The Ion’s spun-steel body is an upturned insulator cap from a 1920s hanging factory light. It’s a nod to Schoolhouse Electric’s origins: Brian Faherty, a former real estate agent, founded the company
using Depression-era cast-iron molds from an upstate New York factory.
The Ion’s striking Edison bulb doesn’t shine too brightly. It’s intended to lend a soft glow for specific tasks, not serve as a primary light source. “[It’s like] a portable electric candle,” says Faherty. “It’s not meant to be so stationary, so it can take on a lot of looks and purposes.”
Faherty is a big fan of natural wood: He has an office filled with wooden midcentury furniture, and he’s been known to relax by chopping logs. That’s partly why the Ion’s base is made of unpainted plywood. “You can actually see the grain of the ply,” he says.
The lights bear metal labels designed to evoke tags from old industrial machinery. “It was like an art form,” Faherty says. His team also opted to brand the Ion with their town: Portland, Oregon. “That ‘place’ part is important to us.”
From $119, schoolhouseelectric.comSL