Raak Orbiter/Sphere Pendant Lamp
Materials: Clear smoked acrylic globe. Perforated aluminium tube. Black painted aluminium. Some metal parts. Porcelain socket.
Cord length: 65 cm / 9.37”
Height: 35 cm / 3.77”
Width: ∅ 45 cm / 7.71”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 100 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but a white/opaque or frosted bulb is preferred.
Period: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Raak Lichtarchitectuur, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Other versions: This Raak Orbiter/Sphere pendant lamp exists in crystal clear, amber yellow, azure blue and smoky brown acrylic.
Different names for this lamp: The name of this lamp changed 4 times; first in 1958 (Raak Catalogue 4) it was called Orbiter, in 1962 (Raak Catalogue 5) it changed into Sphere, in 1968 (Raak Catalogue 8) – probably under the influence of the 1st moon landing – it became Roger! In 1978 (Raak Catalogue 11) it got the name Lunar.
Also the numbers changed, in 1958 it was B-1171, than it became B-1151, later on it changed again into B-1171 to change in 1978 into B-1151.
The Dutch company Raak Lichtarchitectuur (Light architecture) was founded in 1954 by Carel O. Lockhorn (18 June 1923 – 6 October 2004), a previous employee of Philips Lighting Eindhoven. Raak, which means “to hit” in Dutch, implies design which precisely “hits the nail on the head”.
Raak is best known for their organic modern design of the 1960s and 1970s which combined glass & metals for a sophisticated futuristic style.
The light company collaborated with several international designers and architects, including Bertrand Balas, Evert Jelle Jelles, Frank Ligtelijn. Ger Vos, Jan Jasper Fayer, Li Helo, Maija-Liisa Komulainen. Nan Platvoet, Nanny Still-Mackinney, Nico Kooi. Sergio Asti, Tapio Wirkala, Willem van Oyen and many others.
Raak also collaborated with other companies. They worked with the German Peill + Putzler for the Raak Globe lamps. Peill + Putzler produced the glass. They also sold lamps made by Peill + Putzler, such as a pendant lamp designed by Aloys Ferdinand Gangkofner. For the Raak Discus the glass was made by Bega, also a German company. For the Stalactites flush mounts a cooperation with the Belgian Val Saint Lambert was undertaken in the late 1950s. Raak also sold some lamps that were produced by Staff Leuchten (Staff & Schwarz Leuchtenwerke GMBH) from Germany. iittala from Finland produced the glass for the lamps that were designed by Tapio Wirkkala. Raak collaborated with many other producers of lighting.
Carel Lockhorn sold the company in 1974 to ITT but remained a director until 1977. In 1980 Raak merged with BIS Lighting from Aalsmeer, also in The Netherlands and was renamed into BisRaak. In 1986 the Raak company became independent again. The company got a business appearance and only the colours white, black and grey were still processed.
In 1999, Raak merged with Artilite B.V. and Indoor B.V. and became CLA: Centrum voor Lichtarchitectuur B.V. in Drachten (Centre for Light Architecture). The Centre for Lighting Architecture was founded by Egbert Keen. The company was declared bankrupt on 19-05-2011.
Acrylic: often named by its commercial name: Perspex, Plexiglas, Crylux, Acrylite, Lucite, is a thermoplastic.
Raak Roger – B-1171 – Catalogue 8 – 1968
The Raak Orbiter/Sphere pendant lamp was used as a prob in the 1983 James Bond movie “Never Say Never Again” with Sean Connery.