The Dutch lighting manufacturer Hala, based in Zeist, has a clouded history, and it’s unclear whether the company was founded as an importer of German light bulbs in 1909, or if it was started under the Dutch modernist industrial designer Herman Theodoor Jan Anthoin (H. Th. J. A.) Busquet’s direction in the 1930s. Although little verifiable information about the company survives—save for a few brief and conflicting biographies—the minimalist lighting produced by Hala in the 1930s throughout the 1950s are popular on the vintage market today.
Although the correct date of company's inception is unknown, it is widely accepted that Hala was one of the first lighting manufacturers in the Netherlands. Sometime around 1932, H. Th. J. A. Busquet (1914-1955) became the design director. During the Great Depression, Hala began producing cost effective products utilizing pipe and rod iron. After the Second World War, Hala’s simple and affordable designs were praised by the Goed Wonen Foundation, which aimed to address postwar material shortages and improve the quality of daily life through well-designed products for the home. During the 1950s and ‘60s, Hala became a symbol for the economy of modernism.
Most likely drawing inspiration from the De Stijl and Bauhaus movements, Busquets designs were reductionist in style, forming a coherent relationship between form and function. Like Gerrit Rietveld, his work often incorporates a primary color palette, with adjustable and directional features, often with a playful quality. During his time at Hala, he designed icons such as the 144 Desk Lamp (1932); 122 Lamp (1940s); the Pinocchio Lamp (1954)—which features sleek legs that form a tripod base, paired with painted metal shades in a choice of red, blue, yellow, green, white, or black; and the innovative, adjustable Sun Series Pendants (1955).
The company continued to operate after Busquet retired in 1955. In 2008, the company relocated to Amersfoort and operates under the official name Hala Nederlandsche Lampen Fabriek BV (Hala Dutch Lamps Factory BV). In 2011, Hala aquired Dijkstra Lights in Haarlem. The company continues to collaborate with lighting designers such as Peter Kos, Tom Herman Busquet, and Tomcat to produce decorative lighting for homes in the Netherlands and Belguim.