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From shades inspired by sea urchins to profiles designed to fade into the background when not in use, these exterior lighting collections from the likes of Flos, Bover and Artemide will help make the most of outdoor spaces – and outdoor life – in both private and public settings.

Bonbori by Brokis

When creating the first exterior light for Czech brand Brokis, Japanese product designer Fumie Shibata referenced the traditional paper lanterns used to light the pathways that lead to temples and shrines during the annual rice harvest festivals. While familiar in form to its namesake, Shibata applied a robust material palette in an utterly refined way: a simple stainless steel cylinder seamlessly transitions from a solid base into a diffuser with a symmetrical arrangement of laser-cut perforations, which casts an ambient glow through an elegant hand-blown glass shade. Offered in matte black, copper metallic matte or grey metallic matte with either a tinted or opaline glass shade.

Camouflage by Flos

With Flos‘ Camouflage, Piero Lissoni plays with perception – when turned on, the minimal disc emits a lovely halo-like diffusion of light, when off, it seemingly recedes into its surroundings. The sconce’s circular face (which is offered in two sizes, 140 and 240 millimetre diameters) can be finished in a number of rough materials including concrete, Basaltina stone, anthracite, various marbles and teak, to integrate perfectly with all manner of architecture. A special plate allows the piece to sit nearly flush on the wall and a parabolic reflector made from white polycarbonate distributes the light in an even radius to subtly yet beautifully enhance outdoor settings.

“O” Series by Artemide

While it originally debuted in 2018, the “O” series of sculptural outdoor lighting is jumping the pond and will be available in North America early summer. Designed by Elemental, the Chilean multidisciplinary studio helmed by Alejandro Aravena, “O” is intended to be as unobtrusive as possible in public spaces, only illuminating when activated by motion to minimize light pollution and offering framed views of nature through its aperture when off; the thin aluminum frame is embedded with sensors that can be controlled and adjusted via the Artemide app. “O” is offered in floor or suspension versions (both in 45- or 90-centimetre diameters) and in either a black or white finish.

Dotwave by Sonneman – A Way of Light

Part of Sonneman’s expanding Inside-Out collection, the Dotwave series introduces dynamic movement thanks to gradient pinholes arranged in fluid patterns on the aluminum shade. Rendered in circular, square or rectangular shapes, the three-dimensional wave-like effect radiates light in “micro-doses” to diminish direct glare while providing a diffused glow from both the front surface and against the wall or ceiling on which it’s installed. Multiple sizes are available for each geometry and each comes in either Textured Black or Textured White finishes. 

Garota Catenary by Bover

The most recent addition to Bover‘s Garota family of outdoor lighting by Alex Fernández Camps and Gonzalo Milà is a garland application that suspends the textural sea urchin-inspired shades from an inconspicuous black neoprene cable system. Hand-woven from a recyclable polyethylene fibre, the individual shades (available in ivory white or brown) filter light through their weave to emit a soft glow overhead that introduces an organic charm to terraces, patios and gardens.

Bright Spots: Five Outdoor Lights That Enliven Al Fresco Living

From intimate private settings to public spaces, these new collections brighten up the outdoors.

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