Lamps That Shine Light Everywhere But In Your Eyes

Lukas Peet’s Table Lights lamps use specular and diffuse optical effects to cast light in all the right places.

Lampshades were invented for a reason — to keep bulbs from outright blinding people — even though they’re ultimately pretty inefficient. They block more light than they need to, which means you’ve got to arrange several lamps in a room to illuminate it adequately. That wastes space and, worse, fattens your carbon footprint.


Lukas Peet’s Table Lights lamps manage to screen the eyes without using an actual shade. Both designs shown here feature a half-mirrored, globe bulb that casts light downward, on the table, and away from your face.

Then depending on how much and what kind of light you want in the rest of the room, you select either the Specular or the Diffuse Table Light. With the Specular model, the bulb attaches to a yellow post jammed in a stainless steel bowl that’s polished like a mirror inside. The steel throws warm light — enhanced by the yellow post — upward onto the ceiling, brightening the whole room.

The Diffuse model, on the other hand, only illuminates the table top. Its bulb shines down over a pale yellow ceramic base, whose cone shape spreads the light softly — diffusely — over the the table. The model works best as a desk or reading lamp. We reckon both models could stand alone as beautiful sculpture.

As for whether they’re eco-friendly: weeeeeell. The Specular lamp certainly seems to obviate the need for other lamps. The problem is that the mirrored bulbs are earth-desecrating incandescents. But maybe you could summon the same optical effects using mirrored CLFs or LEDs? Do those even exist? Either way, it’s a clever concept and an intriguing attempt to put clumsy old lamp shades in the, er, shade.


Peet tells Co.Design that the Table Lights are available in limited quantities. To buy one, contact him directly.

[Images courtesy of Lukas Peet]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.