• Simply brilliant

    zlamps grundare ritbord

    Unique craftsmanship from Zlamp

    December, 2023

    Almost three decades ago, in 1994, the brand ZLAMP® was founded by lighting designer Lars Bessfelt. The idea behind the new company was to have complete control over material selection, manufacturing methods, and design down to the smallest detail. All production and design are carried out, then as now, in the pleasant production facilities in Anderslöv, in southern Skåne. The close collaboration between Norrgavel and Zlamp has persisted since the beginning – two companies with similar values regarding environmental thinking, craftsmanship, and timeless minimalist design.

    The passion for good lighting was ignited early for Lars Bessfelt. At the age of 14, he began designing lamps at the request of his father Gösta, who was a furniture retailer. Gösta enlisted his son's help when he wanted to expand the product catalog with more lamp models that had a modern expression. One thing led to another, and a few years later, Lars moved to Anderslöv, where he ran the family business, Ateljén i Anderslöv, for several years. The year after the company Zlamp was founded, in 1995, a selection of the company's new lamp collection was showcased at the Furniture Fair in Stockholm. The lamps received an enormous response, and since then, it has been a success story – currently, Zlamp has retailers in Sweden, Norway, and Japan.  
    Lars Bessfelt has recently turned 78 years old but is still very active as the designer of all lamp models in the product range. With such a small company, he also makes occasional contributions to production; ranging from manually ensuring that every welded detail is perfectly assembled before the lamps are put together, to assisting with the punching of lampshades.

    Zlamp values a small-scale and artisanal production that is completely unique in its kind. Every step is allowed to take its time, resulting in outstanding quality.  

    It's evident that Lars loves his job, and his enthusiasm is unmistakable as he briskly offers a tour of the company's premises. Here, the worktable where all the drawings of new lamp models are meticulously crafted by hand, the old reliable sewing machines used to stitch lampshades together, the punching machine, and the well-organized storage shelves with specially designed components of the highest quality all coexist.

    The sewing machines used to stitch lampshades for Zlamp lamps are almost antique, but they are true workhorses that function perfectly.


    Are you completely self-taught or have you received any formal education in design?
    – Completely self-taught! Many from Konstfack and even architects wondered the same thing when Zlamp was new. But for my part, I believe it has been an advantage not to be shaped to think in a certain way. I have never had any creative barriers.

    How does the process look from idea to finished lamp?
    –It starts with me having a thought or dream about creating something new, either purely functional or aesthetic. And it's always a unique expression I'm after, while also being practical to execute. When I have an idea that needs further refinement, I usually sit down with a notebook, perhaps at a café in Malmö, and sketch out different solutions and alternatives. I always have several ideas in progress simultaneously. But each new idea relies on finding the right components to make it feasible. Right now, I'm working on a dimmable bedside lamp with a leather shade. A former employee, who is now 91 years old, helps with making sample welds, or prototypes, to see if it's worth pursuing the idea. The result must feel tactile, and every detail must be thoroughly worked out. Then it can become a product that we include in our assortment. It's a very time-consuming process.

    Lars Bessfelt is very fond of vegetable-tanned leather. A natural material that works excellently for use as a lampshade - several lamp models can be obtained with a leather shade in the colors natural, cognac, or dark brown.

    Tell us a bit about the environmental thinking at Zlamp!
    – It has been a significant and important issue since the beginning. We have never used any harmful solvents. The lamp bases are powder-coated in an environmentally friendly manner in Hillestorp, and we exclusively choose wood from Sweden. Most of the components are made in Småland and here in Skåne. Our unique laminated cardboard material used for several lampshades is produced here in Anderslöv.  

    Which lamp, that you have designed, are you most proud of?
    – I think the Q10, available as both a floor, wall, and table lamp, is very stylish, good, and unique. Personally, I like it the best. However, one can also feel proud of a lamp that sells particularly well – for example, the Karl lamp in brass or with a steel shade. It's very sleek and works in all settings, whether modern or more traditional.

    All Zlamp lamps provide maximum light without glare. They take into account the characteristics of the light source and have fixtures that direct the light correctly.

    zlamp lampa hantverk

    What role does lighting play in interior design?
    – It's absolutely crucial! You could say that you paint with light. Imagine the room when it's dark, it's only beautiful if the sun is shining in. Light means everything. But the light shouldn't blind. I think you see far too many lamps in home environments that either blind or provide insufficient light. They become more like decorations rather than functional items. But people have generally become much more interested in lighting and lamps over the past 20 years, which is of course very gratifying. Lamps really are something that enhances other decor.  

    All wood used for the lamp bases has grown in Sweden, minimizing the need for transportation. Wood finishing is done through waxing or wax solutions, where the solvent mainly consists of ordinary water.

    What do you think is important to consider when choosing lamps for your home?
    – First of all, it requires many light sources. You can't achieve good lighting by just hanging up a ceiling lamp. You have to paint with light! Direct the light towards something you want to highlight – a dresser or a painting. Combine different types of lighting and mix different levels. Floor lamps, table lamps, and ceiling lights. I think it should be timeless, but you can't help but be influenced by trends and anti-trends. All of that goes in waves. But it's desirable if the lamps have a form and function that stands the test of time. I think that's absolutely wonderful!

    zlamp skylt


    --> Lars was still a teenager when he designed his first truly successful lamp model, the Pin Lamp, in the early 1960s. A lamp that became very popular, especially in northern Sweden. It was made of pine and had patterned fabric attached with Velcro so that it could be easily removed and washed.

    --> In 1970, Lars participated in a luminaire design competition at the lighting fair in Gothenburg with two lamp models and won awards for both. He won first prize in the category of Bedside Lamps with the model Blenda and first prize in the category of Reading and Task Lighting with the luminaire Halta Lotta.

    --> For many years, Lars Bessfelt manufactured lampshades for both Ateljé Lyktan and Svenskt Tenn.

    --> Lars had actually planned to study architecture after high school, but thanks to the success with the lamps, he decided on a more practical direction.

    --> Lars's daughter, Anna Silbersky, is involved in the company and handles all the marketing for Zlamp.

    The lamps are available for purchase in our stores.