The Anglepoise Revolution

Anglepoise lighting has long been synonymous with creativity and innovation; the star of Pixar’s opening credits, and the now-famous short film that revolutionised computer processing in the 1980s, is Luxo Jr. — an animated Anglepoise. Roald Dahl, mischievous story-telling maverick, had an Anglepoise lamp in his writing hut and the desk lights were a staple feature of the BBC offices.  Except, that is, for a short time in 1949 when the BBC banned its employees from working under the private glow of an Anglepoise, lest creativity get the better of them and they produce degenerative programme material. The Anglepoise was even the muse for punk band The Soft Boys’ hit “(I Want To Be An) Anglepoise Lamp”. Not since Thomas Edison has the lamp enjoyed so much celebration.


Its association with revolutionary design and inspiration is not unfounded.  The original Anglepoise came about in 1933, thanks to British automotive engineer George Carwardine and his knowledge of vehicle suspension systems. His tinkering with weights, springs, and levers led to a task light prototype that could focus the light in different positions.  A heavy base kept the light in position, and the energy efficient shade focused the beam on a specific task. He licensed the design to the Terry family, who eventually launched it for domestic use. Its pioneering qualities –not to mention its stylish design– meant the Anglepoise fast achieved iconic status.

But as it goes with many classic designs, cheap imitations crowded the market. An overhaul was needed to fend of its competitors, and in typically innovative fashion, Anglepoise stepped up to the mark. Launched in 2004 with the help of Britain’s leading industrial designer Kenneth Grange, the Type 75 range is a sophisticated reworking of the top selling Anglepoise of the 1970s. It remains faithful to Carwardine’s original design, while incorporating modern features, and ultimately shows that Anglepoise deserve their reputation as a symbol for fresh thinking and rejuvenation.

Geoffrey Harris Lighting sells the Type 75 floor light version (available in black or silver) and the type 75 as a table light. In addition, there is the more playful Type 75 Mini, which is ideal for a child’s bedroom or small workplace.  Long live the Anglepoise.

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