Scandinavia Design

PH4½-3½ Glass floor lamp

Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1931

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Louis Poulsen, Danish Design Lighting
Lampadaire PH4½-3½ Verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1931
Lampadaire PH4½-3½ Verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1931

The PH4½-3½ Floor Lamp is part of the PH family of lamps with 3 shades, born in the winter of 1925-26 for an exhibition in Copenhagen. In 1926, Poul Henningsen said of this new system: "The real innovation of the PH luminaire is that it produces light that is both glare-free and economical. 

Lampadaire PH4½-3½ Verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1931
Lampadaire PH4½-3½ Verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1931

It's fairly easy to create glare-free lighting (indirect light or with a thick shade) if a portion of the light can be wasted. It's also easy to create highly efficient luminaires if you ignore the fact that they are highly irritating to the eyes. But creating lighting that is both economical and glare-free is an art. 

The PH 4½-3½ Glass Floor Lamp is based on a shade of around 45 cm, but uses lower shades than the 3½ model. These "hybrid" models were introduced because of the desire to hang pendants at lower heights. The system was also used for floor, table and wall lamps. The PH 4½-3½ Glass Floor Lamp in its current form was introduced in 1990.

Lampadaire PH4½-3½ Verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1931

PH 4½-3½ Floor Lamp

Dimensions Ø45 x H125 cm

Materials mouth-blown white opal glass – high lustre chrome plated, spun brass

Mounting cord with plug 3.3m – on/off switch on cord

Weight 14.1 kg

Light source 1 x E27

Class Ingress protection IP20. Electric shock protection II w/o ground.

Poul Henningsen

Poul Henningsen

Born in Copenhagen, Poul Henningsen's mother was the famous Danish actress Agnes Henningsen. He never qualified as an architect, but studied at the Technical School in Frederiksberg (Denmark) from 1911 to 1914, and then at the Technical College in Copenhagen (1914-1917).

He started out practising traditional functionalist architecture, but over the years his professional interests evolved to focus mainly on lighting, which is what he is most famous for. He also branched out into writing, becoming a journalist and author. For a brief period at the start of the Second World War, he was chief architect of Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. But like many other creative people, he was forced to flee Denmark during the German occupation, and soon became a vital part of the Danish colony of artists living in Sweden.

His long collaboration with Louis Poulsen began in 1925 and lasted until his death. To this day, Louis Poulsen still benefits from his genius. Poul Henningsen was also the first editor-in-chief of the business magazine "NYT". Louis Poulsen's CEO at the time, Sophus Kaastrup-Olsen, offered PH the magazine because he had been sacked from the Danish newspaper he was working for (his views were too radical).

Poul Henningsen's pioneering work on the relationship between light structures, shadows, glare and colour reproduction, compared with man's need for light, remains the foundation of the lighting theories still practised by Louis Poulsen.