Object of Desire: Anglepoise + Paul Smith Lamp

(image: Anglepoise)


The archetype of the lamp is the Anglepoise 1227, designed in 1935 by automotive engineer George Carwardine. George was fascinated by the use of springs to balance weights, and engineered a spring that could move in different directions yet stay rigid. As this was not suitable for cars, he used it for lighting instead. The lamp’s heavy three-spring base allows the lamp to be twisted in any direction; it can focus inwards and outwards, be extended horizontally or diagonally – while remaining perfectly in balance. British designer Paul Smith’s second edition of the Anglepoise Type 75, launched this year, features darker autumnal shades compared to the brighter summery tones of the first. ​


A tweaked version of the lamp, the Luxo L1, was launched by Norwegian designer Jacob Jacobsen in 1938. He had the blessings of spring manufacturer Herbert Terry & Sons, which George licensed the design to.


  • George named his iconic design Anglepoise, after “equipoise” (which means equilibrium) was rejected.
  • An Anglepoise lamp named Luxo Jr appears in the opening credits of all Pixar films.
  • In 2004, the company launched the Type 75 collection by British industrial designer Kenneth Grange. Its clean modernist lines have made it the company’s best- selling range.