White powder coated aluminum, 4 shades are white lacquered on the inside and one red. Blue anti-glare disc in bottom shade. Excellent condition.
Poul Henningsen developed the PH 5 for Louis Poulsen in 1958 in response to constant changes to the shape and size of incandescent bulbs by manufacturers. At the introduction of this iconic piece, Poul Henningsen wrote:
“After 33 years of basically Christian behaviour I have converted to Islam in my relationship to the manufacture of incandescent bulbs. For a generation I have believed that consideration for the consumer and common sense would prevail, but now I have become a fatalist. I have accepted fate, and with Louis Poulsen´s permission I have designed a PH fixture which can be used with any kind of light source, Christmas lights and 100 W metal-filament bulbs. Although a fluorescent tube would be too much to ask in the existing form!”.
The PH 5 was introduced as a classic new product, and no one knew at the time that it would eventually become synonymous with the PH light. Irrespective of how the light is installed or the light source used, the PH 5 is and remains completely glare-free. The fixture was christened PH 5 due to the 50 cm diameter of the main shade. Poul Henningsen wanted to improve the colour reproduction characteristics of the light source. Small red and blue shades were therefore inserted to supplement the colour in the part of the spectrum where the eye is least sensitive – the red and blue areas – thereby subduing the light in the middle yellow-green region where the eye is most sensitive. (text: louispoulsen.com)
Watch PH: Philosphy of light, a documentary about Poul Henningsen here:
read more about Poul Henningsen
Poul Henningsen (1894-1967) was the very first Danish lighting expert. He pioneered in examining the relationship between light structures, shades, glare and color in view of the human need for light.
From 1911-1914 he studied architecture at the Technical school of Frederiksberg and then at the Technical College in Copenhagen until 1917, but never completed his training as an architect. After quitting College he worked in journalism for 8 years, first as an art critic for the magazine Klingen and later for the newspapers Politiken and Extra Bladet. In 1920 Henningsen established himself as an independent architect. He started out as a traditional functional architect, but over the years his professional interests developed mainly towards illumination.
From 1924 onwards Louis Poulsen began producing his designs. and over the next 40 years, Henningsen's lights became so intertwined with Danish culture that they acquired their own collective noun: PH-lamps. In 1925 the first PH-lamp won an award at the World Fair in Paris. This lamp was the result of 10 years of research and ingeniously designed to avoid glare and provide a soft, warm glow. Henningsen made the light shine through several layers without the bulb being visible to its user. He also experimented with different colors on the inside and outside.