Good lighting can transform a room. Lighting at home needs to be practical, of course, for reading, studying, cooking and so on, but it can also be beautiful and eye-catching, from a grand, sparkling chandelier to a simple wall light with an attractive shade.
The capital boasts a treasure trove of lighting stores, from those that specialise in classic fittings inspired by antique designs, to the latest in high-tech control systems – and everything in between. Whether you need help in selecting the perfect LED bulb, a ceiling light to grab attention or a table lamp to brighten a gloomy corner, here are London’s most shining showrooms.
Founded by Michael and Lucy Vaughan 35 years ago, this firm is well known for luxury decorative – and timeless – table lamps, wall lights and pendants inspired by the owners’ unswerving passion for art and antiques. Lights are made using traditional manufacturing methods, all to Vaughan’s exclusive designs, and can be seen at the smart showroom in the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, alongside furniture, mirrors, rugs, fabrics and cushions.
This is the place to visit for architectural lighting for the house and garden, not to be confused with decorative lighting, such as table lamps and chandeliers. The team is led by creative director Sally Storey, one of the country’s leading lighting experts, so you can be confident of a first-class lighting design service. Also great for technical advice, energy efficient fittings and control systems, plus regular lighting workshops that will show you how to select the best LEDs and use creative techniques to transform your home with lighting.
There are two showrooms, opposite each other on the King’s Road, which specialise in lights inspired by English, French and American designs from the 19th and 20th centuries. Charles Edwards continues to run the well-established business, which has a particularly strong reputation for beautiful lanterns and ceiling lights to suit all scales of room, made at the company’s workshop in Wimbledon. There is another store on Rumbold Road which sells alabaster dish lights, as well as antiques and door furniture.
Holloways of Ludlow
Another well-established firm, trading since 1985, Holloways of Ludlow offers an extensive selection of contemporary, traditional and period lighting from many of the big-name brands, plus an inspired choice from smaller names and designer makers, even a favourite selection by owner Mark Holloway. There are several London showrooms, with the biggest for lighting at 115 and 117 Shepherd’s Bush Road, which has been recently extended. There’s also a deep offering online, featuring decorative designs, plus switches, sockets, bulbs, cables and fittings.
This shop has been a landmark on the Wandsworth Bridge Road since 1995 and is still run by Hector and Emma Finch. It is an excellent source of high quality outdoor lanterns, bathroom lights, library and wall lights (some of which hang in the American ambassador’s residence in London), plus smart pendants to suspend over kitchen islands and counters. Lights are assembled at its workshop in Shropshire, using precision-engineered metalwork from the UK and components from across Europe.
Seen from its entrance on the King’s Road, this showroom looks modestly sized – but with over 1,000 lights on show, it is one of the largest of its kind in London, extending from the front door to a warehouse-sized premises at the rear. It offers a particularly impressive selection of chandeliers and statement lighting, and sells brands such as Slamp and Foscarini. Lighting design and re-wiring services are also on offer.
Buster + Punch
On a mission to ‘end ordinary home fittings’, Buster + Punch has succeeded in transforming the humble light bulb and socket into an object of desire. Ideal for lovers of industrial style, its Heavy Metal pendant has already become a much-copied classic. The Shoreditch store is also worth a visit for its individual take on traditional hardware, from cable hooks to dimmer switches.