LED WALL SCONCE

Fortis uses spare, monolithic natural elements to create warm lighting with a peaceful, moody feel; shown here with a striking, dark-stained walnut bracket and distressed-brass baseplate. The artisan bubble glass ensures that every light fixture is completely unique and worth a conversation about California design.

FEATURES

  • Fixture Dimensions: 120 Volt Fixture, 7.25” W, 12.38” H, 3.75” D; 277 Volt Fixture, 7.25” W, 12.38” H , 3.75” D 
  • Location Rating: UL Listed Damp
  • Built-in LED, available warm or cool light temperature
  • Available in Walnut and Dark Stained Walnut, 4 metallic finishes, and Artisan Bubble Glass or Carrara Marble
Calx LED Wall Sconce Eco Lighting

CERNO CALX LED WALL SCONCE

The Calx sconce is a clean and simple example of the Cerno ethic aligning form with function. The complementary materials—here Dark Walnut with a Rose Gold interior—create a trapezoid on the wall but show a different, beguiling aspect from every angle and feature a built-in LED. This sconce can be used in damp areas like the bathroom.

FEATURES

  • Fixture Dimensions: 8” W x 9” H x 4” D
  • Location Rating: UL Listed Damp
  • Dimming Information: ELV or TRIAC dimmer
  • Available in Oiled Walnut or Dark Stain Walnut shade colors; Brushed Aluminum, Rose Gold, Brushed Brass interior finishes
Cerno Sedo LED Wall Sconce Eco Lighting

CERNO SEDO LED WALL SCONCE

Sedo comprises three flat planes, all parallel to the wall. While direct view to the interior light source is shielded, its glow radiates up and down the wall and illuminates through a large polymer diffuser staged behind strong, architectural walnut elements. With its orthogonal statement, Sedo’s natural wood can bring warmth and softness to sometimes-stark modern living spaces.

FEATURES

  • Fixture Dimensions: 14” W x 36” H x 4” D
  • Location Rating: UL Listed Damp
  • Built-in LED, available warm or cool light temperature
  • Available in Oiled Walnut and Dark Stain Walnut shade colors

DISCOVER MORE ECO-FRIENDLY LIGHTING IDEAS AT ELEMENTAL GREEN.