New Product Alert!

This spring Lamps and Lights have been working hard to introduce a mixture of new quality products to satisfy the many requests from our lovely customers!

By popular demand, we have moved to superior quality vintage brass multi-outlet ceiling roses rather than coloured steel across the range.  Although a little pricier our customers tell us they really appreciate the superior quality. This means that all our range of metal Ceiling Roses are now made here in the UK from solid brass! Our ceiling rose and ceiling hook plates are available in single and multi hook or cord grip options. We also stock a range of hand turned and finished hardwood pattresses available in oak, beech and mahogany.

Quality multi ceiling rose with metal cordgrips, mahogany pattress and LED curled filament bulbNeed a white lampholder replacement or looking to brighten up your surroundings with a set of matt white lighting parts? Then take a look at our new range of white ceiling plates & white lamp holders with and without shade-rings. Alternatively add one of our many brightly coloured lighting cables to jazz things up a bit!For those who prefer something darker in their interiors, we have our existing range of black plastic lampholders. Both colours are also available in China. If you are looking to for a great pairing why not try the wonderful ironstyle 3 core flex to go with it!

Worth a note; the hard to find 5″ Galleries in antique and brass finish are are now in and available from our online store! And last but not least we are happy to announce the arrival of the long awaited LED dimmer switches! Compatible with our LED light bulbs and available in 4 colours!https://www.lampsandlights.co.uk/images/med_switch-dimmer-group-mix.jpgThank you so much for reading! Please don’t forget to like this post, if you found it useful. For more information follow us here, on our social media or sign up to our Email list!

We welcome your feedback, so do let us know in the comments below if you like our new products.

Best Wishes, from Lamps and Lights!

 

Light and the Sacred landscape of Uluru

“Field of Light Uluru”

Australia’s famous red sandstone monolith – Uluru rock is located in the desert of the Northern Territory and for about 2 years now, the sacred landscape of Uluru has been lit up with a multi-coloured display of solar powered lights. The installation by the artist Bruce Munro consists of more than 50,000 bulb-shaped flowers that are connected by a network of fibre optics. The artist and his team were careful not to disturb the land and worked with the natural landscape to create an organic outcome without a specific or organised pattern, so once the installation is taken down, the area will be left as found.

Referred to as “Tili Wiru Tjutu Nyakutjaku” by the indigenous Anangu people, which translates to “looking at lots of beautiful lights”, the installation is located six miles away from the sacred rock. Munro was inspired by the burst of happiness he felt during a trip to Uluru he took with his wife.

Luckily for travellers, “Field of Light Uluru” has received an extension until 2020. This means there’s still plenty of time to plan an illuminated visit to Uluru and enjoy the amazing landscape filled with light. Our lucky Australian customers will have a little less distance to travel to than our UK ones.

e-Luminate Cambridge

The e-Luminate Cambridge Festival has been celebrated each year since 2013 in February. This contemporary artistic tradition explores the limitless prospects created by light, crossed with art and science.

This year’s theme of the festival was Colour, the event ran between 9-14 February 2018 and took place around Cambridge’s most iconic buildings and public spaces.

The Cyclists – a big part of Cambridge lifestyle who also joined in, accessorising their bicycles with lit up fairy lights to set the mood. Photo below By Jordan Harris  from Launch night. The Guildhall looked amazing as Cambridge Cycling Campaign set off on their Bike Light Procession!

Why Light?

Light is about life – without light there is no life. The Light of the sun fills us with a sense of tranquillity. The same happens with Light art: we find a space for contemplation or just an absorbing view, and it makes us feel enriched. In art light becomes matter and redefines space and time. The exhibitions at the Festival evoke the ambivalence of Light, its numerous meanings and facets. Clearly, the Festival does not exhaust the vast field of questions posed by contemporary artists on these concepts. However, it encourages the visitors to explore their path between the opposite polarities of light and darkness, day and night, reality and illusion.” – Cambridge Live Trust

Cambridge’s Light Festival creates opportunity for different field specialists to collaborate, artists and scientists jump at a great chance to explore newest light related and environmentally sound technology as well as promoting artistic innovation practise.

So have you had a chance to visit e-Luminate Cambridge project this year and did you have a favourite projection?

Thanks for reading!

Best Wishes from Lamps and Lights 

Which way are lighting controls going to go – onto an App of course?

Current debates about lighting controls reminds me of the Beta-max VHS debacle back in the late 70’s, now that’s a hint to the age of this writer! Although the following technologies have generally been used in larger smart buildings, often with an eye on energy saving; the options are beginning to be offered more generally for use in smaller Commercial and Residential developments.

So do you understand what is on offer to you now and in the near future? If not; here’s a brief introduction:

Bluetooth Mesh

Lighting Controls

Your devices – a variety of luminaires, thermostats, movement sensors, locks and voice assistants can all work together and be relayed from device to device via modules within each device around an entire mesh network. Much of this technology has been developed close to Lamps and Lights here in Cambridge, so we may be biased in introducing this protocol first!

Pros:

  • Can operate over long distances and even around a group of buildings within a radius of about 1 km.
  • This wireless system also has the added benefit that if one devise in the system fails it can be “leap frogged” so maintaining the functionality of the whole network.
  • A unified standard has also been agreed for Bluetooth enabling multiple devices to all communicate with each other from different suppliers.
  • Bluetooth mesh network devices consume very little electricity and data each; but can be grouped into hundreds or even thousands of devices to create a very personalised Bluetooth Mesh lighting system.

Cons:

  • If you regularly lose your signal & therefore your Network this may not be a good system for you.
  • Not all manufacturers are supplying Bluetooth mesh enabled/qualified devices yet.

ZigBee

Lighting Controls

ZigBee networking technology is also a local mesh network.

Pros:

  • Scalable to thousands of devices.
  • The most common smart home wireless lighting protocol.
  • Zigbee is an open technology which often leads to higher evolution and adoption.
  • Can be controlled using a Smartphone & App.
  • Uses very little electricity.

Cons:

  • You will need to buy a ZigBee gateway router to connect your ZigBee devices to enable Internet control and cloud connectivity.
  • It is slower than other popular wireless standards.

Wi-fi MeshLighting Controls

Is a Local Area Network (LAN) that uses Wireless Radio Frequency from a central Hub to Various devices.

Pros:

  • Delivers a high amount of data over short distances.
  • Because Wi-Fi connects to the internet, you can control your smart devices individually (lights, switches, thermostats etc) through your Smartphone using an App & you don’t need to be in the building.
  • Most people already have a router in their home.

Cons:

  • You may need to buy a new router/Hub and nodes to extend coverage throughout your building.
  • Can be complex if using more than one manufacturers products.
  • Router distance limitations for larger buildings limiting range of applicable devices.
  • If your Wifi goes down for any reason, you wouldn’t be able to control your lighting system.
  • Wi-Fi capacity may also become an issue in the future as bandwidth becomes overcrowded.
  • More expensive than Bluetooth or Zigbee.

Li-Fi (Light Fidelity)Lighting Controls

Uses light to transmit data at high speeds over the visible light spectrum.

Pros:

  • It works over a higher bandwidth than Wi Fi so is faster and can be used on Aeroplanes and in Hospitals.
  • The light waves cannot penetrate walls which makes this system much more secure from hacking, relative to Wi-Fi.
  • Is expected to be cheaper than Wi-Fi.

Cons:

  • Because the light waves cannot penetrate walls you would potentially need multiple set ups.
  • Not yet adopted by many manufacturers.

Bluetooth Low energy/Smart

Lighting Controls

Uses Wireless Radio Frequency to transmit data much like “Classic” Bluetooth.

Pros:

  • Uses less energy than “classic” Bluetooth and is cheaper than Wifi.
  • Compatible with a large number of your existing devices, if you are on a tight budget.
  • Simple to use.

Cons:

  • Bluetooth Smart doesn’t allow you to control devices when outside of the range you must schedule them to turn on/off at certain times before you leave home if you want lighting schemes to change when no one’s in.
  • Bluetooth Smart only allows 1-to-1 connections, meaning a bulb can only be connected to one phone at a time. Therefore, if you’re in a home with multiple devices, only one of them can connect and control the bulbs at a time.
  • There are limits on the number of devices you can control, hence the move recently to Bluetooth Mesh.

What can you do now to future proof your buying decisions?

Whichever system you choose just check the devices you buy from now on are enabled for that system. Many devices are compatible with more than one technology so choose devices with multiple protocols being supported. Also check smartphone interchangeability so if you want to switch from Android to Apple next year you can.

If you already have devices that you want to include in your lighting system don’t worry there are also free Web based services such as IFTTT that can help with getting your devices to communicate with each other nicely.

Which smart lighting solution would, or do you use?

Please select an answer and vote

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Lighting Ideas: Repair, Reuse, Recycle this Winter!

It’s that time of the year again! Enchanting luxury self-catering thatched cottage St Agnes, luxury thatched holiday Cottage St AgnesDays are getting shorter and Christmas is upon us again! With spending more time inside, than any other season, what better time to finally set some quality time aside for yourself and give that DIY project a try!

If you have been struggling to think of what kind of presents to get your family members or friends, why not surprise them with a home made gift this year? Or maybe you were looking for ideas on how to boost your mood at home this winter. On dreary and dark evenings, when the sun sets sooner, entering a house lit with warm and dimmed lights, makes coming back home feel more special! Adding some extra lighting can help you achieve that! Instead of buying a new lamp why not try out making one yourself ? If you are looking to create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere at home, without spending a fortune, we have some creative ideas for you to try out this winter!Looking forward to hearing all the old #Christmas songs?! What is your favourite?!

Here’s some lighting inspiration and few practical tips which will hopefully encourage you to “do it yourself” this winter!

 

Repair a chandelier

Do you have an old chandelier sitting in the attic? Think of the possibilities! Jazz it up with some colourful lighting cable aka flex, or go for more traditional look and add neutral/vintage tones, also you might need some new earthed lamp holders and replace any broken or split candle tubes and you’ve got yourself a new and revamped Chandelier which brings elegance and grace to any living or dining room area!

 

 

Reuse wine bottles(Pinterest images)

Up-cycle some old wine bottles with some twinkle lights, you can purchase them from various shops that can easily fit into a bottle, opt for smaller ones with a yellow or warmer glow, and place them inside the bottle reusing corks or leaving them open if they came without one! For a better effect use 1 large bottle for a statement piece or several like these 3 to emphasise the result.

 

Upcycle glass bottles

Instead of buying light shades try using fancy bottles of your favourite beverages, and fit them with a golden LED bulb which will not only last you longer, but it will also release that warm glow through a see-through “shade” which shows off the designer bulb as well as the bottle! A lot of LED bulbs have ornamental designer elements to them, there are so many bulbs to choose from, curly filaments to jewel ones that can make a statement and light up any room!

 

Reimagine, recreate and remake the vintage(Pinterest images)

Why not turn a homely object into a table lamp and give it as a present this Christmas? Maybe use a gorgeous teapot or a pretty vase picked up from an antique shop or local thrift store. Simply choose one of our table lamp kits, you will need to know the aperture of the top of your bottle/table lamp, material you are working with and if there is an exit hole for the flex, or you can use a side entry tube instead. Just don’t forget to pick out your favourite colour of flex, switch and plug.

 

Some other ideas worth mentioning include:

(Pinterest images)Using natural elements for interiors, a tree branch wrapped around in lighting flex and bulbs hanging down, instead of the usual chandelier/pendant?. An organic and eco-friendly solution for a country home perhaps or to compliment that fresh cut Christmas tree inside your house.

  • Do you have a family heirloom that has been passed down through generations, but needs a repair? Why not revive the antique or vintage item, and give it to a relative for Christmas; or if you can’t bear to pass on your handy work, place it strategically in your home to show it off at the next family gathering!
  • Candles are also are a great and quick way of adding some light and comfort for any occasion, but be careful around the flammables!

Why not Check out previous blog posts of our ‘How To…’ questions to help you on your lamp-making journey!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this post! If you would like to further similar DIY project ideas or tips for lighting let us know in the comments!

If you need any more advise or information about lamp parts and hardware just follow the link for our FAQ’s here and Useful Information Pages or give us as call on 01223 750153.

Seasons Greetings from Lamps and Lights!

 

Celebrating Design: Monmouth glass studio

Monmouth glass studio is based in New Zealand, where they hand-make a range of bespoke blown glass lighting and home-wares, as well as custom made glass objects.

“The lighting is free-blown, without moulds, which allows for individuality and a genuine hand-made aesthetic.”

Their aim is to make things that have value in their aesthetic beauty, necessity and function. That’s why every piece is hand shaped and finished using traditional glassblowing techniques that date back hundreds of years.

“Here at Monmouth Glass we handcraft exquisite glass objects that people need and use every day. ”

Glassblowing is a limitless and versatile medium. The intrinsically fluid properties of glass make it unlike any other material.

“Each piece is hand-blown by us in the traditional method at our studio in Grey Lynn, Auckland”

Their philosophy is based in the handmade for everyday use: “There is something invaluable about using handmade objects in daily life: to drink from, to eat out of, or to light the space we live in. We believe in quality items that are well-designed, well-made, and will stand the test of time.”

Steel blue bell pendant with cord grip lamp holder and flex

Steel blue bell pendant with cord grip lamp holder and flex

Monmouth is a traditional glassblowing studio. Their furnace holds 120 kilos of glass.

Stephen Bradbourne and Isaac Katzoff. Monmouth is a traditional glassblowing studio.

It is kept molten at a temperature of 1110 degrees Celsius twenty four hours a day seven days a week. Every piece is gathered from the furnace then hand shaped and blown.

“Square Cups – Bronze and Tea. Each of these cups are handmade and one a kind”

Monmouth is a small collaborative glassblowing studio in Auckland. It was established in 2013 by Stephen Bradbourne and Isaac Katzoff.

Clear ghost pendant with lamp holder and flex

Clear ghost pendant with lamp holder and flex

Customers can also choose a design and customise colour and size to suit their space and needs.

Lamps and Lights offer a variety of products that can be used to design bespoke lighting installations accompanying hand blown glass features.

Thanks for reading! If you want to find out more information and visit their website just follow the link by clicking on the Logo image below:

Bespoke Light Fittings

Lamps and Lights customer Bruce Stanley, a light fitting maker from Scotland sent us a great short article about his experience and design in converting bespoke light fittings. Here’s Bruce’s message:

Bespoke light fitting with antique lamp holder and shade rings with antique flex

Bespoke light fitting with antique lamp holder and shade rings with antique flex

“Over the years, I have made numerous light fittings for friends and family members. My ‘appointment’ as ‘light fitting maker’ comes from the fact that I am very much against drilling holes in vases and other such pieces to be converted into a lamp and the simple fact I have quite a comprehensive workshop…and yes, I can drill holes in porcelain, glass, etc.

Essentially, I can make these fittings in any shape, size  or style depending on the wishes of the owner/recipient, however there does seem a preference for the older styles. Over the years, I have collected quite an array of old brass fittings but, unfortunately, although nicely made, most of them are unusable because they no longer comply with the latest regulations or, in some cases, are just too expensive to repair.

Excellent components, meeting all specifications, can be obtained from the Lamps and Lights design and restoration hardware company who market a comprehensive range of fittings and materials.

Table lamp kits can be used to make or convert unique table lamps

Table lamp kits can be used to make or convert unique table lamps

My basic design to meet most applications entails the making of a wood (or any other material come to that) holder will can be inserted in to the neck of the vessel being converted into a lamp. Following machining and soothing the wood is stained and polished or painted to obtain the desired finish and effect.

As seen on the photographs, the main feature of my design is the fact that the electrical cable comes out of the side of the lamp fitting insert and not through a hole in the lower vessel.

Following assembly, the holder insert in place by wrapping the shaft with thin bubble foam so that it is a firm in the neck of the vessel. It is very important to note that, when completed , some lamps can be top heavy and require a certain amount of ballast – washed pea gravel, lead shot, etc. inside the base of the vessel to ensure adequate stability.

All electrical work should be done by a qualified electrician.”

Thanks Bruce for sharing your experience with us! If you are thinking of converting a bottle and/or a vase into a table lamp, we have various table lamp kits to choose from and for more help how see our useful information page.

Death of the incandescent bulb is not as painful as predicted?

Incandescent lights are being phased out around the world, and being replaced by LEDs. They served their purpose in the past, but are no longer able to fill the shoes of their LED successors. There are those who still argue in favour of their colour and quality of light, in-spite of their fast burn out. Let’s say goodbye to the incandescent light bulb on a positive note.

 

Cost

Incandescent bulbs did cost a lot less than their energy-efficient alternatives although only in the short run.

The problem with incandescent bulbs is you end up paying more in electricity costs. Incandescent light bulbs are inefficient – 90% of the energy goes toward heat and only 10% toward light.

Colour

Incandescent bulbs are known for their warm light, which looks particularly good against skin tones. Today you can have LEDs that match these favourable hues. Light bulb manufacturers are required to include on their label the colour temperature of their bulbs, so consumers can know exactly what they’re purchasing.

Dimming

Another complaint against LED’s is flickering and buzzing when trying to dim them. You have to watch out for non-dimmable or poor quality LEDs and make sure you pair your choice with the right dimming switches. See ‘Our Helpful Guide’ for some great tips. All our LEDs have been carefully chosen and tested in house.

Habits

Part of what’s driven the use of cheap, inefficient incandescent bulbs is simply that they are familiar. Incandescent bulbs were loved for what they had once represented: utility, economy and simplicity, as well as light.

We stock dimmable LED bulbs in a great variety of styles, sizes and colours

We stock dimmable LED bulbs in a great variety of styles, sizes and colours

The increasing popularity of LED bulbs is also driven by consumers increasing familiarity with LEDs in other products such as TVs and computers. The price of LED bulbs has also come down significantly. As the cost continues to drop, the LED bulbs are becoming “the default light source”. If we still haven’t persuaded you or you just fancy a real bargain check out our Special offers page as we are hugely reducing prices on our last few ranges of incandescent bulbs.

 

Restoring historic buildings

Since 1965 the Landmark Trust has been saving historic buildings that are at risk, and giving them a new and secure future. This charity restores castles, forts, towers and cottages for self-catering breaks, which they appropriately describe as – ‘Holidays in History’.

The trust renovates old buildings and keeps them in good repair. They in turn depend on the survival of traditional craft skills and sympathetic restoration materials.

Their latest restoration project, visited by Lamps and Lights founder Denise Hatherly on a private open day in Devon, is the Winsford Cottage Hospital. The building was designed by notable Arts and Crafts architect C.F.A. Voysey who was a leading professional in the Arts and Crafts movement. The hospital was a gift to the local community by the wealthy philanthropist Maria Medley. From 1900 it served as a healthcare facility and enabled ordinary people to receive affordable medical treatment near to their homes for the very first time.

The architect strongly believed in designing all aspects and characteristics of the interior and exterior of the building. From the outside, Voysey’s approach can be recognised by the bespoke long horizontal runs of stone mullioned windows, which allowed fresh air to circulate through the rooms. The facade of the building has a definitive style of wide swept steep slate roof, and white roughcast walls, the former of which now requires urgent care and renovation.

Inside the cottage, decorative elements reflect the grace of the era; fireplaces and latches feature Voysey’s favorite element – the slightly elongated heart. The beautiful and notable architectural motif – his signature cast iron “Bird” and “Tree” can be seen on the ventilation grilles and play a significant part in producing a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Another clear result of the amount of dedication the architect has bestowed upon forming these thoughtful details is Voysey’s careful layout.

Voysey indicated the purpose of every room with areas of men and women facing the sunny, south-facing garden, and the children’s ward with its view of the steam trains passing the nearby junction. Warm accents for example, Voysey’s original mosaic floor, laid throughout in tiny golden tiles, will require a lot of time and funds to restore as well as an expert craftsman.  Winsford Cottage Hospital is a true reflection of the amount of work and dedication Voysey bestowed upon

planning and forming his buildings. The hospital served the community until 1999, and during the Great War it became a haven for convalescing soldiers. After 1999 the building passed to a small local trust who became overwhelmed by the need for maintenance and viable use.

The Cottage Hospital now in desperate need of restoration will, with the Landmark’s skill, Lottery seed funding and further donations be returned to its former glory.

 

For more information please visit Landmark trust page:

Happy English Wine Week!

Have you ever heard about English Wine Week?

Yesterday was National Wine Day, 25 May (National Drink Wine Day was 18 Feb) and English Wine Week is taking place Saturday 27 May until Sunday 4 June 2017.

English Wine Week is a national campaign, organised to increase awareness of English wine across the country. To celebrate English Wine Week, wide range of activities will be taking place across the country, involving both retail and leisure outlets, and at the vineyards themselves.

English Wine Week starts over Spring Bank Holiday which is also half term holiday for most schools. It marks the start of the tourist season, and the vineyards themselves are waking up to the new growing season. There is plenty to see and enjoy, I’ve put some links down below, if you fancy a trip to a vineyard or to visit your local event during English Wine Week!

One of our expandable bungs being used to convert a bottle into a lamp

One of our expandable bungs being used to convert a bottle into a lamp

Let us know in the comments below, which type of wine you prefer? Red, white, Chardonnay or Merlot?

If you have a stash of wine bottles you would like to convert into bespoke lamps then visit our previous blog post for more information!

Cheers!

For forthcoming English Wine Week events and news visit www.englishwineproducers.co.uk