Bespoke Light Fittings

Lamps and Lights’ customer Bruce Stanley, 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:

“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 & Lights Design & Restoration Hardware Company who market a comprehensive range of fittings and materials.

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.

How to make a trumpet table lamp

Lamps and Lights’ customer Mike Wyn Davies, proprietor of Unique Trophies from Wales sent us this fab story of his journey recycling an old battered brass trumpet, found lying around in his attic for years, into a stunningly unique table lamp. Here’s Mike’s story…

“The plan was to mount the trumpet vertically on a hardwood base, this meant that 3 core cable had to be fed through the trumpet from the bell, through the three valves, around the pipes and up through the pipe holding the mouthpiece.
Feeding the three core cable though the trumpet was the biggest challenge as cable is flexible and it just kept doubling up on itself inside the trumpet.

A fine steel wire was used to feed through the trumpet, but the three valves still posed a problem. This was solved by removing and cutting them down, so that the wire did not have to go through them.

After successfully feeding the steel wire through the trumpet, the three core cable was warmed up in an oven to 70°C for 30 minutes and then secured to the end of the wire. Silicone spray was used down the pipes and on the cable to lubricate it.
It took some effort to pull the cable through, but it was completed successfully.

The photo shows the cable running through the three valve housings.

The base was cut from a hardwood kitchen worktop off cut using a band saw, and a router was used to give a bevel edge. The base was sanded and stained using a solvent based walnut stain, and finished with four coats of acrylic varnish.(Alternatively you could use a Lamps and Lights’ ready-turned and sanded hardwood Pattress).

A cork was used to seal inside the battered bell of the trumpet. Silicone spray was used as a mould release. This end was then filled with a fast setting modelling plaster. When set, it was removed and then this was used as a template and former to produce a close fitting wood cone on a lathe to fit into the trumpet bell to attach it to the hardwood base. The cone was screwed and glued to the wood base and drilled to take the three core electric flex. The trumpet was then secured to the cone using a silicone adhesive.
I used a Brass BC Lamp Holder with shade Rings (
Ref: LHbrass04-BC) and Brass Reducer (Ref: BBbrass01:1) I modified the reducer and soldered into the end of the trumpet where the mouthpiece fits.

The photo on the right shows what lies hidden underneath the shade ;
the brass lamp holder with shade rings, shade carrier, light bulb and lampshade.

This lamp looks very effective and has proved to be quite a conversation piece. Using a very battered old trumpet that was going to be thrown out has now been recycled. With a matching shade, I think you’ll agree it makes a unique and attractive table lamp.

Spotted at an Antiques Flea Market, this is another take on using a brass instrument converted into an unusual lamp. Musical instruments can form the basis of very unique and high quality lighting and lamp projects”.
Mike Wyn Davies

Thank you Mike, this shows there’s so much you can upcycle to create a stunning lamp!

How to hang a rimmed lightshade

We often get asked how to use our products so one of our videos shows you just how easy it is to hang a lampshade with a rim …

For hanging a rimmed lampshade, you will need one of each of the following:
Lamp Shade
Light Bulb
Light Gallery
Lamp Holder
Lighting Flex

Firstly choose your lampshade
The size of your shade’s entry hole dictates the size of gallery required.
Also choose your bulb at this stage to ensure it fits inside your chosen shade. Decide if your chosen bulb is to be an Edison Screw fitting or Bayonet Cap as this dictates the top hole entry size of your light gallery and also the bulbholder fitting required.

We used our own antique lampshade along with an aged brass bayonet cord-grip threaded bulbholder wired up using 3 core braided sage green light flex and a matching antique brass bayonet fitting 2¼ inch light gallery.

The first step is to wire up your lampholder with your chosen flex.

Next attach the gallery to the lampholder:
1. Unscrew and remove the shade ring from your lampholder
2. Place your lampholder through the top hole of your light gallery
3. Screw the shade ring back onto your lampholder, firmly securing the gallery.

Place the light gallery complete with lampholder over the rim of your light shade and tighten using the gallery’s small screws that come attached.

Hey Presto! Your lampshade is now ready to hang.

All that’s left to do is to select whether to choose a cord grip ceiling plate or hooked ceiling rose with chain to suspend your shade from the ceiling.You can find loads of helpful product tips & more on our website’s
Useful Information pages 
with further videos on our You Tube Channel

Buying your LED bulb – How to make the right choice

Unsure what is the right choice when buying your new LED bulb?
Here at Lamps and Lights we have been busy working on collating all the information required for how to choose the right LED lamp bulb. When Homes and Gardens magazine requested our contribution to their Lighting Feature Special to help answer all those LED queries we decided to help make your life easier too, here’s all the info.

With the latest additions in the new dimmable filament LED range now available from our Webshop it is a good time to consider switching from your old incandescent bulb to these cost effective, seriously stylish LED bulbs. With a lifespan ranging from 15,000 hours to a whopping 25,000 hours and an average of 4 Watts energy consumption, they truly are an ultra-low energy bulb.

You no longer need to compromise on design as with many of the CFL bulbs; the pleasingly warm glow from an incandescent filament is now fully replicated in these new filament LEDs and nearly all are now fully dimmable

So what do you need to know before choosing your LED comparison?

Well it’s all about the Lumens, not Watts. Previously you chose your bulb brightness by the level of Watts i.e a 40, 60 or 100 watt bulb.
But, wattage is not actually the measure of a bulb’s brightness, but is its energy usage. There is then, a direct correlation between watts and the bulb’s brightness in incandescent bulbs but not with an ultra low consumption 4 Watt LED bulb.

LEDs work differently and so the way in which we measure the brightness is completely different. As LEDs use far less energy, the amount of watts used is no longer an indicator as to the brightness of the bulb.

Sadly there is no exact conversion from Watts to LEDs for example, a traditional 60 watt incandescent bulb can compare to anywhere between 2 and 12 watts in a LED bulb, but don’t panic, it’s just a case of knowing your required Lumen rating.

bulb-brightness-comparisonLumens are the ‘brightness’ measurement provided by a light bulb, and this is what you need to look for when choosing your new LED.
Our comparison guide is an approximation of Watts to Lumens for our bulbs. An old 40 watt bulb would on average be between 300 to 500 Lumens. (Remember, with new technology being regularly released, energy efficiency is constantly improving, so we will maintain the current information on our  Lamps and Lights’ Information Pages on our website).

bulb-colour-tempSo, now we know where previously we looked at a 40 watt incandescent bulb we may now choose perhaps a 4 watt LED, we may also want to choose our bulb based on the colour emitted.

This is referred to as ‘colour temperature’ and is measured in Kelvins – with the higher the number, the whiter and cooler the light given off i.e. anything under 4000K tends to produce a warmer, more gently light and anything over produces a cooler, brighter white light mostly used for task areas such as kitchens and work areas.
The average of an old style incandescent was between 2,700 and 3,500 Kelvin. So if colour rendering is your deciding factor then choose your LED bulb by its Kelvin rating.

bulb-led-watts-conversion-infoSo what happens when you have a multi-ceiling plate with a collection of new dimmable LED bulbs?

Dimmer switches have a minimum and maximum rating (measured in Watts). LED loading cannot however be calculated in the same way as a traditional incandescent or halogen bulb.led-giant-trio-stairwell-02
A good rule of thumb to apply, (one that is used by most manufacturers) is to take the maximum rating of the dimmer switch and divide it by 10. For example, a dimmer switch which has a maximum rating of 200W if you apply the rule of thumb this translates to 20W in LEDs and therefore will run x5 of our 4W dimmable vintage LED light bulbs.

bulb-sizing-fitting-imageSo now you know all you need to about the specs, so next choose your style, size and fitting. Our range is growing fast from mini globes and candles, standard sized traditional bulbs to medium globes, vintage squirrels and large globes ALL available in the new stylish dimmable filament LEDs PLUS now are our fantastic new enormous GIANT LED BULBS, just perfect for that statement piece, but be warned, there’s no subtley here!!!

So, whether you’re designing your lighting for a large venue, office space or in the home, you can be sure we will have something for you!


Our guide to Lampholders

With our lovely new ceramic additions we now have 90 Lampholders available, choosing the right bulbholder can be daunting, so here’s a little help …lampholdersWhat is your source wiring; Three core cable or Two core cable ?
Class I: is 3-core which has an earth connection and any type of lampholder can be used.
Class II: does not have an earth connection so use non-metal lampholders only with our 2-core flex .

multi-cordgrip-hook-kit-aged#01How is your lamp holder going to be fixed ?kits-ceiling-pendant-chain-brass-lightshade-globe-white-gold-flex

Pendant Cord Griplampholder-china-black-ceiling-plate-bulb-jewel-led-flex-ironstyle
Pendant Hooked
Screwed Table lamp
Batten Table lamp
Switched lampholder
Without a shade (plain holder)
With a shade (shade ring holder)table-lamp-kits-02

lampholder-chrome-closeupWhat is your design theme and/or colour scheme ?
We currently have 7 different lampholder finishes:

  1. Brass
  2. Antique (aged brass)
  3. Chrome (chromed brass)
  4. White Ceramic (glossy glaze)
  5. Linen Ceramic (matt cream)
  6. Black Ceramic (glossy glaze)
  7. Black Plastic (Bakelite look)finishes… and with matching ceiling plates to complete the look, what more could you need?ceramic-white-ceiling-plate-lampholder-teal-flex

Which type of fitting do you need?
We have five different sizes/style of bulb fitting to choose from:






GES Giant Edison Screw or E40 has a 40mm diameter.
ES Edison Screw or E27 has a 27mm diameter.
BC Bayonet Cap or B22d has a 22mm diameter.
SES Small Edison Screw or E14 has a 14mm diameter.
SBC Small Bayonet Cap or B15d has a 15mm diameter.


On the lampholders webpage you will find our online lampholder selector tool – handy to help you choose the right one!

We have a bulb selector tool too, for helping you to select the right lamp bulbs!


lightbulb-selectorSo what bulb do you choose?
Bulbs are no longer an after thought. Our vast array of light bulbs, with the majority now available in the latest stylish filament LED and being dimmable, are a popular design statement in their own right!bulb-group-mix-cal



All of our lampholders have been tested and certified to the current British (BS) and European (EN) standards. A range of our certification sheets can be found on our  Information pages.

Basics in Lighting Design

Ever wondered how to use lighting correctly?
Here at Lamps and Lights, we feel it is essential to first work out a room’s function, then section off its needs into 5 different categories:

  1. natural lighting
  2. ambient light
  3. task lighting
  4. accent lights
  5. occasion lighting

aged-lampholders-wire-basketNatural lighting is the light that comes in through our doors and windows. This obviously varies drastically depending on the time of day, year and even the weather.

impact lightingAmbient light (or general lighting) refers to the lighting of the room as a whole.

office lightingTask lighting (or localised lighting) is an area where you need to intensity and direct the amount of light required for functions such as for reading, working, sewing, cooking, crafts etc.

Accent lights are for ornamental purpose, directed to show off a specific piece of art, sculpture or even a particular area of a room.

ambiant light

Occasion lighting is used for mood enhancing certain activities such as dining, movies, relaxed reading etc.

bedroom mood lighting

So firstly you need to analyse your daily activities and where you prefer to do them, working out your needs means you can then work out your wants.

Initially try narrowing down to just two perspectives; function and aesthetic.

Functionality is key, these lights serve a purpose, so ensure there will be enough light in the correct areas at the correct strength to fulfill that purpose. When these areas are decided then comes into play the aesthetical perspective, creating an atmosphere; illuminate walls with a discreet floor light or ushadow effect lightingtilise shadows with decorative lamp shades. reading light

task lightingAngle wall-arm lights so directed at your focal point, site overhead down lights for reading, up-lighters under cupboards for subtle mood,reading lamps

or hang dramatic pendants or chandeliers over a dining table or breakfast bar. dining lightingdining lighting 2a

kitchen lightingCreativity in illumination can be daunting, but don’t let it put you off trying something different; up-cycle your retro items into lamps by adding vintage fittings, go contemporary with shiny chrome and black or mix it up with combining an array of vibrant colours.stylish lampbulbs hangingDon’t forget, lighting can also alter the visual dimension of a room, creating space or cosiness depending on your mood or need. dining lighting 2

But, most of all – enjoy your lighting!

And remember when making your lighting components purchases 🙂

Tripod Lamp – A customers story

After coming to the decision that I couldn’t find a good-looking tripod lamp without spending big money, I decided to create my own.

I sketched a few ideas and perused the Internet for inspiration, but what I was planning was fairly unique. I wanted to match simple geometric shapes to produce something clean and fairly timeless. I’m also a sucker for old nautical hardware, so solid brass and dark wood was my starting point.

chris-harris-image4The domed brass crown was first turned down by hand using a metal lathe, from 100mm solid bar. The sides were then cut on a milling machine, but a slight slip of the hand-wheel meant I had to adapt a few dimensions! A 1/2″ thread was then tapped into the centre hole to accommodate your solid brass light fittings.

1/4″ Brass dome nuts were sourced locally, but I found it almost impossible to find the perfect thumbscrews. In the end I found a Canadian company making these beautiful round ones, and a week later they had arrived with me in New Zealand!

The surface of all the brass parts were finished by hand, giving them a uniform but slightly textured matte finish. It took me many hours and multiple attempts to get this right, but I’m happy with the result.

chris-harris-image6All of the brass was left overnight in a salt and cider vinegar solution, and then baked in an oven to age the metal. It darkens the metal overall, but the patina is unpredictable and mine didn’t look pleasant.

I should note that I had to first remove lacquer from one of the brass parts using nail polish remover. Extremely important before baking as it’s highly flammable.

The parts looked like they’d been pulled from an old sea wreck! But I had further plans: rubbing the raised areas with Brasso brought the surface back to a shine, with the recessed areas retaining their patina. It’s a very subtle antiqued look, which doesn’t look forced. I finished the brass with Renaissance wax to prevent further oxidisation.

chris-harris-image5The legs were turned from Kwila wood, and I used the old milling machine to cut each of the slots. Most of my time was spent sanding the wood, all the way down to 600 grit.

Two coats of Danish Oil brought up the grain beautifully, with small golden flecks naturally mimicking the shiny brass hardware.chris-harris-image3

The lamp is wired using Lamps and Lights’ braided flex cable in burgundy and I plan to add a floor switch at a later date. I also opted for the large globe filament bulb without a shade. However, the option is there for the future!

Hope you like my project – it’s the first lamp I’ve ever made, and the first project of this kind I’ve ever attempted. It’s definitely been a labour of love, but I have a feeling it should last me a while.chris-harris-image7All the best, Chris
(New Zealand)

We hope you liked reading about Chris’ project as much as we did, extremely informative and very helpful to read his ‘highly flammable’ warning 🙂 It’s great to see our products being sought after across the globe! Welcome all to our sister-site

Lighting Rules and Regs

Do all the written rules and regulations​ in electrical lighting give you that sinking feeling? 
​​Are you a visual person who works in diagrams rather than pages of jargon?

We know what it’s like when you see sheet after sheet of data. Each one telling you ‘just a little bit’ about a certain bulbholder or one sheet shows ‘some’ of the specification of one type of lamp flex whilst another explains the voltage then a diagram shows the sizes.

Not surprising, it can not only be frustrating but also mind boggling, so here at Lamps and Lights we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve contacted our suppliers, collated all the relevant information and we’ve produced visually appealing and easily readable data sheets for your ease and simplicity.

Our Information page on our website is where you can find PDFs with the information we have collated on our products; from all of our different flex specifications into clear, precise and specific data sheets; to plug and switch approval certificates; to our lamp holder test certificates.
Plus we have created for you a really useful diagram showing the legal requirements for electrical lighting in bathrooms. This gives a clear picture of the lighting zones in and around your bathroom, highlighting what is allowed and more importantly, what isn’t!
bathroom_zoningeca-logoOur useful Links and Resources is the place where you can find an electrician, restorer or supplier in your area and on our How To page you will find the ever useful diagrams of how to wire our different lamp switches and we have filmed a selection videos showing you to how to use some of our most popular products.
Not forgetting our ever expanding FAQs with all of your most commonly asked delivery questions, plus it’s also packed full of product info questions and answers… from the simple How do I stop my lamp flex from fraying?” to the more complicated “What is the conversion of Watts to Amps?” which by the way is governed by the equation 60 watts/240 volts = .25 amps ; so to work out what amperage flex or switch you first need to check how many Watts your lamp holder will be using.
So if you want to know more about our products or how to use them check out our website
and if you have any questions that you think should be answered do let us know!

Lighting for Bars & Restaurants

How do you create the right lighting for a Cafe, Bar or Restaurant ?

Lighting is essential when creating an atmosphere. Firstly your design brief is key, are you designing a bright airy daytime cafe, a soft romantic restaurant, a cosy intimate bar or a funky shiny night club.vintage lit bulbs

When you know what mood you want to evoke you often then decide on colours and furniture, but lighting must not be left as a last thought, tied in with the right furnishings it can totally change a look and feel and the value of well-designed lighting should not be overlooked.

A good lighting scheme is often not recognised, but this is what makes it good, well placed ambient and accent lighting can create an atmosphere without always being the focus so you may not recognise what makes such a great atmosphere actually great.

Any dining establishment relies on ambiance, environment and dining experience; all enhance the quality of the food and any good restauranteur knows you can’t have one without the others.

dh liberty bar
Lamps and Lights Ltd
regularly supply designers and shop/restaurant fitters with all the lighting hardware they need to create individual bespoke lighting design specific for the needs of each brief. The popular vintage look is very effective with the retro up-cycling market.

Teaming aged retro ceiling pendantbrass lamp holders, galleries and ceiling plates with retro lamp shades and/or bulbs is a very popular look of today.

plumen-vintage-squirrel-crown-bulbsAt the opposite end of the spectrum the contemporary chrome metal and black plastic fittings are paired with funky Plumen bulbs, combined with lengths of coloured braid light flex and hung from ceilings to create modern vibrant pendants.

Clear glass shades available in all shapes and sizes from small domes and ribbed globes to tulip bells and large railroad, these lightshades often known as vintage holophane luminaries, are very popular and extremely useful in the restaurant industry; their reeded prismatic glass add that touch of sparkle whilst still offering maximised light, a must if you want your diners to see what culinary delights you have in store for the! shades_group_01

the making of a … tank lamp!

Kevin Harnett#01Dear Lamps and Lights,

The parts arrived in good time and I’m pleased to say that they were perfect for my project. Even my partner was impressed!

She stumbled across this antique brass tank, which was an old plant sprayer or similar.
It still had the pump action on the top and the hose from the bottom, pressure gauge and the carrying straps.
Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a photo of how it looked when we found it.

Kevin Harnett#02


But she was convinced it would make a good lamp with some TLC and careful adapting.
I stripped off all the industrial bits we didn’t want, and managed to get a bayonet holder fixed to the top with the help of parts from Lamps and Lights.

Kevin Harnett#03The cable is taken in through the bottom hose outlet which had to be drilled to fit the cable. Then just added the shade and I think you’ll agree from the photos, it’s looks pretty good!


thank you to Lamps and Light’s customer, Kevin Harnett, for sending us his story 🙂