Menu’s portable light is a sophisticated take on traditional mining lights
Daniel Schofield has created a portable lamp for Menu, with a utilitarian design inspired by old mine lamps in honor of his grandfather
Menu presents ‘Ray’, a new portable lamp from British designer Daniel Schofield, whose design references traditional mining lamps. Utilitarian in its inspiration and sophisticated in its execution, the ‘Ray’ portable lamp features a streamlined silhouette defined by a cylindrical base topped by a large circular shade, both in powder-coated metal. A slim handle on the top of the lamp makes it easy to carry and move.
“I think the portable lamp is an interesting area of lighting right now,” says Schofield. “The way we live and work, and use our indoor and outdoor space has changed a lot in recent years, so more flexible lighting is emerging to accommodate that.” The ‘Ray’ lamp is also waterproof, making it suitable for both outdoor and home use.
The design process touched the designer’s personal life story. “I was thinking about portable lighting and the essence of what portable lighting should be, and I quickly came to mining lighting typology,” he explains. “My grandfather was a miner in the north of England, so the reference was there in my head, I think.” The name of the lamp, ‘Ray’, refers to his grandfather, Raymond.
An energy-saving LED bulb emits a soft glow and can be dimmed, with three settings, while the lamp’s battery is charged via a concealed USB outlet, with battery optimized for up to ten hours of light.
“Taking the traditional mining light as a starting point, I tried to reduce it to its essence and all that it should be, while retaining the charm of the original typology,” Schofield says of the design process, which was driven by functionality. as much as aesthetics. “It needed to feel domestic and inviting, but also feel like a tool, something useful and sturdy. Then I wanted the piece to stand out as much as possible, so that if a certain element breaks or needs to be repaired, it is possible, so this mentality also influenced the physical outcome of the design.