I was in the market for new desk lamps and happen to be someone who likes to adhere (somewhat) to the Bauhaus school of design (or Scandinavian simplicity, if you prefer). The problem is that once you start looking around for desk lamps (or floor lamps), there are a million lamps to choose from, most of which are ugly and/or so expensive that one has to wonder if they are made personally for the customer, are gold-plated beneath the coating and inscribed by the designer. It is absolutely amazing how much money is asked for lamps that have a (brand) “name”, are design classics and/or are otherwise deemed respectable. No matter that half of them look ugly, are delicate to the point of negating longevity or, worst of all, are nice to look at but completely unusable.
I needed three new desk lamps, possibly more of the same kind in the near future once a suitable candidate had been found. In my case, each one has to be affixed to the desk itself with a screw clamp (losing the lamp foot) and flexibility, the ability to swivel and move it into any direction and position, was an absolute must.
I kid you not: I spent about 6 months looking for a suitable model; I talked to about 50 people online who had posted photos of their workplace setups; I debated back and forth with people defending their $800 purchase; I sent inquiries to 60 different companies. I was also ready to pay a premium price but simply didn’t find a suitable model.
Then I stumbled over “Arki” by Nordlux, a company hailing from Denmark. I had no previous encounter with them and my impression is that they produce about a thousand different lamps, most of which aren’t up my alley.
But, “Arki” is a different beast altogether.
After having checked every available design site on this planet as well as just about every damn upscale vendor I could think of or find, I found “Arki” on Amazon (of all places), sold by some vendor that had some of their products on sale. The first pair (in black) I manged to get hold of for a mere 90 Euro a piece (that is way below half the price of the cheapest eligible model I had on my ever-growing list of lamps, many of which cost 4 to 8 times as much) … and was weary, simply because I knew that quality in the lamp department costs.
I needn’t have worried.
“Arki”, which comes with a lamp foot, a desk clamp and a wall fixture, fulfilled my expectations and has turned out to perhaps be the best desk lamp I have ever owned (and I have owned tons). It’s stylish but simple, excellently produced (I also bought a white one and have another one on my shopping list), the paint coating is durable and has already survived quite a bit of banging about, the mechanism is flexible and sturdy and, altogether, I actually enjoy looking at it time and again.
Problems? One single one. If you use the lamp foot, which I don’t, the lamp cannot be maneuvered into every possible position. That is only possible if you affix it to the desk itself with the supplied clamp. When placed in the clamp, it utilizes a round metal piece to make it swivel 360°, when placed in the supplied foot, it uses a black fixture that is more rectangular (with rounded corners). The latter prevents swiveling without moving the whole (rather large) foot into the desired position. That might be a nuisance for some, especially because the foot is quite heavy, but might prove beneficial for those who want the most sturdy position possible that does not allow the lamp to swivel when a slight breeze wafts through their office.
In regard to what I was looking for, the Nordlux “Arki” is absolutely perfect. 6 months of searching the Internet thin did pay off at the end, although the whole process was a nuisance because there is just too much overpriced junk available out there.
P.S.: I would love a floor-standing version of this lamp but, alas, Nordlux doesn’t make one. What a pity.