Benny Frandsen (named after jazz-clarinetist Benny Goodman) is a Danish designer and lighting producer. He was educated as an electronics engineer in the 1966, mainly to satisfy his mother’s ambitions and by interest.
His passion was to design light. He had already designed some lamps for a discotheque, and then Frandsen tried to convince his boss to start a lighting production, but no luck. Afterwards, Benny Frandsen established Frandsen Lamps in 1968, by himself, and was located in his home in Skanderborg in Jutland.
He designed geometric lamps, but the business was slow. Frandsen discovered that, the Danes wanted round lamps and not geometric lamps, so he began designing a round light instead. Here emerges the ultimate round lamp, a ball that was attached to a wall bracket with a magnet. This was a game changer for Frandsen. Everybody wanted the Ball wall lamp with magnet. Since then, there has been made many variations of this Ball lamp.
In 1972, Frandsen starts a factory in Skanderborg, to keep up with the many requests. But by 1993 the company is sold to the Frits Concern, whom merges the lighting production with Lyskilde. This led to Frandsen winning the role of the director, under the new company name, Frandsen Lyskilde. Eventually Benny Frandsen buys the company back in 1996, as the Frits Concern closes, and reestablishes Frandsen Lighting.
After the millinium, Frandsen realized, that production had to be moved to China, to save costs. Today, Frandsen Lighting manufactures on five major factories with 5,000 Chinese employees.
In 2005, Frandsen bought a small lighting company, which held the copyrights for Verner Panton‘s The Globe, which became the beginning of a success for Frandsen Lighting. The company now ownes the copyrights for 80 of Panton’s lighting designs, some were formerly produced by Louis Poulsen.
Latest(2011), the company bought the copyrights of some of Panton’s furniture and textiles for export purposes.
Frandsen Lighting is today a part of the family driven, Frandsen Group, which consists of three businesses; Frandsen Lighting (where Benny Frandsen designs lights together with a number of young designers), Verpan (where his son Peter manages Panton’s designs) and Frandsen Project (where his daugther Pernille manages lighting solutions for hotels, institutions, shops).
Benny Frandsen has always known that his children would grow into the family business, but had one requirement to them: they would have to be fluent in at least two foreign languages. Both speak English and German fluently today.