Jill Entwistle looks at some of the UK-based companies offering bespoke luminaire design services
Tyson Lighting has more than 55 years’ experience in bespoke lighting, specialising in the design and fabrication of both decorative and architectural lighting solutions. The company specialises in the hospitality and private sectors with luminaires for restaurants, bars, hotels and residential projects, ranging from intimate spaces and independent projects to large venues and roll-outs. ‘We have an experienced team of in-house product and lighting designers, offering both technical and creative support during a highly collaborative design process,’ says lighting design director Luke Artingsall. ‘We industrialise conceptual design ideas into working engineered pieces.’
The company uses Solidworks design software to model all bespoke products for presentation to clients, showing the intricacies of the design and the component breakdown for each luminaire. ‘The design process allows our clients to see the fittings being developed in-house up-close and personal at each stage of production,’ says Artingsall. ‘This is an essential part of the process and is fundamental to the success of each individual project.
Mike Stoane Lighting
Based in Loanhead, Midlothian, Mike Stoane Lighting was set up in 1995 and works extensively with lighting designers and architects on bespoke lighting, including a large number of hotel and restaurant projects in the UK and overseas.
The company’s work covers the full spectrum of specials, from providing variations on its standard products, to the design and build of one-off feature luminaires to a designer’s brief.
Fittings range from the highly technical and architectural through to the decorative. MSL has built its reputation on build quality and attention to detail, manufacturing everything in its Edinburgh factory. MSL has worked closely with technology partners, such as Xicato.
Nulty Bespoke, a division of lighting design consultant Nulty+, was launched in 2016 and works with a broad range of clients across the hospitality, commercial, retail and residential sectors. ‘Architects and interior designers are increasingly demanding their own tailor-made fixtures,’ says Paul Nulty. A recent commission was a tailor-made contemporary chandelier inspired by natural forms, a spiral of light from 24 petal-shaped shades which cascade through a three-storey stairwell.
‘At the heart of Nulty Bespoke is a belief that special spaces deserve exceptional light fittings – lovingly designed, handcrafted, and beautifully constructed,’ says Nulty. ‘Lighting that blends in seamlessly with its surroundings but stands out as a work of art.’
Jonathan Coles Lighting Studio
Jonathan Coles lighting Studio was founded in 2006 and since then bespoke lighting has been at the core of the practice. Tailored designs are commissioned by private and commercial clients, through to major brands, working closely with clients from an initial brief and concepts through to a final realisation. ‘It is our mission to make products which complement, define and transform a space,’ says Jonathan Coles. ‘To all our designs we bring a balance of imagination and meticulous attention to detail.’
All of the pieces are designed and engineered at the company’s studios and workshops in Henley-on-Thames, where Coles leads a creative team of designers, engineers and craftspeople who share a passion for experimenting with materials, light and technology. ‘Our design approach is to be open-minded and not constrained by materials, scale or form,’ says Coles. ‘Each product follows our principals of design – to not only create something beautiful but to also produce an exceptional light effect.’
In 2017 the company launched a range of products available to order, with the collection offering customisable elements – a range of cable colours, metal finishes and varying length options – to suit specific interior-design requirements.
‘We want to create engaging products that showcase our craftsmanship, understanding of light and use of honest materials’ says Coles.
A London-based contemporary lighting studio, By Luum works predominantly on large-scale lighting installations for the hospitality sector, as well as commercial, public and residential spaces. Clients include American Airlines, Rockwell Group, Gensler Architects, Tihany Design, BDP and many other interior and architectural practices. ‘The studio is defined by a thoughtful and considered approach combining technical knowledge with an aptitude for form and finishes,’ says co-founder Chris Fox.
The company offers a range of services including the design and manufacture of its own lighting collections. These are available in custom materials and finishes, and can be arranged and reconfigured as required.
‘By Luum is sensitive to the relationship between architecture and light, and focuses on delivering dynamic lighting and impactful design,’ says Fox.
Heathfield and Company
Founded in 1977, Heathfield is a British decorative lighting designer and manufacturer, with UK-based factories. The hospitality sector is a major focus for the company, which collaborates with internationally renowned interior designers to create lighting products for hotels and restaurants around the world. Clients include One and Only, Four Seasons and The Dorchester Collection.
Employing highly skilled artisans, Heathfield uses a wide range of materials and techniques from hand-blown glass to reactive ceramic glazes. A speciality is lampshades, which it has made for more than 40 years. Clients can specify any lampshade to accompany their chosen lights and can fully customise the final look with a choice of materials and linings. They can also supply their own fabrics for a completely unique appearance.
Springing from retail roots in 1947, Chelsom has become a highly recognised name in hotel and restaurant lighting worldwide for both its in-house range and its customised lighting in a wide variety of styles.
The company’s service extends from one-off central public area feature luminaires through to long production runs. The company has worked with some of the world’s leading designers, and in all cases produces 3D technical drawings and concept renderings before producing prototypes and final production runs.
‘It’s important to know what you are trying to achieve when it comes to product design by setting a brief, and being clear on what the mood and style need to be,’ says joint managing director Will Chelsom. ‘Building visual representation of objectives, so there is something written and visual to refer to, means you can stay on track and on brief.
That way you end up with a result that you’ve planned from the beginning.’
George Singer graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2002. After working at numerous design houses, including Mathmos, Totem Studio and Brydenwood Associates, he became an independent designer in 2006. His first commission came after exhibiting the Medicine Chandelier at 100% Design, where he won the opportunity to design three large chandeliers for Conran’s Bluebird restaurant in London’s Chelsea.
His studio is in Farringdon, central London where all his chandeliers and installations are hand-made. Working with a range of materials, from stainless steel and acrylic to glass and ceramic, his creations vary hugely in style, ranging from quasi-traditional crystal through to the contemporary and sculptural. His clients include Foster + Partners, Gensler and Conran.
‘We combine conceptual thinking with a thorough understanding of materials and production techniques,’ says Singer. ‘We allow the material and form to dictate the aesthetic without relying on surface decoration. The aesthetic of the chandelier will not only complement the space, but bring an exciting, fresh and new form of contemporary beauty.’