Behind the Light: The Lex

The Lex floor canister light by Quittner

Beau Brummell, king of Regency-era style, once quipped that “to be truly elegant, one should not be noticed.” Our newest fixture, the Lex floor canister lamp, turns Brummell’s adage on its head. Understated yet impossible to ignore, the Lex is a simple sculptural uplight for your home. 

Canister lamps, a style of uplight that came gained popularity in the 1970s and 80s. Originally designed to be placed on the floor, they cast a dramatic and pleasing shaft of light upwards. This style can be used to highlight architectural elements, or as a striking contrast to traditional downlighting (ceiling mounted pendants, chandeliers, recessed lighting, etc.). In the past, canister lamps were most often made of metal and the opening at the top was covered in an open metal grid. These materials presented several problems, most notably the metal’s tendency to heat up when the light was in use for long periods of time and the frequency with which dust and (horror) bugs to fall through and get trapped inside.

The Lex by Quittner

We learned this first hand, as we use two of those old 1980s canister lights in our own home — and they have serious problems. From the aforementioned heat and bug-trapping, to simply not being very nice to look at. The light they give is amazing, but the way they do it isn’t.

With the Lex, we aimed to improve upon the traditional vintage design, creating a light for our own home — and yours — that addresses the key pain points. The Lex is made from black walnut, grown and milled here in the Hudson Valley, and treated with a food-safe oil finish. By using wood, we introduce the beautiful grain and depth of black walnut, and eliminated the concern for overheating. Rather than an open metal grid top, we have used an opaque laminate glass. This keeps the interior of the canister sealed from dust and debris and diffuses the light, creating a more evenly distributed and softer uplight effect. The glass is cut and shaped by hand in Hudson, NY. The cord is a black, cloth-covered twisted cord with an integrated foot pedal switch.

Hot Tip: If you have a low sofa like we do, or a bed close to the floor, it also doubles as a side table or drink stand. 

The Lex by Quittner

Trade pricing is available, as are customizations. Email us at with any questions.

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