Israeli lighting designers take quite literally Israel’s destiny to be “a light unto the nations.”
For a small country, Israel has a surprising number of lighting designers winning international customers for everything from industrial, architectural and smart-city lighting solutions to funky one-off fixtures handmade in small studios.
- Gaash Lighting
On the commercial side, a good example is Gaash Lighting. The newest line, Ceilight, combines ceiling tiles with flexible lighting elements for office designers to play with. The company is located on Kibbutz Gaash between Ra’anana and Netanya.
- Aqua Creations
Aqua Creations is a Tel Aviv design studio that straddles the commercial-residential divide. Ayala and Albi Serfaty founded the studio in 1996 and earned global acclaim for their dramatic lighting fixtures made of natural materials and described as a merger of art, design, function and spirituality.
Aqua Creations lighting and furniture are sold in 30 countries, including in a flagship store in Manhattan, and appear in homes, museums, public spaces and hotels in scores of cities across the world.
- Ayala Serfaty
In 2013, Ayala Serfaty opened an eponymous design studio in Tel Aviv. Her famed Soma collection features handcrafted sculptural lights evoking the form of the human body.
- Studio Cheha
In his Studio Cheha in Tel Aviv, Nir Chehanowski produces Bulbing LED lamps in high demand from customers from the Caribbean to Kuwait to China.
The thin acrylic glass lamps, which create a 3D optical illusion, are sold in museum and design stores in international cities. Interchangeable patterns such as a skull, balloons and car are fitted into a birch base.
- Amit Sturlesi
Industrial designer Amit Sturlesi is lighting up homes on three continents with his iLLuminite collection, which he told ISRAEL21c represents “a more unique and original approach to night lights and ambient lights.”
Sturlesi’s affordable fixtures, designed in Tel Aviv in a large assortment of shapes from sailboats to animals, use energy-efficient LED bulbs in a durable concrete base.
- Popup Lighting
Tel Aviv-based Popup Lighting was inspired by designer Chen Bikovski’s childhood fascination with pop-up books and the “simple pull that uncovers a whole new world.” Her whimsical aluminum deer-head and peacock lights have been featured in galleries and design publications.
A new cactus flowerpot style is being released in conjunction with Popup Lighting’s participation in the Ambiente 2017 trade fair in Frankfurt in February. A cardboard version of the lamp is also coming soon.
Popup Lighting offers free shipping to US addresses. ISRAEL21c readers can get 21% off any item in the online store, using the coupon code IL21C.
- Kerem Kaminski
Kerem Kaminski has a limited-edition lighting line that includes an African-mask-inspired Duets collection designed in collaboration with the Israeli illustrator Alon Braier. It combines digitally printed veneer sheets with mahogany, maple and iron. Kaminski’s industrial design studio is located in Jaffa.
- Naama Hofman
Naama Hofman in Tel Aviv designs her world-renowned lamp collections, special edition-pieces and site-specific installations as ambient objects meant to diffuse soft, even light. One of her latest projects is the lighting in Jerusalem’s new Bezalel boutique hotel.
- Ariel Zuckerman
Tel Aviv-based lighting and furniture designer Ariel Zuckerman debuted his latest collaborative designs at the Venice Biennale in 2016, highlighting natural materials such as marble and metal leftover from manufacturing processes.
Zuckerman’s “Folded” lighting collection, using paper-folding techniques applied to wooden sheets, is sold in Israel, Germany and France and has been featured in international design magazines.
His “Knitted” series combines industrial knitted fabric with handmade knitted detail mounted onto a skeletal structure; while “Crumpled” is made from creased aluminum sheeting.
- Iris Design Studio
Iris Design Studio in Netanya was created in 2003 by Iris Kadouri Rizenbah, who was trained in London and worked in New York City before returning to her native Israel. Stainless steel, aluminum, resin and Pyrex are among the materials she uses for fixtures installed in hotels, restaurants and residences. Free shipping worldwide.
- Studio Mabua
Aviad Petel and Efrat Zafran of Studio Mabua in Nordia, near Netanya, make their custom fixtures by hand from ceramics and wood veneers, with some metal accents.
The two were introduced by the owner of a hotel on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard after each did separate lighting design work for the property. They launched their first collection in 2016 and have no website yet.
- Studio Vayehi
At Studio Vayehi in Tel Aviv, Katharina Brand and Tzuri Gottlieb design and produce hand-crafted light objects made of thin slices of various fine woods.
- Yigal Abiri
Yigal Abiri, who works out of the small village of Bitzaron in southern Israel, handcrafts large sculptured artistic glass lamps. He honed his genre over the course of 12 years while serving as the CEO of a high-tech company.