The PH5 pendant light was launched in 1958 as a run-of-the-mill product and no one suspected it would become the archetype of PH lamps and the best-selling lamp in Scandinavian design history.
Its success comes from its striking aesthetics, but also from the irreproachable quality of its light: thanks to the clever calculations of Poul Henningsen, the light emitted optimizes the power of the bulb without ever dazzling, whatever the position of the lamp. To bring artificial light closer to natural light, Poul Henningsen added small lampshades with red and blue interiors to reinforce the extremes of the light spectrum. Finally, to take into account the variable shape of the bulbs, he added a screw system to optimize their vertical positioning.
The name of the PH5 pendant comes from the 50 cm diameter of its main shade. The PH5 Mini pendant, with a 30 cm diameter shade, appeared in 2017.
For the presentation of PH5, Poul Henningsen said: “After 33 years of basically Christian behaviour I have converted to Islam in my relationship to the manufacture of incandescent bulbs. For a generation I have believed that consideration for the consumer and common sense would prevail, but now I have become a fatalist. I have accepted fate, and with Louis Poulsen´s permission I have designed a PH fixture which can be used with any kind of light source, Christmas lights and 100 W metal-filament bulbs. Although a fluorescent tube would be too much to ask in the existing form!”.
PH5 Pendant Ø50 x H26,7 cm – light source 1 x E27
PH5 Mini Pendant Ø30 x H16,3 cm – light source 1 x E14
Materials spun aluminium
Cord 3 meters, textile – canopy included
Poul Henningsen (1894-1967) was a famous Danish designer who studied at the Technical School at Frederiksberg, Denmark, from 1911 to 1914, and then at the Technical College in Copenhagen from 1914 to 1917. He started practicing traditional functionalistic architecture, but over the years his professional interests changed to focus mainly on lighting which is what he became famous for.
He also expanded his field of occupation into areas of writing, becoming a journalist and an author. His lifelong collaboration with Louis Poulsen Lighting began in 1925 and lasted until his death. To this day, Louis Poulsen Lighting still benefits from his genius. Poul Henningsen was also the first editor of the company magazine “NYT”. Poul Henningsen’s pioneering work concerning the relations between light structures, shadows, glare, and color reproduction – compared to man’s need for light remains the fondation of the lighting theories still practiced by Louis Poulsen Lighting.