Poul Henningsen PH 5 Pendant Lamp
Materials: White, purple & dark orange painted round metal lampshade. Porcelain E27 socket.
Cord Length: 65 cm / 25.59”
Height: 24 cm / 13.77”
Width: ∅ 50 cm / 13.77”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, max 100 watt, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Poul Henningsen (1894 – 1967).
Manufacturer: Louis Poulsen & Co A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Other versions: The Poul Henningsen PH 5 pendant lamp was made in many colours over the years. Sometimes lamps appear without a label.
This pendant lamp is a member of the of PH 3-shade family principles, which were developed in 1925-1926 for a large exhibition hall in Copenhagen, Denmark called “Forum“.
The PH 5 provides a primarily downward illumination. It is based on the principle of a reflecting multi-shade system, creating a harmonious and 100% glare free illumination.
The PH in the name of this lamp stands for Poul Henningsen and the 5 represents the diameter of 50 cm. This pendant lamp was designed in 1958. However, it received an iF Design Award in 1971. As you can see in the catalogue picture, two versions were made: for a 100 and a 200 watt lamp.
Louis Poulsen & CO A/S is a Danish lighting manufacturer that was founded in 1874 by Ludvig R. Poulsen as a wine importing business. 4 years later the firm closed down. However, in 1892 Ludvig Poulsen opened his second business, this time selling tools and electrical supplies.
Two years later in 1896 his nephew Louis Poulsen started to work for the company. After the dead of Ludvig in 1906, Louis takes over the business.
In 1911 Sophus Kaastrup-Olsen becomes a partner in the firm and the name changes in Louis Poulsen & Co A/S. Six years later Sophus Kaastrup-Olsen becomes the sole owner of the company.
In 1924 designer Poul Henningsen begins working for Louis Poulsen & Co A/S. They take part of the “Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs & Industriels Modernes”. (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) in Paris and they earned Gold medals for their lamps.
The best known designers that worked for Louis Poulsen are Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Vilhelm Lauritzen, Shoichi Uchiyama and many others.
Poul Henningsen was born on 9 September 1894 and studied as an architect, but he never graduated.
He devoted much of his life to exploring the importance of light for well-being and focused on creating lamps that produced glare-free illumination.
His self-titled PH series was his most famous collection. Often said he was the first real lighting architect. His best-known lamp models are the PH Artichoke and the PH 5.
He was a very versatile man; during the 1920s Poul Henningsen had his literary breakthrough and was politically committed to the left wing. At the same time he began as a revue writer, the so-called PH-revues from 1929 until 1932.
In 1931 he designed the PH Grand Piano, one of the most beautiful wing piano’s ever made.
Before the Second World War he took part of the anti-fascist propaganda, always trying to connect culture and politics. During the war he kept a lower profile and fled to Sweden but tried to keep the spirit going by camouflaged resistance poetry.
After the war he dissociated himself from the communists who were criticising him for flabbing humanitarianism for his growing skepticism about the Soviet Union. In his last years in the 1960s he became a member of the Danish Academy. Poul Henningsen died on 31 January 1967 at the age of 73.
Links (external links open in a new window)
Blog visit London – Denmark in London: Madsen Restaurant – the article no longer exist, unfortunately.
Poul Henningsen PH 5 Pendant Lamp – Louis Poulsen 1960s catalogue
Lamps in the movies
A Poul Henningsen PH 5 pendant lamp was used as a prop in the 2014 French crime thriller film La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai le Coeur (Next Time I’ll Aim for the Heart). Starring Guillaume Canet, Jean-Paul Comart and Ana Girardot.
A Poul Henningsen PH 5 pendant lamp was used as a prop in the 2020 Spanish-German crime film Ofrenda A La Tormenta (Offering to the Storm). It is the third and final instalment in the Baztán Trilogy. In all 3 films many lamps appear. Although it is almost an overkill in this last film. Starring Marta Etura, Leonardo Sbaraglia and Paco Tous. Here together with the FLOS Arco floor lamp designed by Achille Castiglioni.
Poul Henningsen PH 5 pendant lamps used to decorate restaurant Madsen in London, UK. The restaurant is no longer open, unfortunately.