Scandinavia Design

PH Glass table lamps 

Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

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Louis Poulsen, Danish Design Lighting
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

Ø20 x H35,5 cm

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

Ø29,7 x H47,2 cm

Ø33 x H45 cm

Ø45 x H55 cm

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

The PH family of table lamps with 3 glass shades was born in the winter of 1925-26 for an exhibition in Copenhagen. In 1926, Poul Henningsen said about this new system: "The real innovation of the PH luminaire is that it produces glare-free as well as economical lighting.

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

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Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

 PH2/1 Glass Table Lamp

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

The PH2/1 Table Lamp is part of the PH family of lamps with 3 shades. The first number of its name indicates that the diameter of the upper shade is 20cm, the second that the ratio is 3/2/1. 

The PH2/1 is available as a suspension lamp, table lamp and wall lamp.

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

Dimensions shade Ø20cm, base Ø12cm, height 35.5cm

Materials Mouth-blown white opal glass. Black metallised or High lustre chrome plated, machined brass.

Mounting Vinyl cord with plug. Cable length: 1.75m. Light control: In-line switch on cord.

Weight 1.5 kg

Light source 1 x QT-ax 14 G9

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

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

PH2/1 Glass / Chrome

PH2/1 Glass / Black

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

PH2/1 Glass / Brass

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

PH3/2 Glass Table Lamp

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

The PH3/2 Table Lamp is part of the PH family of lamps with 3 shades, born during the winter of 1925-26 for an exhibition in Copenhagen. For the PH3/2 Table Lamp, the first number indicates that the diameter of the upper shade is 30cm, and the second that the size ratio between the 3 shades is 3/2/1.

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

Dimensions Ø 29.7 cm. Height 47.2 cm. 

Materials Shades: Mouth-blown white opal glass. Top plate: Black chrome plated, metallic brass or high lustre chrome plated, spun brass. Base & Stem: Black chrome plated or high lustre chrome plated, brass.

Mounting Cable type: Plastic cord with plug. Cable length: 2.1m. Light control: In-line switch on cord.

Weight Min: 2.7 kg Max: 3.0 kg

Light source 1 x E14

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

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

PH3/2 Glass / Chrome

PH3/2 Glass / Black

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

PH3/2 Glass / Brass

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

PH3½-2½ Glass Table Lamp

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

Designed over 80 years ago, the PH 3½-2½ Table Lamp has not aged a bit. In 2017, Louis Poulsen introduced a new version of the lamp, featuring an opal glass shade and available in 3 base versions - high gloss chrome, metallic black and metallic brass.

The PH3½-2½ Glass Table Lamp operates on Poul Henningsen's classic 3-shade system, which diffuses a multi-directional, non-glare and very comfortable light.

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

Dimensions Ø33 x H45 cm

Finishes white opal glass shade, high gloss chrome or black metal frame

Mounting plastic cord with plug 2.5 m – switch on the cord

Weight 2.5 kg

Light source E14

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

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

PH3½-2½ Glass / Chrome

PH3½-2½ Glass / Black

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

PH3½-2½ Glass / Brass

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

PH4½-3½ Glass Table Lamp

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

The 4½-3½ Glass Table Lamp is based on an approximately 45 cm shade, but uses the low shades of the 3½ . These "hybrid" designs 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 Lamp in its current form was introduced in 1990.

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

Dimensions Ø45 x H55 cm

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

Mounting cord with plug 2.7 m – switch on lamp stand.

Weight 9.9 kg

Light source 1 x E27

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

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

PH4½-3½ Glass / Chrome

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

About PH Glass Table Lamps

As early as 1925, Poul Henningsen came up with the idea of using a logarithmic spiral to control the brightness and shade of the light in the fixture, with each shade decreasing the amount of light emitted equally with distance from the bulb.

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

The transitions in brightness between each shade were harmonic, the relative size of the shades and their positioning were determined by the need to reduce glare, the arrangement of the light and the need for light distribution, according to some remarkably simple principles.

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

The concept was extremely flexible: not only was it possible to obtain different sizes, but also to shape the light with white, silver or gold surfaces. Designer Poul Henningsen imagined that in a restaurant the light should be warm and intimate, and that a golden surface should be used, unlike in a hospital where white surfaces should be used.

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

The first lights were all made with metal shades, then Poul Henningsen developed a variant in opal glass with a sandblasted bottom. The shades let 12% of the light through and contributed to the ambient lighting of the room, while most of the light was reflected downwards.

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

For the suspended lamps, the sizes of the 3 shades respected a ratio of about 3/2/1. For table lamps, the lower shades had to be smaller. This is how the ratio PH 2/1 and PH 3/2 were born.

Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927
Lampes de table PH verre Louis Poulsen – Poul Henningsen, 1927

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.