Vintage Info – All About Vintage Lighting

Zig Zag Desk Lamp

Materials: square flat black plastic base. Black plastic parts. Red triangular switch. White painted aluminium grill/diffuser. porcelain socket.

Max Height: 49 cm / 24.40”

Width: 17,5 cm / 4.33”

Electricity: 1 bulb halogen R7s, 1 x 50 watt maximum, 12 volt/220 volt.

Period: 1980s.

Designer: Shui L. D. Chan in 1984.

Manufacturer: New Horizons Product Development Company Limited, Hong-Kong.

Other versions: This zig zag desk lamp was also made in white.

This desk or table lamp has no name. Zig zag is the most common name used for this lamp. Snake lamp is also used, among others.

Sold by many companies, among others: Massive, Belgium, E-Lite, The Netherlands, Optelma, Switzerland, Z-Lite, UK.

In all probability designed in 1984. Registered UK design: 15 May 1985. Description: A table or free standing lamp.

Filed in the US for patents: February 13, 1987. Date of Patent: December 29, 1987.

Described as: a table lamp comprising a base, an arm upstanding from the base, an illuminating bulb positioned at the upper end of the arm to provide illumination, the arm further comprising a plurality of substantially similar segments, means for rotatably joining adjacent segments to one another and commutator means between adjacent segments for transferring electrical power for the lamp from one segment to the adjacent segment, and means within each segment for connecting one commutator means to an adjacent commutator means to provide continuity of current to the lamp.

Shui L. D. Chan

Shui L. D. Chan is Dennis Chan Shui-lun, or short: Dennis Chan. Mr Chan is one of the most well known industrial designers of Hong-Kong. He is design graduate of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Dennis Chan is an avid collector of timepieces and cameras. He is married to May, with whom he has a daughter.

Dennis Chan is co-founder & Creative Director at the Qeelin jewellery company, since 2004. The company is headquartered in Hong-Kong and owned by the French luxury group Kering. Qeelin operates 32 stores and 4 Duty-free shops worldwide.

You can find his designs in the Museum Store of Musée du Louvre in Paris and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the MoMA.

He was honoured with the Outstanding Young Persons Award in 1995. He was Artist of the Year in 1997 and Young Entrepreneur of 1998.

New Horizons Product Development Company Limited

The New Horizons Product Development Company Limited was active from 1984 until 2005, when it was dissolved. It was located in the financial district of Hong Kong, Kowloon. It was a private company limited by shares. Except for this zig zag desk lamp, no other products were found. It is possible that this company was owned or co-owned by Dennis Chan, but I could not find any proof for it. 

The red triangular switch of this zigzag desk lamp is comparable to the switch of the Kirk Delta telephone from the same period. Maybe this telephone is also a design of Dennis Chan. It’s probably a coincidence.

Zig zag desk lamp – labels

Zig Zag desk lamp black plastic 1980s Shui L. D. Chan Z-lite label 1987 Hong Kong table lamp

Zig Zag desk lamp black plastic 1980s Shui L. D. Chan Optelma label 1987 Hong Kong table lamp

Zig Zag desk lamp black plastic 1980s Shui L. D. Chan Massive label 1987 Hong Kong table lamp

Zig Zag desk lamp black plastic 1980s Shui L. D. Chan E-Lite label 1987 Hong Kong table lamp