The 50 Best lights

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From chic shades and pendants to glowing globes for your garden, Kate Watson-Smyth flicks the switch on the most desirable designs to brighten up your home

Editor’s picks:

Madame floor lamp

made.com, £39

Made.com has engineered some canny collaborations with British designers. The ribbon detail turns this basic lamp into something more playful.

Cloche lamp

plumo.com, £69

Made from an upcycled jar, this clear lamp was created to be completely portable. Take it where you need it, plug it in and drape or clip it to anything handy then move it again.

Balloon lamp

bouf.com, £69 each

This may be my favourite wall light of all time, although it does look better as a three than on its own. Perfect for a child’s bedroom or a landing to add some ambient light.

Seletti neon lights

scp.co.uk, £43.50 per letter

Neon lights may be one of the trends that, by the time it reaches the mainstream, is already over. But, if you don’t mind that, it’s a great way to bring some funky lighting into your home.

Davey School ceiling lamp

johnlewis.com, £389

The trend for industrial lighting shows no sign of waning and this is a great example. Its copper insert softens the harsh look a little.

Pendant:

Bizz Sphere Dot Lavender Blue

gong.co.uk, £79

Sometimes you don’t need a whole new light, just a more interesting shade. This is made from cotton and has a retro yet modern feel to it.

Crystal bulb

leebroom.com, £109 for thebulb, £189 with a brass fitting

Lee Broom’s pieces are highly prized. The cut-crystal bulb turns an ugly everyday object into a thing of beauty and does away with the need for a shade.

Favourite Things pendant lamp

cowandco.co.uk, £235

This unusual light allows you to reach through the side and insert some of your favourite objects to create a little display. Great for a child’s room.

Deco Globe Vintage style light bulb

rockettstgeorge.co.uk, £22.50

If the Lee Broom is too pricey, this is a great alternative. This is modelled on those old lights with a glowing filament although it is also dimmable.

Clear Orb

unicheinteriorfurnishings.co.uk, £160

A simple globe pendant whose beauty rests on its size and simplicity. The glass is handblown and if it’s too plain, you could add a decorative bulb.

Arlo sculptured ceiling shade

bhs.co.uk, £35

This wooden shade has a Scandinavian vibe, which, unless you have been living under a rock, you will realise is deeply fashionable. It’s a very affordable way into this trend.

Vita Eos Feather

foundhomestore.co.uk, £50-75

Made from feathers, this is such a pretty pendant light that would look great in any room. It comes in two sizes but, in this case, the bigger the better. If you’re worried about dust, clean it with a hairdryer.

Gramophone Horn hanging light

antiquesbydesign.co.uk, £350

Guy Chevenix-Trench gives new life to bits of old farming machinery and found objects – such as this 1920s gramophone – by turning them into lamps, tables and benches.

Harper Cluster

johnlewis.com, £120

Cluster lights are the new, more modern, take on a chandelier and will make a great statement in any room. Think of a pendant light as the earrings on an outfit – the finishing touch if you like.

Kajo Flower lampshade in drum-smoked oak

skandivis.co.uk, from £170

Made from oak, this shade designed by Hanna Francis will make pretty patterns over the walls. The asymmetric shape makes it interesting even when it’s not turned on.

Floor:

Orla Kiely House Rhododendron Graphite floor lamp

blisshome.co.uk, £400

The designer has now added lighting to her range, including these elegant floor lamps which have a couple of shelves.

Ligne Roset Ouverture

heals.co.uk, £874

This almost doubles as a task lamp as well as a showstopper for the room. Handy if you want to sit on a comfy chair or sofa and need a bit more light to read or or work by.

Payton wooden floor lamp

bhs.co.uk, £150

A contemporary mix of wood and metal, this piece will have everyone amazed at where it’s from. But Bhs has been a good source of lighting for a while.

Hamburg floor lamp

brissi.com, £295

Simple, clean and contemporary, this has a heavy acrylic base and textured cotton shade. Choose from either classic white or grey, which is the modern neutral of choice.

Headlamp 1 and 2

greymoosedesigns.jux.com, £165 for large; £125 for small

These upcycled floor lights are made from the lights of a vintage car, a couple of camera tripods, vintage metal rulers and some natty red flex.

Stick Family lighting

etsy.com, £135

Etsy is fast becoming the place of choice for people looking to buy unusual items from small businesses. These stick figure lights are made in Romania but ship to the UK.

Pole

habitat.co.uk, £115

Sometimes all you want is a simple floor lamp that won’t dominate the room. Made from solid oak and varnished, the downside is the shade isn’t included in the price.

Ball floor light

hollowaysofludlow.com, £192

This elegant number should fit into any modern decorating scheme. Comes in a variety of colours including purple and red. It’s about 1.5m tall and makes a good reading lamp.

Labware Sphere floor lamp

notonthehighstreet.com, £299

Designed by Benjamin Hubert, this fabulous design is made from mouth-blown opal white glass. Would look great in a contemporary home.

Liber floor lamp

diy.com, £29.98

B&Q is another good place to look for lamps on a budget. This stylish floor lamp will both complement a modern scheme or fade discreetly into the background if you prefer.

Garden:

Ice Queen Outdoor LED garden chandelier

rockettstgeorge.co.uk, £1,212

Designers Young & Battaglia, perhaps better known for their trompe l’oeil wallpaper, have come up with this fabulous garden light which creates an indoor space outside.

Aulia Charcoal Grey outdoor wall light

diy.com, £30.48

Outdoor lighting can be very expensive, and if you’re only out a couple of times a year as last summer’s washout proved, you need something affordable. This is a good start.

Tressino, polished nickel

hollowaysofludlow.com, £87

Outdoor lighting has to do just as many jobs as indoor and yet we rarely afford it the same thought, or even budget. For a stylish light by the front door or over the deck, this is great.

Doncaster light

jim-lawrence.co.uk, £85

This wall light is a bit different from the usual lanterns and comes with built-in LED bulbs that should last for around 50,000 hours. Fix to a wall to be seen during the day or it’s a waste of an interesting design.

Eton garden light kit

wickes.co.uk, £54.99

If you need to light a path or want to throw light up a tree or shrub, this is the sort of thing you need. Comes in a set of four with 12m of cable from the transformer to the first light, and includes four bulbs.

Upplid

ikea.com, £42

This wall light is affordable, which if you want to fix several of them is a key factor, and can be turned to face up or down depending on where you want the light to be.

Dual beam cube light

shop.lightingstyles.co.uk, £116

Given that outdoor lighting can be expensive, it’s worth trying to find a multi-tasking lamp – and this might be the answer. A row of these will create a pretty effect.

Pilot IP67 buried uplighter

gardenoflight.co.uk, £27.60

Buried lights are perfect for throwing light at a wall or plant to create an effect and won’t take attention from the object you’re trying to highlight.

White multi-function LED outdoor lights

tlc-direct.co.uk, £21 for 90 lights excluding VAT

Fairy lights needn’t be just for Christmas. Wrap them around a tree or along a wall and they create a party atmosphere.

Hanging glass sphere

kindlehouse.co.uk, £7.50

If you don’t have the budget for expensive electrical work then candles can be the way to go. Tie these pretty glass sphere to the branches and fill them with tealights.

Task/Table:

Silvered glass lamp

rigbyandmac.com, £225

A bit of a showstopper, which will cast a beautiful light as it bounces off the base making a rather lovely ambient glow. The base is from mercurised glass and a shade is included.

Barometer work lamp

ikea.com, £37

A mix of retro styling in a modern finish, this desk light is pleasingly heavy, which a good task lamp needs to be, and can be angled sufficiently for most requirements.

Harlequin contour table lamp

wallpaperdirect.co.uk, £250

Designed in collaboration with Elstead Lighting, this table version is classic in shape but the ridges on the base give it a really contemporary feel.

Macie table lamp

melanieporter.co.uk, £450

Melanie Porter makes fabulous furniture and lighting from wool. This classic lamp has been given a totally modern makeover with a knitted cover.

Stokey lamp

loaf.com, £95

The dip-dye trend that started with celebrity hair has moved firmly to interiors. The newest recruit to the trend is Loaf.com whose pretty table lamps come in either grey or pink glaze.

Milo desk lamp

bhs.co.uk, £12

A great little desk lamp in yellow or chrome. The stem is flexible so you can bend it to the direction you need. Great for a child who is just starting to do homework at a desk, or as a bedside lamp.

Linea Pineapple table lamp

houseoffraser.co.uk, £40

There are a lot of lamp bases in the shape of animals and other whimiscal ideas around at the moment. This is a pineapple – a historic symbol of luxury at an affordable price.

Hybrid task table lamp

marksandspencer.com, £59

With an angled wooden stand and a frosted glass shade, this bridges the gap between task and table. It would be perfect in the spare room which often has to double up as an office.

Stella lamp

zoedarlington.co.uk, from £85

Zoe Darlington uses vintage materials and traditional methods to create modern witty lamps. Sort of antique punk if you will. This is from the Sheila Bownas Archive, a collection of 1950s patterns.

Original BTC task light

originalbtc.com, £319

These desk lamps are now a design classics. Made in England, the new collection includes this rather smart navy version. These are expensive, but they’re solid, stable and flexible.

Wall:

Kartell E Wall Light

utilitydesign.co.uk, £52

Wall lights have come a long way in recent years. This has a pleated polycarbonate shade in a variety of colours and is a modern take on the more traditional pleated shade.

Ikea PS 2012 LED wall lamp

ikea.com, £42

The PS range from Ikea is the slightly edgier, slightly more “ design” range. This wall lamp comes in black, white or red and uses an LED bulb.

New York black and copper wall light

bodieandfou.com, £150

There is a move towards wall lamps having longer arms and reaching out further to be a wall-mounted task light. It makes more of a statement.

Anglepoise Type 1228

johnlewis.com, £90

Sometimes it’s a good idea to introduce some colour in an unexpected way. These Anglepoise wall lights come in a range of colours including pink, lilac, orange and green.

Extendable brass wall light

thevictorianemporium.com, £348

This light, which extends out from the wall, can be used as a task lamp, or pulled out over a small table for more ambience.

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