This Little Light: A New Kind Of Desk Lamp

Schoolhouse Electric’s thoughtfully designed, 1920s-inspired Ion C-Series is a small tabletop lamp that can easily be moved.


New use for old parts

The Ion’s spun-steel body is an upturned in­sulator cap from a 1920s hanging factory light. It’s a nod to Schoolhouse Electric’s origins: Brian Faherty, a former real estate agent, founded the company
using Depression-era cast-iron molds from an upstate New York factory.


Dim for a reason

The Ion’s striking Edison bulb doesn’t shine too brightly. It’s intended to lend a soft glow for specific tasks, not serve as a primary light source. “[It’s like] a portable electric candle,” says Faherty. “It’s not meant to be so stationary, so it can take on a lot of looks and purposes.”

Going with the grain

Faherty is a big fan of natural wood: He has an office filled with wooden midcentury furniture, and he’s been known to relax by chopping logs. That’s partly why the Ion’s base is made of unpainted plywood. “You can actually see the grain of the ply,” he says.

It’s all in the details

The lights bear metal labels designed to evoke tags from old industrial machinery. “It was like an art form,” Faherty says. His team also opted to brand the Ion with their town: Portland, Oregon. “That ‘place’ part is important to us.”

From $119,