Lighting is many things to many people. For many, it's simply a practical tool to combat darkness. For others, it plays the role of mood enhancer. Carefully calibrated lighting can transform a space both subtly and dramatically.

Kyouei, or rather designer Kouichi Okamoto, is a relatively new entrant to the wide field of light design, but he has already managed to bring forward an intriguing mix of materials and ideas, creating products that are not only novel, but also ones that prove that innovation and style can go hand in hand with affordability.

Established 20 years ago in Shizuoka Pref. as a manufacturer of car lighting by his father, the Kyouei company is where Okamoto found himself occupying many roles, from office employee to salesman to delivery man. In 2004, a design section was created, which finally gave Okamoto the opportunity to pursue his growing interest in creating products of his own. The designs he had in mind would strive for a balance of uncluttered form and function.