By Gilbert Lang Mathews, Hon. AIA, and Suzanne Mathews
At Lucifer Lighting, an obsession with architecture, design and art is at the heart of our products and everything we do.
We started the company in 1980 – following on previous careers in galleries and the art world and in law. We were inspired by our mutual interest in design and what we saw as an opportunity to bring the attention to detail, craftsmanship and manufacturing typically found in European lighting fixtures to the US. And we quickly found that architects and designers in America had a strong appetite for these products.
The early days of the company were spent on research trips to Milan, London and Paris, embedding ourselves with lighting designers, fixture designers and architects in those places to understand the design and development process of this approach to lighting – one where low voltage lighting sources would allow the fixture itself to be more minimalist, and to more seamlessly integrate with and illuminate the architecture it was a part of, while also reducing glare. This way we were able to reflect the best of both European and American product design and manufacturing.
Since then, we’ve now grown to an incredible team with a commitment to the highest quality of customer service possible at the core of our mission. We research and develop, design, test, engineer and manufacture all of our products out of our office and factory based near downtown San Antonio.
In recent years, the introduction of LEDs has opened up new possibilities for sustainable lighting design and encouraged us to be responsible purveyors of lighting that is supportive of architects in their mission toward ever more environmentally sustainable projects and certifications like LEED and the Living Building Challenge.
We’re in continuous dialogue with leading architects and designers across the industry including Brooks + Scarpa, Snow Kreilich Architects, Snøhetta, and so many more who are working on designing some of the most beautiful spaces in the world spanning the entire gamut of architecture. These relationships are an integral part of Lucifer’s product design and development process as we continuously challenge ourselves to innovate and push our products to the next level in terms of shape and contours, materials, finish, optics, thermal dynamics, and installation ease. Prior to the pandemic, we hosted nearly 100 architects for a Lucifer Lighting sponsored series with the AIA San Antonio.
Most recently this commitment has resulted in our most innovative and revolutionary product to date: STELLR®. To celebrate our 40th anniversary, we developed a lighting innovation that had never been done before. This award-winning new fixture is essentially two products in one, offering volumetric and directional illumination, with the ability to change the appearance and atmosphere of the room - as well as the look of the luminaire itself - utilizing proprietary waveguide technology that appears transparent when the light is off, and opaque when on.
It has been a complete honor to share this past 40 years of the Lucifer Lighting journey with so many architects around the world and to see how lighting and lighting design has become a more embedded part of the architectural design process. We can’t wait to see where the next 40 years take us.