L-1 was designed by Luxo’s founder, the Norwegian industrialist Jac Jacobsen. He had received two crane-like spring balanced luminaries as part of a shipment of sewing machines from England. Being technically minded he took a fancy to the strange looking luminaries, with their great functionality and timeless beauty.
Although the technical invention was ingenious, Jac Jacobsen soon realized that the construction as a whole was primitive. He succeeded in improving it. Manufacturing started in 1937 under the name Luxo, derived from Latin – I give light.
L-1 soon became known as a real productivity booster in schools, offices, industrial plants and health care facilities, and a design icon among architects and designers all over the world.
Jac Jacobsen lived to be 95 years old and was active in the company until his last days.