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Tolomeo – Tolomeo table lamp, the most famous in history

The Tolomeo lamp was designed by “Michele De Lucchi” and “Giancarlo Fassino” in 1986 for the Italian firm Artemide, and since then it can be found in offices and on desk tables and the drawing tables of thousands of architects.

This iconic table lamp is one of the most famous and most used lamps in the history of lighting and has become a benchmark of design worldwide, which is why we are going to only focus exclusively on the original Tolomeo table lamp.

Tolomeo, lámpara icono del diseño

The designers of the Tolomeo lamp, “Michele De Lucchi” and “Giancarlo Fassino”, tried to reinterpret the style of the lamps that were used in factories in the era of industrialisation, and with this design they sought to direct the light in a more precise way.

Ever since Artemide put this lamp on the market, it has caught everyone’s attention. Proof of which is that it won the prestigious “Compasso d’Oro” award in 1989. Artemide is an Italian brand of international prestige.

It is currently one of the leading lighting brands. “The Human Light” is the philosophy on which it has based its designs since the 90s, which revolves around using light to improve people’s quality of life.

Lámpara de mesa Tolomeo de Artemide

This Italian brand, that was created in the 60s, has participated in the creation of very well-known lamps in the world of design, and has also collaborated with some of the most prestigious international designers in the world. In fact, Artemide manufactures so many icons of contemporary design that its collections are exhibited in the main museums of modern art around the world.

Tolomeo – Characteristics

The Tolomeo has actually become an extensive range of luminaires with all kinds of lamps that include floor versions, wall versions, multiple table versions and even an oversized outdoor version, the Tolomeo XXL.

Características de lámpara Tolomeo

Tolomeo was conceived as a reinterpretation of the lamps used in factories in the age of industrialisation. Its creators realised that they needed an arm that directed the light more precisely, leading to the emergence of this design that perfects and updates that concept.

Its most important characteristic is its ability to move and adapt, which makes it so comfortable. The base structure is a mobile arm in polished aluminium with a diffuser, which is also mobile and made of anodised aluminium, and can be moved to face all directions.

All of which offers very precise control over the light beam. In addition, this design appeared many years before the more recent obsession with aluminium finishes.

Lámpara Tolomeo de mesa, características

Everything we’ve just mentioned didn’t go unnoticed by people in the design world, and thanks to its performance and innovation, it won the prestigious “Compasso d’Oro” award in 1989. This award, which has existed since 1954, is the most important in the world of European design.

Offering the guarantee of being an award-winning lamp, the recipient of the “Compasso d’Oro”, the Tolomeo has become the world’s best-selling contemporary design.

With the passage of time, this design lamp has become the flexo par excellence and an easily recognisable icon among table lamps. Imitated over and over again, the very functional design of the Tolomeo continues to be a leading design all over the world.

Artemide, as a leading designer lighting brand, has been able to create a timeless design that never goes out of fashion.

Tolomeo by Artemide – Configuration

Configuración de lámpara Tolomeo

Artemide has developed a series of accessories and complements that may slightly overwhelm a buyer who is unfamiliar with this brand. Here, we are going to give you some guidance about the different options available for configuring our Tolomeo so that it meets our specific needs.

Tolomeo LED table lamp

If we choose this type of lighting, we should know that it’s only available in the aluminium finish, unlike the other types that also come in white and black.

The first choice we must make when configuring our Tolomeo LED table lamp is if we want it to come with a presence detector or with a dimmer. If we choose the first option, our lamp will have a 10W LED bulb with a colour intensity of 3000ºK and a luminous flux of 410 lumens.

Lámpara de mesa Tolomeo LED de Artemide

On the other hand, if we choose the dimmer option, we have another two options to choose from: LED or TW LED. The TW LED version uses a 12W LED bulb with a colour intensity of between 3000ºK and 10000ºK and a luminous flux of 550 lumens.

Tolomeo fluorescent table lamp

If we choose this type of lighting, we should know that the finish is available in aluminium and black. We should also know that this version is not dimmable.

If we opt for this version, the bulb that our Tolomeo will use is an 18W, G24q-2 bulb.

Lámpara de mesa Tolomeo fluorescente

Regardless of whether we select the finish in aluminium or black, we will have to select the type of support we want for our Tolomeo fluorescent table lamp. As in the other versions, we can choose between the 23 cm base, the jaw or the fixed base.

Tolomeo halogen table lamp

Finally, if we choose this type of lighting, we can choose between the aluminium finish, the white finish and the black finish. We should know that this version is not dimmable either and will use a 77W E27 bulb.

Lámpara de mesa Tolomeo halógena

Just like with previous versions of the Tolomeo table lamp, we must select the type of support we want for our lamp.

Michele de Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina, Creators of Tolomeo Artemide

Michele de Lucchi, creador de la lámpara Tolomeo

Michele De Lucchi was born in 1951 in Ferrara and got a degree in architecture in Florence. In the years of radical and experimental architecture, he was one of the protagonists of movements such as “Cavart”, “Alchymia” and “Memphis”.

He designed lamps and decorative elements for the best-known Italian and European companies, as is the case of Artemide, and he was also responsible for the design of “Olivetti” between 1988 and 2002. He was in charge of putting together many art and design exhibitions. He designed buildings and exhibition works for museums such as the “Triennale” in Milan, the “Palace of Exhibitions” in Rome and the “Neues Museum” in Berlin.

His professional work was always accompanied by personal research on issues related to projects, design, technology and crafts. In 1990, he created “Produzione Privata”, a small company in which “Michele De Lucchi” designs products that are built using artisan techniques.

“De Lucchi” won numerous international awards, such as the “Compasso d’Oro” in 1989 for the Tolomeo lamp we’ve been discussing here today.

Giancarlo Fassina, creador de la lámpara Tolomeo de Artemide

“Giancarlo Fassina” received a degree in architecture from the Polytechnic University of Milan and very soon specialised in the design of lighting devices.
He collaborates with the most important companies in the sector.

Light is his trade, in each and every one of its forms and expressions. He also put together numerous productions for exhibitions and museums. He always pays close attention to the smallest details, studying shadows, angles and exposure to sunlight.

“Giancarlo Fassina” won the “Compasso d’Oro” in 1989 thanks to his collaboration with “Michele de Lucchi” in the design of the Tolomeo table lamp by Artemide.

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