Very few things are as discouraging to us as over-design. It’s depressing to know that somebody out there worked extra hard to overstep harmonious design and continued right on through to achieve superfluous, often nonsensical results. When you’ve solved the problem elegantly – stop – go home and be with your kids, go have a drink. Apparently most lighting designers aren’t spending enough time with their kids or enough time at the bar because, it seems to us, they just keep designing and designing. Most light fixtures seem over-worked to the point of design-coma. For the last several years we’ve been searching far and wide for light fixtures that are about the nature of light itself – rather than the fixture. There are, of course, some very nicely designed light fixtures out there, and for those we recommend Louis Poulsen and Artemide. But with most of our favorite lights you don’t even notice the light fixture itself. Here’s what we’ve come up with, let us know what’s on your list:

B-Lux: Zentrum Wall or Ceiling Light, $800, 25.25″SQ X 3.25″
Fluorescent lamps & electronic ballast

B-Lux Zentrum light

B-Lux: Q-Bo Wall or Ceiling Light, $240, 6″W X 6.25″H
Compact fluorescent lamp & electronic ballast

B-Lux Q-Bo light

Prisma: Pro Interior Plat Series & Tech Series
Compact Fluorescent

Prisma Pro Interior Tech & Plat

Prisma: Quatrix Series
Compact Fluorescent

Prisma Quatrix Series lights

Prisma Quatrix Series lights

RAB Lighting: VBR BRACKET, $50 & VX 4″ BOX, $28
Incandescent up to 200 watts.
RAB lights

Prudential Lighting: P-60, P-61, P-40 & P10 series
Suspended / wall-mounted mountings.
Downlight / up/downlight / uplight / wallwasher with fluorescent

Prudential lighting P10-60 series

Prudential Lighting: Snap series

Prudential snap series light

Prudential snap series light

Luceplan: Metropoli Series, $180 – $800
Fluorescent or Incandescent

Metropoli series lights

Metropoli series lights

Metropoli series lights

Aamsco: Alinea, ~$200
12″, 20″ or 40″ lengths x 1.3” wide x 1.75” high

Aamsco Alinea lights

Thomas Lighting SL875-3 – Indoor/Outdoor Wall Sconce, $25

Thomas SL875-3

Twenty-five-friggin-bucks for a nice, clean, modern lamp. With the money you save on this fixture you can join the designer at the bar.