Candles that never burn
TEXT: Mavis Wong
PHOTOGRAPHY: Courtesy of Kevin Reilly Lighting
Never fear — these ingenious candles won’t burn down your house, but will spice it up in a new take on an old lighting tradition.
The flickering light of a candle has always had the power to soothe, mesmerise and enhance our feeling of well-being – it’s perfect for occasional mood lighting, but when it comes to a permanent light source for modern residences, brightness, practicality and safety certainly become matters of concern.
Taking up the challenge to bring ‘candle magic’ into every aspect of our everyday lives, one designer created distinctive electrical wax candles. From chandeliers to sconces, floor and table lamps as well as outdoor lighting, a special bulb is inserted inside the candle, emitting a warm glow in a sculptural via an unexpected infusion of modern technology.
Kevin Reilly, the creator behind this perfect mix of the old and the new, talks to Perspective about his works.
Tell us about your very first candle fixture.
The initial concept was a result of a commission to create lighting for a small, intimate restaurant. We wanted to provide candlelight but were concerned with practicality and had to address issues such as safety. Mostly, we still wanted to achieve a very romantic and natural quality of light.
So what kind of treatment is needed to achieve all that?
The candles are made of a special wax formula and patented shape that make the candles resistant to melting. Our candle fixtures offer a soft steady glow that may be dimmed if desired. Also, they naturally merge into traditional, contemporary, and modern design.
Are they only for mood-setting and decorative purposes?
Many of our fixtures incorporate task lighting as well as ambient lighting. In most of these fixtures, the task lighting and ambient lighting can be controlled separately.
What sets your collection apart from other mood lighting fixtures?
I would say it’s our belief that the sculptural quality of a fixture is as important as its function – when designing and engineering, equal attention is given to both. Also, the quality of craftsmanship and material is paramount.
We have approximately 30 employees here. They are all an integral part of the process. Each possesses different skills and abilities that make this ‘mix of old and new’ possible.
How would you define your design?
I do not try to define my design or style. I enjoy being able to create objects that are interesting to me. If in fact there is a style, it is a result of a lifetime of influences, including an appreciation for the single, straightforward approach of industrial design.
To you, what makes the ideal lighting?
I feel that lighting should serve a sculptural/decorative function, while providing illumination, comfort and a defined space.
Are you planning something new for your series?
I’m very interested in designing and introducing new objects in addition to new lighting. I plan to travel a lot in the next couple of years and I feel sure this will impact my work. I’m also very interested in working with new materials, and learning new disciplines and inevitably letting these things affect my work. This is all very exciting to me. I am very curious and enjoy getting lost in adventure.
For more, check out www.kevinreillylighting.com
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