The 1980s was a decade of change, innovation, and boldness in many aspects of society, including lighting design. From neon signs to fluorescent lights, the 1980s brought new technologies and design approaches to the world of lighting. In this article, we will explore the key trends and innovations in 1980s lighting design.
Neon lights were a defining feature of the 1980s aesthetic. From colorful signs to art installations, neon lights were everywhere, displaying bold and eye-catching designs. Neon lights were first invented in the early 20th century, but it was in the 1980s that their popularity exploded. The neon tube, filled with gas and electrified to produce light, allowed designers to create intricate and vibrant designs. Whether they were used for advertising, entertainment, or decoration, neon lights bring a special retro feel to any space.
Fluorescent lights were another popular type of lighting in the 1980s. Unlike neon lights, fluorescents provided brighter and more uniform lighting. They were often used in offices, schools, and public buildings. The 1980s saw the development of new fluorescent lights that were more efficient and long-lasting, making them a popular choice for many architects and designers.
Another trend in 1980s lighting design was track lighting. This type of lighting is a versatile and practical solution to highlight specific areas or objects. Track lighting consists of a track mounted on the ceiling or wall, and adjustable light fixtures attached to the track. Clients appreciated the flexibility that track lighting provided, and designers loved the ability to create various lighting effects.
The Memphis Design Movement
The Memphis Group, an Italian design collective founded in 1981, brought a new approach to lighting and design more broadly. The Memphis Design movement emphasized bold colors and geometric shapes to create playful and joyful designs. Their work influenced many designers throughout the 1980s, shaping the aesthetic of the decade. Memphis Design pieces are still highly sought after by collectors today, and their influence can still be seen in modern design.
The 1980s was an exciting era for lighting design. From neon lights to fluorescents to track lighting and the Memphis Design movement, the decade brought new technologies and design styles to everyday spaces. These innovations created unique and memorable spaces, and their impact can still be felt today.