Beyond IKEA: Scandinavian Lighting Brands We Love
You have likely heard of Scandinavian style and can recognise its hallmarks: natural light, warm whites, clean lines, and pale timbers. But what of Scandinavian lighting? The Nordics do suffer through long and dark winters, so cosy indoor lighting is extremely important.
Shying away from downlights, Scandinavians favour decorative lights that showcase beautiful materials and inject warmth and character into interiors. Like with Scandinavian design generally, Scandinavian designed lights are well-proportioned and timeless, yet also fresh and fashionable. There is good reason why Scandinavian style is perennially popular – it’s so effortlessly cool!
The most prolific maker of Scandinavian lighting is IKEA. The Swedish furniture giant has a huge selection of lights that are functional, stylish, and irresistibly priced. At Lighterior, we are big fans of IKEA, however, because it’s a globalised brand, the products are increasingly homogeneous – designed to appeal to the broadest range of people, while having the lowest possible unit price. Trips to IKEA for affordable furnishings are fun and fiscally smart, but the quality and originality of their lighting is no match with other Scandinavian lighting brands.
So, look beyond IKEA to brands like Nordlux, Northern, Audo Copenhagen, Normann Copenhagen and Nordic Fusion. In some cases (like with Nordlux) these lights will not cost you a whole lot more. The difference of course is that you are shopping small, buying authentic design, and investing in a product made to last.
Keep reading to familiarise yourself with the best of the Scandinavian lighting brands and their standout products.
Nordlux is regarded as IKEA’s main rival in lighting. The Danish brand has a mission to offer lighting products at attractive prices. Nordlux was at the forefront of the industrial trend, and their Adrian table lamp and floor lamp embody this style. However, it’s their outdoor lights that are proving very popular, in particular the Aludra Wall Light and the Canto Maxi 2 Wall Light, both of which are available in a range of fashionable Nordic colours.
Northern is a relatively new Norwegian brand, established in 2011. They are serious about design and collaborate with prominent industrial designers to conceive their new collections. Northern’s recent release, the Tradition pendant light designed by Morten & Jonas, is an instant hit: its lightweight, ethereal beauty is classic Scandinavian style. The brand is also invested in heritage Norwegian design and owns the rights to manufacture and distribute the classic Birdy table lamp and Dokka pendant light.
In 2023 two Danish home goods brands, By Lassen and MENU, merged to form Audo Copenhagen. The name comes from MENU’s beloved Copenhagen showroom, The Audo.
Audo Copenhagen describes their aesthetic as soft minimalism, “clean lines, calm, subtle strength, earth tones and nature’s materials crafted with the upmost respect”. This brand is selling a lifestyle, a very beautiful one, and for that reason their table lamps are highly sought-after. You too can embody the Scandi-cool vibe with the classic JWDA lamp, the cute Carrie portable table lamp, or the smart Ray portable table lamp.
Another Danish brand based in – you guessed it – Copenhagen. Normann Copenhagen produces cult classics, you might know their Bit stool, made from 100 percent recycled plastic. As for lighting, their Bell pendant light reigns supreme; with its clean bulbous shape and smooth matte surface, this pendant light has enjoyed over a decade of popularity and shows no signs of becoming passé. Lighterior’s recent collaboration with photographer Nat of The Palm Co. also brought our attention to the delightful Porta table lamp, which she styled in her home office. Cute and compact, it’s also very well-priced.
Small confession, Nordic Fusion is an Australian brand that imports Scandinavian lights from OYOY Living Design and Gejst. Theirs is a capsule collection, a tightly curated offering of lights that makes it easy to get the Scandi look. Our favourites if we had to choose? The Luna opaque pendant light for its minimal simplicity and the Toppu table lamp because who can resist stripes?!
For a lighting scheme that is cosy, warm, and effortlessly cool, look to lights from Scandinavian lighting brands. IKEA is a great start, but if you venture beyond the Swedish superstore, you will discover brands that are committed to original design and impeccable craftsmanship with lights that will make your house a home.