When it comes to contemporary lighting, Fermob is full of bright ideas—quite literally, in the case of its latest creation. Practical yet chic, Aplô playfully reinvents the classic icon of ingenuity and sudden inspiration: the light bulb. Available in three sizes, the style debuted earlier this year, making it the newest clever offering in the French company’s popular series of portable, affordable, all-purpose smart lamps. Battery-powered, ready to stand upright on a tabletop to light a dinner, slide elegantly into a matching bracket to become a sconce, or suspend from a complementary strap like a pendant, the ultra-versatile Aplô is, in a word, brilliant.

“The point is to make it fun,” Laura Exbrayat, Fermob’s international marketing manager, says of the brand’s commitment to crafting accessible, multifunctional products that spark a jolt of pure joie de vivre. The designs—beginning with the lantern-like Balad (which inaugurated Fermob’s lighting line in 2015), and ranging to the luminous orb of Mooon!, the light-up Inouï garden stool, and the hypnotic aerial rings of Hoop, not to mention Mickey Mouse, a round-eared wink to the world’s most famous cartoon character—are indisputably streamlined and modern, yet somehow seem equally at home in a living room full of 19th-century antiques and on a poolside patio or a picnic blanket at the beach. “They go everywhere, with any setting—rain or shine, indoors or out,” says Exbrayat.

Behind their ergonomic simplicity and alluring tactility, Fermob lamps are both technologically advanced and environmentally sensitive. To ensure durability, all products undergo Ingress Protection (IP) and impact-resistance tests. The company is committed to improving product lifespan by using eco-friendly materials like aluminum and polyethylene, and when the time does come to recycle, components are easily dismantled.

The versatile Aplô smart lamp
The versatile Aplô smart lampCourtesy of Fermob

The lamps use long-lasting, energy-efficient LED bulbs and can be recharged via their base or USB cable—meaning no wires, and no outlets required to plug in outdoors. Partnering with startup Smart & Green allowed the company to incorporate Bluetooth technology—which, when paired with the free Fermob Lighting app, enables you to use your phone or tablet to remotely manage the intensity and tonality of a lamp’s output. Adjusted on a dimmer, color temperatures range from warm to neutral to cool, “so you can tailor the ambiance to the atmosphere,” amplifying light as the sun goes down, explains Exbrayat. The app also features a timer function to program shutoffs in advance, and it can track battery life in real time.

The lamps’ structural metal framework and corresponding accessories, like wall brackets and garden stands, can be cast in a palette of six shades, including earthy Red Ochre, verdant Cactus, and smoky Anthracite, all of which work in essentially any environment, as well as with Fermob’s outdoor furniture—the brand’s first area of success after its establishment in 1989. The company also occasionally collaborates with up-and-coming designers to create customized versions of its hallmark shapes, such as its 2020 partnership with contemporary French artist Koralie. “We’re always looking to match with artists,” says Exbrayat, who reports more upcoming collaborations in the works. And when well received, limited editions may end up becoming part of the permanent collection—as is the case with the bestselling bamboo-handled interpretation of Balad.

Aplô appears poised for the same success: “It’s a big hit!” says Exbrayat of the “mischievous” little light bulb lamp that has brought some much-needed post-pandemic levity to homes across France and around the world. “We never want Fermob to be complicated,” she adds, explaining the appeal of products that are this easy to live with and intuitive to use. “When you see it, you just know.”

This story is a paid promotion and was created in partnership with Fermob.

Homepage photo: The Aplô light fixture by Fermob | Courtesy of Fermob

Want to stay informed? Sign up for our newsletter, which recaps the week’s stories, and get in-depth industry news and analysis each quarter by subscribing to our print magazine. Join BOH Insider for discounts, workshops and access to special events such as the Future of Home conference.