Illuminate me… would you fake it?

PH5 Poul Henningsen

Can you spot the difference? Could you tell which one is worth AUD$1200 new and which is worth $300? Look closely… if you guessed that the top one is the more expensive then you’d be correct.

Since returning from Denmark I have been on quest to replace all the lights fittings in our house starting with the dining room, which has the weirdest most ineffective lighting possible. The friends we stayed with in Denmark had this light hanging low over their dining table. This seems to be a very Danish thing – the low hanging lights and now I think about it this is one of the things I loved about living in the US. Australians tend to hang lights in the centre of the room so you’re always ducking and weaving away from your own shadow when standing in the room – impossible.

Anyway back to my light quest – so I have resolved to buy one of these lights. It’s called a PH5 and was designed by Poul Henningson (a Dane) in 1958. A Google search returned any number of sellers around the world but where possible I like to support local stores. I found one right here in Canberra – $1200 – seriously! I found the bottom one online from an Australian store – a modest $300. The reason for the difference – well the bottom one is a replica and I just can’t bring myself to buy a replica. What about you? Would you get the great design and a quarter of the price? I have no explanation for my hesitation. As a compromise I found a second hand one for not much more than the replica from Danish Red in Melbourne –  and they have made the experience such a pleasure that I’ve already set my sights on a new dining room table they sell.

P.S. If you’re wondering the answer is yes I’m back to blogging. Thanks for your patience and sweet words – I’ve really missed you.

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3 Responses to Illuminate me… would you fake it?

  1. Brandi November 8, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    I honestly don’t know what I would do. I think it would depend on how hard I fell in love with the original and how much it costs. I’ve made do with replicas before, simply because I had to (I’m on a pretty strict budget). And for the most part, I was happy or okay with it. But if I really, really loved it? If it wasn’t too expensive? If I had a little extra spending money? Then I’d probably buy the original; I love supporting artists and art in general by buying original pieces if and when I can.
    Brandi recently posted..52 Colors :: Week 45

  2. chantel d November 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    If I found a second hand version at a good price I would buy that instead of the $1200 version. If there was no second hand version and I really couldn’t part with $1200 ( it’s a lot for a light…to me anyway! ) I would buy the replica. I have a few replica pieces and I don’t have a problem with them. I don’t pretend they are anything else other than what they are. I think it would be truly ridiculous for me to be buying originals with my income. As long as you’re comfortable with your purchase and you enjoy it, that’s all that matters 🙂

  3. Arina July 13, 2014 at 10:30 pm #


    I was wondering who made the replica? I have seen it and even the seller thought it was an original.. I think the replica is nicely made, with a ‘cleaner’ style than the original.. I would buy it, not so much because of the money, but also because I feel like they improved the design while still respecting the original. Are you still happy with yours?

    Best wishes!

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