28 July 2016
It is since 2011 that the Argentinean designer Francisco Gomez Paz has been devoting a great deal of his skills to the search for solutions that exploit the technological and aesthetic potentialities of the LED: after the Synapse lamp came the Nothing, then Tango and later Mesh, which won the Red Dot Best of the Best award. All of these sprang from his fruitful collaboration with Luceplan. The Candela table lamp, the latest product of this research, is the first to be manufactured by Astep, the new brand created by Alessandro Sarfatti, grandson of Gino Sarfatti, who founded Arteluce in 1939, and son of Riccardo, who in 1978 set up Luceplan – for which Alessandro worked until 2013, when it was sold to Philips. The shared passion of the businessman and the designer for light is at the base of this new creation, very different in its form from the previous lamps designed by Gomez Paz, all characterized by a slender structure (“The form always stems from the idea,” explains the designer). Typologically resembling an oil lamp, Candela’s inventiveness consists in a canister of bioethanol located at the heart of the diffuser: the flame from this natural—and smokeless— fuel in fact releases heat that in turn produces power, thanks to a thermoelectric effect discovered 200 years ago by the Estonian-born physicist Thomas Seebeck whereby a difference in temperature generates electricity: and it is precisely the dissipation of the heat from the Peltier cells that powers the 24 small LEDs that illuminate the frosted glass diffuser. The energy produced is sufficient to charge mobile devices through a USB port (with the canister full, the lamp will burn for around six hours). Candela is a free-standing object that has no need of wires to function. It has a technological core that coexists with an exquisitely classical spirit and retains all the romantic quality linked to lighting with a flame, both aesthetically and at the level of color, the result of a long effort to make the light particularly warm. All characteristics that make it very versatile, suited not just to the home but also to restaurants, bars or waiting rooms.