Photo: Erik Zappon

Lampas through five decades

For five decades, the name Lampas has stood for the design and manufacture of exceptional Danish lighting.

We were founded in 1971 and, from the very beginning, our collaboration with Danish designers and architects was the central driving force behind the company. A number of iconic and award-winning lights have been launched onto the market by Lampas, the most recent in 2019.

Founders, Kjell and Grethe Berentzen, helped build Lampas up to the unique position it still occupies in Danish design today. After they sold Lampas, the company underwent a turbulent time during which it changed ownership a couple of times. In 2018, Lampas became part of the HITSA Group and re-emerged as a lighting manufacturer with full focus on design, quality and craftsmanship.

Lampas_SH_lighthouse

Photo: Erik Zappon

The collaboration between Lampas and Friis & Moltke Design

Kjell Berentzen founded Lampas in 1971 based on the concept of manufacturing specially-designed light fittings for Danish architects. They often designed not only the building and furniture, but also the lighting from scratch for projects.

One of the first things Kjell did was to travel around to architectural firms all over the country.

One day, after lunch, he dropped by the office of Friis & Moltke in Aarhus. Kjell had no idea he was calling on one of the most highly-respected and high profile architectural practices in the field of Danish architecture. He was promptly shooed out by the receptionist, as he hadn´t made an appointment. But luckily for him, Elmer Moltke himself was sitting in the lunch room just next door, and heard what he said. Moltke stuck his head out and asked if Kjell would wait five minutes.

That was the start of a legendary collaboration between Friis & Moltke and Lampas. In collaboration with architects like Ove Rix, Elmar Moltke and Knud Friis, Lampas created a whole string of design icons.

The collaboration with Friis & Moltke reached its zenith, when the design studio designed Lampas´ factory in Ringe on Funen. It was inaugurated in 1979 and has won a number of awards, including the Danish Association of Architects’ Honorary Kaleidoscope.

Photo: Erik Zappon

Our heritage and the future

“There are two things we need to do at Lampas today,” says Søren Lauritsen, Head of Lighting at Lampas since 2018.

“One is that we need to modernise the design icons we have inherited, so that they comply with today´s technical requirements. Since they were designed, there has been a great deal of development within the fields of LED, plastics, and many other things, so we need to upgrade our classic lights to today´s standards. Secondly, we need to create something new and exceptional in lighting in collaboration with architects and designers.”

“Craftsmanship has always been the foundation of Lampas´work. And will continue to be. Part of the production is here in Kolding. For example, powder coating and assembling the lights is done here. This gives us full control over the quality, and allows us to think social inclusion and sustainability into the manufacturing process.”

Photo: Erik Zappon

Architects through the years

The collaboration with designers and architects has always been an important part of the driving force behind Lampas.

In the 1980s, relationships were forged with designers such as Fugl and Kai Hansen, Peter Bysted, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Luplau Poulsen Arkitekter and C.F. Møller Architects. Lights designed by all of them are still being produced at Lampas today.

In 1998, Kjell Berentzen quite literally ran into Ib Valdemar Nielsen from Cubo Arkitekter at an exhibition at the Aarhus School of Architecture. When Kjell suggested they collaborate, he was rejected on the grounds that he didn´t know enough about football. Kjell maintained that he did.

That was the start of a close and fruitful collaboration with Cubo Arkitekter. The first wall light was named after the English striker, Michael Owen. Since then, some of the most characterful lights in Lampas range have been designed by Cubo. Cubo offers a wide selection to choose from – everything from street lighting to pendants to hang above the dining room table.

In 2006, another fruitful collaboration was formed, when Anne Qvist created another Lampas classic with the KILDEBJERG street light. It was the last new design that was created before Kjell and Grethe Berentzen sold Lampas.

Photo: Erik Zappon

An honest approach when it comes to product quality

When Kjell Berentzen looks back on the values that created Lampas, one of the things he emphasises is that,

“Design is all about quality. It lies in the details. We cared about EVERYTHING. We even sent the screws in the LIBER light to be finished in black at the Otterup Rifle Factory to make sure they stayed black, even after the electrician had screwed the light into the ceiling.”

“You need to have a basic honesty when it comes to the quality of your product. If anyone throws doubt on what you say about your product, then it won´t stick.”

That uncompromising attitude also applied to graphic design. Lampas´catalogues were created with just as much care as their products, and were illustrated by graphic designer, Erik Rasmussen, and later the photographer, Erik Zappon and graphic designer, Dodo Lundgaard.

The most recent catalogues were developed by the design company, Designit.

Design and quality are still the core components of Lampas´ work.

“Today, we need to broaden our interpretation of design. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, a light needs to be easy to install and repair. We need to think in terms of sustainability, not only when it comes to the design of the product, but also in terms of the manufacturing process. That´s what Lampas strives to embrace today in the design and quality of our products,” says Søren Lauritsen.

Photo: Erik Zappon

Lampas makes a comeback

In the years between 2000 and 2019, Lampas went through a very difficult transitional period. The group of owners changed several times, bringing strategic and financial turbulence with it each time.

In 2018, the HITSA Group bought both the Veksø and Lampas companies at the same time.

The new owner soon realised what a strong brand Lampas was and that its product portfolio held great potential.

In 2018, Søren Lauritsen was hired as the new Head of Lighting for Lampas, and it was time to build up a new team of passionate, experienced staff.

In 2019, Lampas launched the first new lighting design it had produced in years onto the market. The NYE Series, designed by VE2, won the Best of the Best Award 2020 in the category “Lighting and lights” in the internationally recognised Red Dot Award.

In other words, Lampas is back, stronger than ever, as a manufacturer of outstanding Danish lighting.

Photo: Erik Zappon

Lampas Belysningskonsulent Henrik Christoffersen

Like to know more?

Give us a call or drop us a line if you have any questions.
At Lampas, we are the lighting specialists and understand everything that needs to be considered when creating attractive yet functional lighting. We´d love to share our experience with you, if you have any questions or have a challenging project ahead of you.

Henrik Christoffersen

Lighting consultant
+45 3073 5777
hc@lampas.dk