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Stoane Lighting – Architectural Lighting Made in Scotland

Architectural Lighting Made in Scotland

Originally founded by Mike Stoane in 1995, and known formerly as Mike Stoane Lighting, this company started its life in a small lock-up in Scotland. They are now an employee-owned business based in a large workshop outside Edinburgh where a full team of product designers, engineers and technical staff all work together.

They make fabulous high-tech LED luminaires designed to last and if you’re into precision engineering then they will definitely appeal.

I’ve used them in a few projects – lighting some tricky artwork and also in a conference centre where the tiny diodes needed to be hidden within some classical panelling. Their products are excellent although they come with a price and would usually be specified for high-end commercial projects.

Stoane Lighting work closely with lighting designers and architects and are able to do special orders – a service which is invaluable to designers where colour temperature, beam angles and light quality is key. And they are made here in the British Isles. It has to be good!

You can learn more about them here:

https://stoanelighting.com/about-us/made-in-scotland

https://stoanelighting.com/

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Jim Lawrence – Classical Lighting Made in England

Classical Lighting Made in England

Jim Lawrence founded his business in 1994, originally as a way of supplementing the income from his Suffolk farm. He set up a forge in one of the farm buildings and started making specialist pieces for friends and neighbours.

Over the years Jim Lawrence has expanded enormously from metalwork to fabrics and soft furnishings, although the lighting now accounts for 60-70% of the company’s sales. I often direct clients to the Jim Lawrence website when they are looking for classical pieces that don’t break the bank.

The company is a true family business, still run by Jim and Sheena Lawrence and it employs up to three generations of local families as well as staff in its new showroom in Bath.

They have a really good website as well as showrooms in Suffolk and Bath.

https://www.jim-lawrence.co.uk/

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Curiousa and Curiousa – Magical Lighting made in Britain

Magical Lighting made in Britain

 

I absolutely love the Alice in Wonderland title of this fabulous lighting company. As original as Lewis Carroll’s book, they take us on a magical journey where the only boundaries are limitations in the production process.

Curiousa and Curiousa was founded in 2010 by Esther Patterson who was first spotted by Liberty London during a ‘Designer Open Call’ that year. Liberty went on to retail some of her products which goes to prove what good taste they have.

All the pieces are designed and manufactured in C&C’s factory in a historic mill in Derbyshire and all the glass is free-blown, without the use of moulds, which means that each piece is totally unique. Every order is custom made in any combination of 21 different glass colours which vary from transparent to semi-opaque. There’s also a range of different ceiling fittings and flex colours as well as the incredibly useful option to produce certain fittings to IP45 so they can be used in bathrooms.

The pendant lights are fabulous and above you will see how stunning they can look in a stairway, but I also love their Bass Siren wall light seen here giving a really unique flavour to a bathroom.

Curiousa and Curiousa have recently moved their London showroom to a large building next to their factory in Derbyshire so that, during the current pandemic, they can adhere to social distancing rules. However, they can do online virtual visits or will visit clients where appropriate. Hopefully, things will change very soon but in the meantime some of their pieces can be seen in the Martin Moore showrooms in Notting Hill and Fulham.

I adore Curiousa and Curiousa and it’s one of the highlights of such shows as Decorex to see what beautiful products they have on display.

https://www.curiousa.co.uk/

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Soane – Elegant Lighting Made in Britain

Beautifully Elegant Lighting Made in Britain

Soane doesn’t just produce beautifully elegant lighting but also a wide range of timeless furniture, wallpaper and fabrics – all made in the UK by a plethora of craftsmen who serve as the bedrock to this thriving design company.

Founded in the late 1990s by designer Lulu Lytle who has a passion for British crafts and classical architecture, Soane now boasts showrooms in London (Pimlico Road) as well as San Francisco and Manhattan in the USA.

The use of rattan is taken to extraordinary heights giving a fresh twist to some classical pieces, both with lighting as well as chairs, sofas and tables.

Their products have serious prices. Don’t expect to see them on the website – you need to enquire. But they are beautiful, they are high-end and there is the option for bespoke.

I absolutely love the Chinnery Wall Lantern and it is now stored in my mental Filofax.

https://www.soane.co.uk

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Nigel Tyas – Wrought Iron Lighting made in Britain

Wrought Iron Lighting made in Britain

This is a small family business based in Yorkshire created in 2000 by Nigel Tyas and his wife Elizabeth Stocker. It has now been bought by brothers Daniel and Gareth Lowe who employ a small team of metalworkers and electricians. They also use the services of a local ceramicist and a glass company based in Somerset.

When an order is placed, all the metalwork is assigned to one craftsman from start to finish. This helps to ensure quality control as well as instilling a sense of pride and accomplishment so lacking in some of the larger manufacturing companies these days.

As they are based in Sheffield, the heart of British metalworking heritage, they try to source all their materials and components locally as much as possible. All their work carries the prestigious ‘Made in Sheffield’ mark (discreetly) which also gives a stamp of provenance.

Most of the products suit older properties but I do love the Cubley wall light which is perfect for bringing a contemporary light effect into a classical interior.

Prices are realistic and personalised adaptations of designs are also possible.

Well worth checking out.

https://www.nigeltyas.co.uk/

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Tom Raffield – Beautiful Lighting made in Cornwall

Beautiful Lighting made in Cornwall

Tom Raffield is one of Cornwall’s most notable designers having originally trained at Falmouth College of Arts. He now runs a 30 strong team of craftsmen in his country workshop in Cornwall, producing lighting and furniture sold in the UK and overseas.

All his products are not only made in the UK but are sustainable and environmentally friendly so tick all the boxes when it comes to sourcing with a clean conscience. They’ve recently gone one notch higher, having partnered with Ecologi to offset their employees’ carbon footprints.

Initially Tom Raffield became known, from the lighting perspective, for his signature bent wood Butterfly pendant lights, but he’s gone on to expand his range enormously. My favourite WOW pieces are the Skipper and Arame Wall Lights but I also love his new Loer pendants which are contemporary but with his own individual stamp.

Personally (especially as I live in Cornwall) I think it’s wonderful that Tom employs so many people locally as well as designing and producing fabulous natural products that add to the plethora of great products that come from Cornwall.

Purchases can be made online and there is also a new showroom in Falmouth, details on the website.

www.tomraffield.com

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Bert Frank – Bold and Beautiful British Lighting

Bold and Beautiful British Lighting

Bert Frank was founded in 2013 by designer Robbie Llewellyn and factory owner Adam Yeates. Right from the beginning they’ve manufactured their products in the UK, primarily in a factory in the heart of Birmingham where they combine traditional manufacturing methods with cutting-edge technology.

I first came across them at Decorex in 2014 and was immediately smitten by their Sheer wall light (photographed here) which has the makings on a true classic. Since their launch they’ve won several awards, such as the 2016 Elle Decoration British Design Award for Lighting and the Best Product Award at the Design et al International Design Awards.

Their products are definitely high-end and they certainly have luxurious price tags, but to my mind they are way up there with the best.

They have a good website and a showroom in East London, details on their website.

www.bertfrank.co.uk

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CTO Lighting – British Contemporary Lighting

British Contemporary Lighting by CTO Lighting

CTO Lighting produce some stunning pieces which have a balance of form that comes with exceptionally skilled design coupled with perfect craftsmanship.

Founded in 1998 by trained engineer Chris Turner and his wife Clare who originally came from a fashion background, the company has gone from strength to strength; they have even been commissioned to create bespoke pieces for The Savoy Hotel, The Dorchester and St Pancreas Renaissance Hotel to name a few.

Quality is key and they place an emphasis on using premium natural materials such as hand-finished brass, mouth-blown glass and artisan-crafted stone which gives each piece an individuality of its own.

CTO Lighting has an online shop as well as a brochure. Their showroom is in North London, details on their website.

www.ctolighting.co.uk

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Christopher Hyde Lighting – British Classical Lighting

British Classical Lighting

Christopher Hyde Lighting was founded in 1995 and produces quintessentially English lighting, perfectly suited to classical homes, although they do now design and manufacture some transitional contemporary lighting as well. They have a factory in Milton Keynes and altogether employ the skills of some 60 – 80 artisans at any one time.

One of their main strengths is the amount of customised light fittings they can produce – various metal finishes, coloured flex cables and bespoke lampshades which attracts owners of larger properties, hotels and yachts.

Christopher Hyde have an online website and a showroom in Chelsea Design Centre, London.

www.christopherhyde.com

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Original BTC – Beautifully British

ORIGINAL BTC – Beautifully British

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I’m going to start my series on British Lighting with one of my absolute favourites: Original BTC.

I’m particularly fond of Original BTC as I sold a huge quantity of their wonderful lighting when I had a showroom several years ago. In fact I could honestly say that my company Illumina was practically launched on the back of Original BTC.

I remember stumbling across their small stand at a trade fair in 2005 when I was sourcing products for my new venture. I was bowled over by their clean, unique style and I felt sure they would sell well in Cornwall so I placed a large order on the spot. At that time, I seem to recall that the majority of their sales was overseas, especially in France, but over the years they’ve gone from strength to strength with showrooms now in London, New York, Paris and Taiwan. They also export to over 85 countries.

Founded in 1990 by Peter Bowles, Original BTC is a true family business with six family members being directly involved. They own six production facilities including a glass factory, ceramics factory and metal works with their headquarters and assembly factories based in Oxfordshire.

The company has also incorporated two other British brands into their empire. Beadlight and Davey Lighting (robust and stylish exterior lighting), which sit well with their interior range. Their service is excellent and they will always try to meet any specific requirements, such as extra length cord or in-line switches.

One of the other joys of ordering from Original BTC is that their packaging is perfect and I can’t remember ever having complained about breakages.

My all-time favourite has to be the Hector range and you can see the Hector lamp being made here:

Making the Hector Medium Dome Lamp

Original BTC has a strong presence online now as well as supplying many of the main retailers such as John Lewis and Heals.

www.originalbtc.com

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