The industrial lighting aesthetic is all about functionality and simplicity. It emphasizes the raw and rugged look of industrial design, with materials such as wood being the key elements of the aesthetic.
To incorporate this aesthetic into a lighting project, I decided to use fixtures that feature wood guards, an exposed bulb, and other industrial elements. Wood was used to add interest and texture to the fixtures. The lighting is arranged in a way that creates a sense of structure and order, with fixtures spaced evenly and placed strategically to highlight key features of a space. In terms of colour temperature, industrial lighting tends to favour warmer tones such as 2700K or 3000K, which creates a cosy and inviting atmosphere. Dimming controls could also be incorporated to allow for flexibility in the lighting levels and to create different moods depending on the time of day or the specific needs of the space.
I chose to use some MDF wood that I had sitting around for my project. I created a hanging light structure with Autodesk Fusion 360. I created the model in such a way that the top view has a clock-wheel-shaped design to enhance the industrial appearance. The top mount also has a 28-tooth gear design to give it a more mechanical appearance. To further enhance the look, I also decided to incorporate weight-reduction slots throughout the design.
The lamp mount manufacturing process wasn’t as straightforward as I had anticipated. The designed parts were cut out of MDF timber sheets using a laser cutter as the initial phase in the manufacturing process. However, even though I repeatedly cut the same areas, the laser did not entirely penetrate the wood, preventing most of the portions from being cut. This meant that I would have to work with the pieces that did cut successfully and adjust the design as a result. The top and bottom mounts, which are crucial to the design, fortunately, did cut. I used a rope tied to the mounting points in a zigzag manner to replace the side support pieces that didn’t cut. To maintain the industrial look, I substituted the side support pieces that didn’t cut with rope that was zigzaggedly tied to the mounting points. Glueing the sections together was another challenge I ran across. I’ve previously dealt with MDF wood, and I normally use Superglue to join MDF components. Superglue did not hold the parts together this time while building the design. For bonding, I had to switch to Elmer’s glue. Elmer’s glue requires a long drying period, thus assembling the lamp required holding each component while waiting for it to dry. Soldering wires to the bulb holder presented me with my last challenge. The bulb’s contact points were covered with a substance that prevented solder from adhering to them. I had to scrape off the coating before soldering the wire.
My functional goals were to provide sufficient illumination, safety, sustainability and durability. The lamp did provide adequate lighting for the intended use of the space, whether it’s for reading, working, or general ambience. I designed to lamp to be constructed to be safe to use, with all electrical components properly installed and protected. I made the lamp from upcycled wood, which is eco-friendly and reduces waste. The lamp was designed and constructed to be durable and long-lasting, with high-quality electrical components and a sturdy base to ensure stability.
While my project did not go as planned, I feel like I ended up matching my industrial aesthetics. The ropes mounted onto the lamp structure add a mechanical aesthetic. Furthermore, the char from the laser-cut parts give the lamp an industrial feel. I plan to hang the lamp in my balcony and use it when dark outside as a mood light.