Blankblank's Heliocentric line sheds new light on fluorescent lamps

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Lighting experts foresee a day when the incandescent bulb -- and its warm, flattering glow -- will be no longer, and in its place everywhere will be the energy-efficient but cold glare of the compact fluorescent lamp. So designers are starting to embrace the latter, creating fixtures that make the harsh illumination look pretty. One new example: the Sacramento design company Blankblank's Heliocentric collection, designed by Rob Zinn. The lights are made of stacked, powder-coated aluminum planes whose undersides are covered in vibrantly colored vinyl, which reflect a richly hued glow. The designs can be mounted overhead or on a wall; they come in different sizes, as concentric circles and asymmetrical shapes. "Sometimes I like them better during the day, when the sun is illuminating the colors," designer Zinn says. "But at night, when I turn them on, I am reminded why I designed them." Prices might be higher than what the average consumer is willing to pay (Heliocentric lights start at $1,500), but expect more savvy designs to brighten stores in the months to come. (916) 446-1502,

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