Travelling light - why the rechargeable Phileas table lamp is a lighting gamechanger

It’s not often a real interior design gamechanger comes along, but the rechargeable, cordless Phileas table lamp, designed by Matthew Williamson, is one. Here’s why, plus five ideas for letting it light up your life...


Where science meets art…

The idea is brilliantly simple: a rechargeable table light that you can place anywhere – indoors or out –  without being tied to cords and plug sockets.

The only problem is that until now rechargeable lights were either eye-wateringly expensive or, frankly ugly – and very often both.

The Phileas changes all that - it’s a hi-tech cordless light that lasts up to 10 hours, but which is also irresistibly beautiful: a classic lamp base shape finished in antique brass, created by British design legend Matthew Williamson.

It’s 25cm tall and has a lovely weight to it: eminently portable yet pleasingly solid and substantial. It's also dimmable, so you can adjust the lighting level to suit the mood as well as the location.

So it’s a genuine, cordless designer light. Yet it’s also a fraction of the price of first-generation cordless lights.

Matthew Williamson's sketch for the Phileas lamp (image credit); Detail of base


‘I wanted to create a classic lamp design reminiscent of those you might find in chic, intimate members bars, cabaret clubs or hotel dining tables from eras gone by. 

‘The Phileas lamp has been a long time in the making, with me on the design front and Pooky, the brilliant lighting brand who made it come to life. Not one to blow my own design trumpet, even I have to admit this lamp is fantastic!’ Matthew Williamson


Any shade you like

Another revolutionary dimension to the Phileas is that unlike early rechargeable lights, you can pair it with any shade, opening up endless interior design options.

Here we’ve dressed it in an empire shade in Matthew Williamson's own Leopard Love print in blue and red, but you can go for any look, from brightly-coloured ikats to deep rich velvets.


Five ideas for making the most of a cordless designer lamp

Named after the great Mr Fogg, the Phileas light can literally travel anywhere, leading to all sorts of exciting possibilities. Here are just a few ideas for letting it light up your life...


1. Al fresco dining

What could be lovelier than outdoor dining on a warm summer’s evening, accompanied by the mellow glow of the Phileas table lamp. You could even take it on picnics.


2. In the bathroom

Pop it on a chair near the tub and enjoy a long lazy soak complete with mood lighting.


3. Dinner table centrepiece

Wires and sockets usually rule out a stylish table lamp as a dining table centrepiece, but the Phileas can reach the parts that usually only candelabras can reach...


4. Instant office

Now that virtually everyone has to do a bit of WFH, kitchen tables, breakfast bars and all sorts of unlikely spaces now have to double as occasional offices. The cordless table lamp is ready to step up...


5. Cosy up the deepest corners

Matthew Williamson’s gorgeous lamp base design, reminiscent of old-fashioned cabaret clubs, plus the cosifying dimmer function, make it perfect for a cosy corner table for one or two, or for drinks or cards or reading… So if there’s a spot in your house that would have been a perfect lamplit nook but for the lack of a plug socket, the Phileas can light it up at last.


Welcome to the future! Open up a world of new lighting possibilities and shop the Phileas here.