Bilumen Ballon Ceiling Lamp
Materials: White polyethylene (plastic) lampshade in a balloon form. Black round plastic canopy. Cord, colourful ball. Bakelite E27 socket.
Height: 37 cm / 14.56”
Width: 50 cm / 19.68”
Depth: 33 cm / 12.99”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, max 75 watt, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred. For this setup a white bulb was used, it gives the best result.
Period: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s
Designer: Yves Christin in 1984.
Manufacturer: Bilumen srl, Milan, Italy.
Other versions: This Bilumen Ballon ceiling lamp exists in several colours and 2 sizes. The smallest is 26 cm / 10,23”. This flush mount can be used as a wall lamp but can also easily be converted into a table lamp.
Bilumen was founded in 1910 by Alfredo Bianchi and it is a family business. The company started as ABM: Alfredo Bianchi Milano.
In 1964 Ermanno Bianchi, his son, built the new factory in Via Salomone 41, Milan. Hans Von Klier designs its furnishings and offices. It will become the historical headquarters of the company until 2013.
In 1969 Antonio Bianchi, together with his sister Roberta changed the name into Bilumen. Bilumen is a contraction of Bianchi and Lumen.
Lumen is the SI derived unit of luminous flux, a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a light source (symbol: lm).
Designers that worked for the company: Nuccio Bertone, Rodolfo Bonetto, Sergio Asti (the Paracarro lamp), Giugiaro Design, Yves Christin, Vittorio Gregotti, Isao Hosoe (Valenti Hebi lamp), Hans Von Klier, Richard Sapper, Marco Zanuso, De Pas d’Urbino Lomazzi, Giorgina Castiglioni and many others.
Until 2018 the Ballon (French) or Palloncino (Italian for balloon) lamp was manufactured by Illum Kunstlicht from The Netherlands. It was made in 3 sizes: small, medium and big. The medium lamp is 35 cm / 13.77”. It is no longer in production.
Little is known about the French designer Yves Christin, but he also designed furniture for Antonageli, Biobject and Airborn.
According to the book “La Cote Du Design Edition 2010-2011, page 200” this lamp was designed in 1975, but on the Bilumen website they say 1984. It was at least in production until 2007.
Beware when you buy one, often the colourful ball is missing.