Author Archive

Decorex International 2019 – Colour and Light

Lighting displayed at Decorex International 2019 illustrated a wide range of made-to-order and bespoke pieces

Cakes and Lighting Design

Whether it’s cooking or creating a lighting design scheme – they are both forms of a recipe. Remove one element and the result can fail

How to Light Children’s Bedrooms

We all want to create beautiful bedrooms for our children but lighting will last for years. Before you know it they will be teenagers

When do I consult a Lighting Designer?


When is the best time to consult a Lighting Designer?

With so many elements of a self-build project to be taken into account it’s not unusual for the lighting design to be put to the side until the electrical contractors ask for the lighting layout. They will need this so they can quote accordingly which in turn helps to establish the budget of the whole project.  So often I’m asked to supply a lighting design scheme as a matter of urgency and although I’m happy to accommodate speedy jobs when possible it does mean that you, as the client, may not have given yourself enough time to think through the style of lighting or light fittings you would like to incorporate into the build.

So when I’m asked when is the best time to start planning the lighting I will always say that the best time is as soon as you have a definite building plan and certainly once you’ve got planning permission. Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that your lighting designer will require the following information:


It’s important for any lighting designer to know the design of a staircase as there are so many different ways that these can be lit. Does it have open treads, stringers, wood, steel, concrete?  There are so many variations and each style will call for different lighting methods.

Kitchen Design

Ideally the full kitchen plan will be available but if this is not possible it helps to know where any tall units are going to be located, if wall units are being incorporated, where the sink is sited, position of the hob and the approximate size and location of the island if there is one. Also, what type of extractor are you incorporating as often these will have integral lighting and some pieces are almost light fittings in their own right.  For example some of these extractors double up as feature lights.

Bathroom Layouts

The whole flow and symmetry of the bathroom lighting will depend on the positioning of the bathroom furniture and the style of the fittings is also important. For example the lighting around a roll top slipper bath would be very different to that of an inset panelled bath and it helps to know if the basin is a pedestal design or has an integrated unit below it or possibly a wall mounted cupboard above it.  For a wonderful range of bathroom furniture visit C P Hart for inspiration.


What type of flooring will you be having in different areas of the house? This will influence the architectural light fittings that are specified and will determine whether in-ground LED lights are to be incorporated.  For example uplights can be set into hard floors but would not work well in carpets and the reflective properties of different finishes will create various effects so it’s worth knowing in the early stages.

Furniture Layout

This doesn’t need to be set in stone but the more information you can give your lighting designer the better the effect. Approximate positions of sofas and beds will help with the layout and having an idea of where any artwork is to be placed will help to incorporate this into the lighting scheme.

For further information on our design service in Cornwall and Devon visit:

Illumina Design Service

Alternatively for our remote service throughout the UK and overseas visit

Luxplan Lighting Design


Lighting at Decorex 2014

Decorex is always worth a visit and this year it certainly didn’t disappoint.  Situated back at Syon Park after a number of years, parking was a doddle and for out-of-town visitors it made for much easier travelling.  There was less emphasis on fabrics and wall coverings but a greater slant on surfaces, furniture and lighting.  Here is some of the lighting that struck a cord…

Le Deun Luminaires

Le Deun Luminaires at Decorex 2014Le Deun Luminaires at Decorex 2014
A beautiful range of lighting by this Parisian company, working entirely with LEDS.  This is where lighting crosses with artwork as some of the pieces were beautifully delicate and aesthetically pleasing as well as giving out gentle washes of light.  A favourite was the Sirius wall light shown here on the left – this would make a lovely feature on entering a hallway or in repetition in a living space.

Sophie Mallebranche

Sophie Mallebranche woven metalsDecorex 2014 by Illumina Lighting

Here decorative finishes overlap with lighting, shown here by a gentle upwash of light on the intricate woven metalwork by Sophie Mallebranch. Sophie creates beautiful industrially tailored woven metal materials which work wonderfully with washes of light or in screening that can be back lit.

Vessel Gallery

Vessel Gallery at Decorex 2014

A heavenly assortment of limited glass art works by Vessel Gallery


Calle and Mizu pendant lights by Terzani at Decorex 2014

Terzani displayed a beautiful assortment of feature pendant and hanging lights – these are perfect for stairwells and high ceilings


Stand by Ochre at Decorex displaying the magical Damselfly wall lightsCelestial Pebbles by Ochre at Decorex 2014

A little snippet of paradise at the Ochre stand with the perfect three of their Celestial Pebbles and Damselfly wall lights.  Ochre are simply heaven!

Best and Lloyd and Fromental

Decorex 2014 by Illumina Lighting - Best and LloydBest and Lloyd lamps with Fromental wall covering

Best and Lloyd have added a stunning new range of original pendant lights to their collection and combined them with an original backdrop. They also shared a stand with Fromental displaying silk wall coverings and bespoke lampshades.

CTO Lighting

Big Bulb wall light by CTO Lighting at Decorex 2014

You can always trust CTO to display original and stylish lighting and here we have some humour as well with this quirky new Big Bulb Wall Light with its added frisson of red cord and special silvered bulb creating a gentle wash on the wall behind.

Fine Art Lamps

Natural Inspirations by Fine Art Lamps at Decorex 2014Choice of crystal heads for Natural Inspirations by Fine Art Lamps

The Rebecca Scott stand was displaying a splendid display feature light by Fine Art Lamps which is part of their Natural Inspirations range.  Shown here in the clear quartz, it can also be supplied with these three other quartz or crystal attachments.  There are twenty five configurations in the range and an option of bespoke lengths and two different finishes to the metal – platinized silver leaf or gold toned silver leaf which tones perfectly with the amber coloured quartz.

A Place in the Garden

Beautiful Zinc pendant lights by A Place in the Garden

Some very stylish pendant lights at A Place in the Garden stand


Nenufar wall light by Serip at Decorex 2014

Classed as Luxury Organic Lighting the Portugese company Serip had some beautiful pieces on display.  This branch arrangement has a slightly oriental feel to it and ties in with some feature pendant lights in a similar mould.


Heathfield lamps at Decorex 2014 - Illumina Lighting

Jewel coloured glass lamps by Heathfield

Curiousa and Curiousa

Curiousa and Curiousa at Decorex 2014

Original and quirky lighting all with hand blown glass and a wonderful range of colours making each piece unique.  Some wonderful combinations but didn’t photograph well at the exhibition so these are only the simpler ones.

Bert Frank

Decorex 2014 by Illumina Lighting - Bert FrankDecorex 2014 by Illumina Lighting - Bert Frank

Sometimes a design house just gets it so right and Bert Frank seems to have that intangible edge that makes their lighting unique.  Shown here on the right is the Sheer wall light that has the added advantage of being surface wired (with plug and cord) if required.  This means it can easily be plugged into a wall near a chair for reading or even as bedside reading lights.  A perfect gift for a stylish man, or woman for that matter.

Tigermoth Lighting

Feature pendant light by Tigermoth at Decorex 2014

Tigermoth Lighting are the Queen bees of metallic chain chandeliers using glass and metal in innovative combinations.  This photo doesn’t do them justice but is a small indicator of their style – in miniature.


Ona Pendant light by KAIA Lighting at Decorex 2014

KAIA have a small but unique range of lighting, the most striking on the stand being the Ona which gives the wonderful combination of size, quality of light as well as form yet all the time it is light in weight.


Ripple light duo by Harlequin at Decorex 2014

If you love the effect of light reflecting off rippling water, this combination of fittings by Harlequin is a way of mimicking this sensation.  The larger globe rotates and the smaller globe houses a directional light source.  The light shines through the slightly irregular hand-blown larger globe which, whilst it is rotating, creates dappled, rippling light effects on the wall behind.  You may not love the price as much as you love the effect!


Villiers wall lights at Decorex 2014

Villiers is always the height of luxury and their stand lived up to their reputation at Decorex this year.  Particularly lovely were the triple Epernay wall lights flanking this Omega mirror.

Decorex 2014 was definitely a show worth attending.