Lighting is arguably the most crucial design element in a room. The proper lighting sets the mood and ambiance; controls the emotion, energy and flow; and even makes small spaces feel more expansive. Though often an afterthought, lighting influences a room’s atmosphere more than any furniture or accessories. Nobody knows this better than Riki Lent, senior vice president at Kalco Lighting and Allegri Crystal.
“Kalco thinks of every detail when designing a light,” Lent says. “We look at lighting as a piece of jewelry that dresses up a space or a piece of artwork that complements a room. And we love seeing a space come together with thoughtful, stylish lighting.”
Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Las Vegas, Kalco specializes in artisan-made lighting and is characterized by its design-driven culture. With its extensive design expertise, the company has grown to include a luxury crystal lighting line and modern furniture that blends well with its lighting. Furniture includes stools, cocktail tables, and table and floor lamps.
All of the company’s designs start with a sketch before becoming a polished piece and making their way onto the showroom floors. Kalco’s designer team includes celebrity interior designer Vanessa DeLeon and award-winning designers Takayuki Ishii and Grace Denniston. You can choose from their extensive portfolio of lighting or bring in a concept and have your design custom-made.
“Lately, our designers draw inspiration from elements found in nature, like rocks and waterfalls, and natural materials, like wicker and wood,” Lent says. “We’re also doing more and more collections in matte white, but there are endless customization options, too. If someone is looking for a specific color, material or finish they can’t find anywhere else, Kalco likely has it. If we don’t have it, we can create it.”
Now in its fifth decade, Kalco is well-known for identifying trends early on and creating collections to reflect those findings. A key element to staying ahead of the design curve and always having something fresh to offer is partnering with interior designers. For example, DeLeon’s Ilumine collection of dreamlike chandeliers, pendants and wall sconces was well ahead of the hot home trend “Gothic Glam.”
DeLeon’s Ilumine line is spectacular because it’s unlike anything else on the market. The Venus and Venere feature a moody, maximalist design inspired by the physical form and sense of surrealism, specifically the work of Salvador Dalí. This line evokes a sense of curiosity and presents lighting as a form of art. Venus is a six-light crystal chandelier suspended by a brass chain. Look closely, and you’ll discover the fixture connects to the chain by the pointer finger of a small brass hand, a motif frequently seen in Dalí’s work.
Also part of Ilumine, the Demi collection is inspired by abstract art, with pendants made of stacked geometric shapes, bold colored glass and natural stones, like marble and jade, that read more like illuminated sculptures rather than lighting. The sculptures are delicately balanced compositions suspended on brass rods with soft LED lighting.
Personally designed by Ishii, the Flint collection comprises dramatic multi-drop pendants carved from natural alabaster and suspended with a dark jewelry chain. The collection has options for three, five and single pendants wired to a central base. There is a smaller steel ceiling hanger for each pendant that allows you to control the spread radius of the fixture and the hanging length of each drop.
Bold colorways are something Kalco does very well. Spring introductions called for chandeliers with peacock green glass and classically inspired art deco shapes, such as a repeated reed pattern that adds texture. More soft and subtle, the Azul chandelier offers tranquil pairings of translucent navy blue and iridescent peach glass shades with a natural twisted texture with a mount in a classic aged-gold finish.
Another genuinely unique pendant, Tulipa is suspended by warm brass rods and created from layers of translucent glass shapes in alternating colors that resemble tulip petals. To bring this translucent, mirror-like polish to life, the company uses dichroic glass, which can display multiple colors depending on lighting conditions.
“I find myself craving more natural and understated colors,” Ishii says. “The pink colors of a sunset, deep blue lakes, golden desert sands and miles of green corn fields.”
If color and nature-inspired aren’t your style, there’s something for every aesthetic imaginable: industrial, mid-century modern, art deco, coastal chic, transitional, contemporary and more.
Allegri Crystal by Kalco Lighting, with a glamourous and grand array of indoor and outdoor options, is where Kalco truly sparkles and shines. With its decades-long passion for crystal, its modern interpretations of traditional fixtures free the sparkle from the heavy elements of the past. For example, the bohemian Vezzo island light is a curtain of vertical crystal drops framed by delicate metal scallops.
Allegri includes an extensive collection of luxurious crystal lighting worth designing entire rooms around. The streamlined Lina floor lamp is made of glowing LED rods encrusted with delicate Firenze crystal strands for a glamorous vibe that’s not flashy. Dimmable inner lighting makes the crystals glow, creating a soft, ambient light on a smooth, round marble base.
There’s no reason all that sparkle needs to stay inside, so Kalco also offers contemporary outdoor crystal lighting in the Esterno Cristallo collection. The Lina Esterno outdoor wall sconce features the same Firenze crystal rods encased in a matte black stainless steel frame.
The outstanding range of outdoor sconces aren’t just glamourous and elegant, they’re also coated with fluorocarbon finish technology to withstand harsh climates, from the salt-filled air in Miami to the dry desert sun in Las Vegas.
“Esterno Cristallo is a perfect solution for people who want to spend time outside in style and luxury,” Ishii says. “The fireplace found its place in the backyard, so why not crystal light fixtures? Working on that collection solidified for me that the indoor/outdoor trend is here to stay.”
While Kalco was founded as a residential lighting designer, its presence is growing in the custom and contract space, with lighting projects in several exclusive resorts in Las Vegas and globally, from the Venetian in Las Vegas and MGM Grand in Macau to Atlantis the Palm, Dubai and various Hiltons, Marriotts and other properties around the world.
Kalco has showrooms in Las Vegas, Dallas and Highpoint Market. The expansive Dallas showroom is located in the Dallas Market Center.
“Lighting makes life all the more interesting,” Lent says. “If we only needed light to see things in the dark, then why do we have fixtures covered with thousands of crystal cuts or inlaid Capiz shell? Lighting plays a big part in room transformations.”
Robin Howard is a freelance writer in Charleston. See more of her work at robinhowardwrites.com.