Spanish Lighting Company LZF have grown from tiny beginnings almost twenty years to become one of the best known lighting design companies in Europe. Similar to other successful European manufacturers who have used innovation as a springboard to greatness LZF also embraced the taking of an innovative path early on.
LZF are masters of using wood in lighting. Over twenty years ago the founders Marivi Calvo and Sandro Tothill worked together to produce early prototypes of lights using a variety of treated wood veneers. Their initial efforts focussed on seeing how wood veneers diffused light, then they progressed to dyeing wood to create special effects and using the veneers to create twisted shapes which became extraordinarily beautiful, sculptural objects when lit.
Over the years they have continued to innovate, experiment and grow. Their range has increased, the fluidity with which they can handle wood and create new objects has also increased. LZF are now the market leaders and innovators in using wood in contemporary lighting in much the same way as Kartell have become the masters of using plastic.
We met with Beatrice the representative from LZF recently. Visiting to show us new products and talk through changes to the range what struck us all was the speed and dedication to change and experimentation the company exhibits. From April a new set of pieces will be launched at design fairs throughout Europe, new pieces will be introduced, old ones retired, new colours explored – nothing stays still.
At the heart of the LZF brand is their ownership & mastery of the medium of wood. Having honed their experience in working with this material over the past twenty years the company can now justifiably claim to be the real masters of this medium. Using carefully selected FSC wood veneers the company prepares each piece with care & consideration. The initial colours are decided and hand-applied with great care to respect and highlight the natural grain and pattern of the wood. For LZF the use of colour is important – they have developed their own range of colours created especially for their products. Each colour is created specifically for the type of wood it will be used on. In the case of darker woods a lighter colour is required in order to make sure that the light can be seen through the coloured veneer, for lighter woods a stronger colour may be required. The decision as to what dye to use on which wood is informed by years of experience, testing and trying finishes. It is this experience that marks LZF out from the rest of the competitors in this market segment.
Following the colouring process, the use of a special, environmentally friendly solution that is carefully applied to the wood is the first step in making sure the wood is pliable enough to bend in the required manner for the piece being constructed. Once this is applied and the shapes are created using a variety of hand techniques and simple hand tools the piece is ready for final construction and finishing. The final finishing is a highly important part of the making process – through this process each piece is checked for any flaws, irregularities before it is wrapped and shipped.
The piece is then ready to find a place in the interior of a home or business where it will provide a lifetime of illumination.
Why buy an LZF piece? We believe that LZF is truly one of the most innovative companies we have dealt with. Having partnered with them early in their development we have seen them grow and expand but still retain their commitment to innovation & excellence. We have used their fittings in hundreds of projects Some are residential homes that needed a shot of detail and colour in an otherwise slick interior, some are retail projects where the use of such design classics serves to underline the high quality products the shop seeks to promote. We have used the fittings in many restaurants & businesses also – in each instance the addition of the piece provides the perfect finishing touch to the building. Given the wide variety of pieces available from LZF we can nearly always find a colourway (from over twenty given colours) and a shape that matches our needs.
In terms of maintenance the pieces require very little, an occasional dust with a dry duster is all that is required. The use of damp cloths is not recommended as it can interfere with the formed wood in the shape. For colour longevity it is recommended that the pieces are not hung in direct sunlight as this will darken the colour irregularly.
Below are our top picks from LZF range plus our favourite colours.If you want to discuss using LZF in your next project please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help. We’ve linked to a few resources below also.
LZF Video of making process is here and well worth a watch.
Our Pinterest board of LZF is at this link Finally, the full resources from LZF can be found at their website at this link. Happy exploring!