Love letter to the Ikea PS 2014 light — surely a classic

modern pendant lightIt’s a nearly three-hour drive for me to an Ikea, and I made a rare trip recently to buy a carload full of Trofast shelving for another work-area project in my office. Plus, I thought I’d scope out Ikea. Of course, it was all great fun! There was lots to love — but hands-down, the product that stood out the most during my entire visit: The Ikea PS 2014 pendant light. This. Light. Is. Awesome. I was really blown away. This story is a love letter to the Ikea PS 2014 pendant light — with lots of dreamy glowy photos provided by the company. And, come back tomorrow — because Ikea also provided a light for a giveaway.

Pictures tell the story pretty well, so to start, lookie…

modern pendant lightmodern pendant lightmodern pendant light modern pendant lightmodern pendant lightHonestly, these gorgeous photos from Ikea don’t even capture how beautiful this light is in person. And it’s relatively big — 14″ in diameter closed, even bigger when opened – so quite a statement …. And — it’s relatively inexpensive! That’s a potent combination, for sure. I know this is a retro blog, and I don’t think it’s correct to call this a retro light. But hey, “science fiction movies” maybe gets you into that territory. Plus, it reminds me of something that Buckminster Fuller would have designed — geodesic dome-ish.

modern pendant lightIt seems like the “signature” color of this pendant light is orange. Designer David Wahl explained:

“When the lamp is closed it resembles a ball of fire, with the color of the arms creating an exciting light.”

His full statement of intent, which also explains how you can control the light emitted by opening and closing the plastic arms:

Designer thoughts
“The idea behind IKEA PS 2014 pendant lamp is to be able to dim the light manually by changing the shape of the shade. When the lamp is closed it resembles a ball of fire, with the color of the arms creating an exciting light. When you pull the string the lamp opens up and releases all the light. My inspiration came from science fiction movies and video games, which I like a lot. And even if the lamp stands out visually, it doesn’t take much room – perfect for anyone who lives in a small space.”
Designer David Wahl

Note, while the whole thing is plastic, I didn’t think it looked “cheap” at all — it looked great.

The light also now comes in other colors, and they are nice enough. But I’d go for the orange — they had me at “the ball of fire within”.

modern pendant light modern pendant light modern pendant light modern pendant light modern pendant light

Ikea mid mod dining room

Remember this cute little Ikea dining room we mocked up last year?

Admission: I didn’t buy one, because I am really trying to stop buying things I have no place for and because I already have a vintage lighting store in my attic, BUT, golly, I really think this light will become a 21st century classic. If I had a spot for it, I’d be all over it!

Ikea PS 2014 Pendant lamps:


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  1. Dan says

    One of the first Ikeas in the US opened near me in the mid 80’s. Being young and hip, we made a pilgrimage there almost every weekend to ogle the kind of clean, modern design that, until then, just was not available or affordable to folks like us.

    Now it has become fashionable to dismiss Ikea products as somewhat ‘cheesy’ and of low quality. I think they deserve much credit for shaking up the furniture and houseware industries, and proving there is a wide market for fun, inventive, and modern design.

  2. Carolyn says

    I think this fits in with “doing it the hard way”…sometimes the availability and/or price don’t sync up so, instead of being authentic, you go with “in the style of”. And wouldn’t you say this is also in the family of globe pendants? Not so much looking straight at the fixture but how the light lays on the surfaces.
    I think the descriptor is “Groovy”.

  3. Steve H says

    It’s very much in the spirit of 1960’s lighting from Italian companies like Artemide. They were also designed with adjustments that allowed you to vary the amount of light filtering through.

    Now I have the urge to go visit our local Ikea. I need to pick up some of their cheap scissor sets (scissors have a way of disappearing in our house). And I’m getting hungry for meatballs.

  4. ineffablespace says

    I think that one of the things that IKEA does well is to make contemporary design available at a price point that is reasonable for a lot of people.

    Accessibility to good design was one of the philosophies of the modernist movement, with the Case Study houses, and furniture, and the technologies of molded plywood and fiberglass and plastic shells.

    The philosophy was good but it didn’t really work out that way. Architecturally, it’s much easier and cheaper to build using lots of traditional millwork and moldings to cover up all the inconsistencies and flaws of standard construction than it is to build a house with minimal detail.

    It’s cheaper to build a heavy piece of furniture out of wood and cardboard and lots of foam than it is to build a sturdy chair that you can pick up with one hand–and throw off a building in the case of an Emeco chair.

    With the iconic pieces of mid century modern furniture topping 5 figures for case pieces and sofas, 4 figures for chairs, and even beyond halfway to 4 figures for a molded fiberglass or plywood chair, this puts the target consumer for semi-mass produced furniture in with the target consumer for studio or hand crafted furniture.

    Some IKEA furniture and fixtures fill the void for well designed, durable modernist furniture for the consumer who does not have the budget for Knoll, Herman Miller, Fritz Hansen, Finn Juhl, and the rest.

    I think they have gotten a bad rap mostly for some of their furniture that is more traditional in appearance: heavy, not very easy to move from house to house, that starts to lose integrity if it is moved around because its particle board put together with fasteners. This also has a target market, but that target market is often highly mobile, and it’s easier to dispose of this sort of furniture than it is to move it and get it somewhere else all in one piece.

    • pam kueber says

      Agreed. And it’s early in the day and my to-do list is calling so I won’t add too much but to say: My sense is that when people are moving and need to sell their Ikea, the furniture sells pretty fast and at a decent price. Because of the standardization and overall quality consistency, people know what they are getting. So it’s not likely a bad “investment” if you are a mobile person and need furniture for a relatively short period.

      • GlenEllyn says

        I bought that island several years ago for my kitchen and it was wonderful. It added a lot of work space. I bought a couple of 24″ bar stools (they fit under the counter, out of the way when not in use) and it was a great place to perch and have a quick bite or read the paper. The added storage space was great, too. I say “was” since I left it behind when I moved because it wouldn’t fit in the kitchen of my current home. I miss it, but it worked so well in that kitchen – that’s where it belongs. Besides, I know the buyers love it, too.

      • Katie says

        I have a similar piece that sits underneath my kitchen window. It is great for storage, and I can set bread or muffin tins onto the stainless

  5. says

    You know, I was wondering the other day about good ways to integrate my uber-geek and retro-style tastes! It’s a little like a 60s lamp and a little like a mini-Death Star. Perfect!

    • Steve H says

      Yes! It’s totally mini-Death Star! I’m kind of expecting that the success of the new Star Wars movie may spur a wave of 1970’s nostalgia, which I think is great. In it’s own way, it was a very cool time.

    • sandybeach says

      I opened up the comments section just to say that this is the Deathstar. Star Wars has crept into every facet of our lives!!!

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      However, with the mail order you don’t get Swedish meatballs! Did you go to IKEA in New Haven? My grandson, when he was 6 years old, told people his other grandparents live in IKEA, because every time the family makes the trek down there, they meet the grandparents and have lunch. So he got the idea that they actually lived in the store. Just imagine that for a minute–your choice of kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and play areas. What’s not to like? 🙂

  6. Craig says

    I totally LOVE this light! It looks great in photos, but in person WOW it’s stunning! This is one of those pieces that is a conversation starter for sure, and a very interactive one at that. This would play very nicely with the ‘plastic fantastic’ mod 60s furniture. IKEA is always on our list of go-to stores when we need an affordable and stylish modern solution.

  7. Rebecca prichard says

    They have had quite a few lights that are just plain awesome. I have two that are, and one that I couldn’t work into my home. I still think of it.

  8. ineffablespace says

    I am always a bit concerned about the time-capsule potential of plastics and other petrochemicals. While plastics don’t biodegrade, on the other hand they do deteriorate and get brittle or discolored. Especially when exposed to heat and light as in lightbulbs. Many of the early Nelson pendants are tan and brittle –and my early womb chairs are filled with rock hard lumps of foam.
    Everything wears and ages but some modernist materials age in ways that affect the integrity of the piece so they are more ephemeral than traditional pieces in traditional materials.

      • Steve H says

        I’m in the process of replacing all of the bulbs in my vintage lamps with LED bulbs. They create far less heat and, as I understand, less UV radiation, so it should be much better for the plastic in the long run. The new LEDs produce a nice warm light that is really indistinguishable from incandescent bulbs.

  9. Karin says

    This is so great! I’ve seen it in several design magazine shoots and didn’t know it was Ikea!
    Another great Ikea lamp with a midcentury vibe is the Stockholm chandelier, which I was considering for my kitchen when I was looking at sputnik style pendants.
    I was shocked at the high prices of other online sputniks. The Ikea Stockholm was sort of cool, but I held off because its oval shape, while elegant, didn’t really read as a sputnik. However, to my delight and amazement, I found out online that people have been hacking the lamp’s assembly by randomly inserting the starbursts instead of following the set pattern–resulting in a round sputnik. Genius! I thought I’d pass that along.

  10. Onawa says

    A 90 minute trip for us…but we have made several and have at least one thing from ikea in most of our rooms. It has a nice, clean modern look but it usually very functional and while inexpensive, is better quality than the target/walmart offerings.

  11. Birgitta says

    In the 1970’s as a young teen my parents told me that I could redecorate my room. Green shag carpeting, orange walls and a yellow bean bag chair. From IKEA I got a yellow plastic light that hung from the ceiling and white modern looking furniture. We ordered it from Sweden and had it shipped. It was actually cheaper than buying furniture in the US. The yellow plastic lamp eventually fell apart but the white wood furniture is still in great shape and we still use it.

  12. Sandy says

    Another winner from IKEA. I am a staunch supporter and we have bought several mid-century styled items from them over the years. This lamp is particularly interesting.

  13. MK says

    We have this light in our kitchen over the table. It looks great, but the bulb IKEA says is the max is quite dim. That’s really the only drawback. People always comment on the light and my husband loves showing off the death star feature.

  14. Tikimama says

    The Exploding Death Star Light! That’s what I first called it when we saw it in the store a year + ago. I suggested it for the mock-up photo you posted above, too. This light came out long before the current Star Wars inundation, but I bet it’ll get a few more fans just because of it. We have it in our den, and while the light isn’t really bright, it is so cooooool! I’ll attempt to get a good photo. My younger daughter loves to pull on the adjusting cords, but I discourage that because I’m afraid it might get stuck. And another thing – I remember it was a bit of a mind-tickler to figure out how to put the pieces together (they don’t just come that way out of the box, y’know!)

    • G S says

      My DH also said “Death Star!” when I showed it to him. We have Ikea pretty closeby, so I may check it out in person. We have a hook to hang it in the LR.

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