The clocks change this weekend here in the UK and autumn is upon us, so there’s no other time of the year when good lighting is more important. As natural daylight continues to diminish little by little every day, we turn to lighting in our homes to illuminate the way, set the scene and create a cosy atmosphere.
But even beyond the darker months, lighting in a home carries huge importance and it’s something we should be conscious of as it spotlights certain areas of our interiors, zones off areas in a room and creates a mood in any given space. The best way to go about it is layering your lighting. In other words, having multiple sources of light in a room – pendant light, wall light, ceiling light, floor lamp, table lamp etc. But not necessarily all of these in a single room.
So if you are looking to jazz up your home with some new lighting fixtures that are either fun, innovative or pleasing to the eye, then check out our round-up of 10 independent lighting brands. These are undoubtedly some of our favourites on the market right now, each bursting with originality and character.
Lam Lighting is an eco-friendly brand of porcelain light fixtures. It was founded in 2021 by husband and wife duo, David and Julie Lam. David is a designer who’s worked with numerous other lighting brands over the years, after which he decided to create his own in line with his values. Julie is a fine art ceramicist specialising in porcelain, who’s created all of Lam Lighting’s traditional slip castings.
Porcelain is made of organic clay that comes directly from the earth. And as the brand doesn’t apply any glazes, dyes or toxins, each light is made purely from this one raw material. As the company states, porcelain doesn’t tarnish or decline over time so every Lam Lighting product is a lifelong investment. And if it was to ever break or no longer serve its purpose, it can always be returned back to the earth where it came from.
Based in a small village in the east of England, the company’s pendant and wall designs are all simple and minimalist, coloured in the natural cream hue of the material, each stamped with the brand’s logo of a lamb. Overall, the brand exudes a sense of zen-like peace and calm which we can certainly get behind.
Lume Lighting is run by founder Jo Corney from her sunny studio in Brighton. A trained printed textile designer and lampshade maker, Jo crafts each of her fabric lampshades by hand utilising traditional techniques and using either solid-coloured linens or materials screen or lino-printed with her own exclusive patterns.
First launched in 2014 as a homeware brand under her full name, Joanna Corney, the business had a rebrand in 2018 to focus solely on lighting. And while Jo’s range of lampshades is vast, our favourite design is without a doubt her scalloped lampshade. And we’re clearly not alone in this as this pendant lampshade has been selected as one of the finalists for the Etsy Design Awards 2023 in the lighting category.
Crafted from natural linen, the pleated, plain-coloured lampshade is trimmed with a contrasting scalloped edge, creating a playful look that we love.
We wouldn’t blame you for thinking Orikomi was a Japanese brand, given the sound of its name and the origami-inspired shapes of its lighting. But in fact, Orikomi is a Portuguese company based in Lisbon, founded by Ana Morgado and Carmo Caldeira.
Started in 2013 as a pop-up store, the co-founders decided to keep the brand going and launched it fully the following year. Following the principles of origami, a Japanese art of paper folding, each of the brand’s lamps and lampshades are made by hand from high-quality paper so they are 100% recyclable. And the company’s sustainability credentials don’t end there.
The products require a low-energy consumption and are compatible only with LED or energy-saving light bulbs. And since 2019, Orikomi offers its customers carbon-free shipping through its collaboration with carbonfund.org, a company that helps people and other businesses offset their carbon footprint by supporting carbon offset projects such as Amazon forest conservation.
If you’re a fan of a more playful and flamboyant design then Palefire Studio is for you. Founded in 2021 by Rowena Morgan-Cox, Palefire looks to offset the minimalist aesthetic that seems to be currently dominating the interiors world with unusual shapes, bold colours and eccentric patterns.
Rowena injects artistic flair into everything she does, inspired by her many years of working as a specialist dealer in European painting, sculpture and decorative arts and the managing director of The Fine Art Society. That’s why Palefire’s collection of lamps is a cross between a piece of art and home decor. Even the brand’s name bears poetry, inspired both by Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire novel and a line from William Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens.
The brand’s first collection – titled U/V after the shapes of the lights resembling either the letter U or V – is a range of five table and floor lamps, wall and pendant lights, each crafted from recycled paper pulp mache. Each lamp is handmade to order in a small workshop in Barcelona before being assembled and painted in the brand’s South London studio, using all-natural paints and varnishes. Our top pick would be the Parasol table lamp, which looks exactly as its name suggests.
Patricia Lobo Atelier
Based in Lisbon, Portugal, Patricia Lobo Atelier is a brand of pendant and wall lights made exclusively from ceramic. The company was founded by Patricia Lobo, a trained designer who’s worked most of her life in TV and cinema until she found her love for creating products like these lamps. What was first a hobby helping her recharge quickly became her calling in life.
Made by hand, the light fixtures come in a range of neutral, pastel and earthy tones and in minimalist, contemporary silhouettes. All the while championing a traditional Portuguese craft of ceramic making.
But the brand’s latest release of this autumn is a part of lighting that is often forgotten – the light switch. And with her stylish Lumos designs, Patricia is making sure that not only light switches will be forgotten no more, but she’s also making a design-led show-stopping moment out of them as they are made from some of the most premium materials – natural stone, cork, wood and porcelain. And they were well-received as they are currently sold out on the company’s website. But don’t worry, they are bound to come back.
Pooky’s team says they are ‘loopy about lighting’. And we can see the joy and enthusiasm in their fun and vibrant lamp designs covered in funky prints, bright colours and often boasting unusual and intriguing silhouettes.
Started in 2014 by Rohan Blacker, co-founder of Sofa.com, Pooky prides itself on the high level of design at great, affordable prices. The business is available exclusively online through the brand’s website, similarly to the founder’s sofa business. And many interior designers are fans with Pooky becoming something of a household name on the UK’s lighting scene.
The brand is also partial to a good collaboration, listing the likes of Morris & Co. and newly GP & J Baker as partners. Our own favourite designs are in fact products of Pooky’s collaboration with the Collaborative Craft Projects, a sustainable Zimbabwe-based homeware brand. The four lampshades in this collection are handmade by artisan craftswomen with woven organic palm that’s locally grown and harvested.
Rosi de Ruig
Designer Rosi de Ruig is a lover of all things pattern and colour, which is reflected in her range of paper lampshades. The idea for her business was inspired by her now hero material – variously patterned paper, first encountered on her frequent visits to all sorts of stationery and craft shops. She fell in love with these papers so much that she wanted to create a company around them. And so she did.
The patterns Rosi works with range from marbled motifs to striking check and vibrant florals. Based in West London, Rosi makes each of her bespoke designs by hand, combining the hero paper with a metal wire form and a fabric trim. And the designer also offers complementing wooden lamp bases as part of her collection now.
Spark & Bell
Brighton-based Spark & Bell was founded by Emer Gillespie in 2015 who also acts as the brand’s head designer. It all started with Emer’s new home that she wanted to make her own. And she found that most lighting on offer at the time was either way too expensive or too generic. So she decided to start making her own and make them available to others at affordable prices.
Her love of brass is apparent in the now vast collection of modern light fixtures, be it pendant or wall lights. But wood, plaster, bone china and glass among others are also heavily used. Every product is handmade to order and built to last using only the highest quality components, which are designed, curated and sourced with the utmost care.
Tala is perhaps best known for its range of LED light bulbs that come in all shapes and sizes, and leading the way of the Edison bulb trend. Started in 2015 by Max Wood, Josh Ward and William Symington, three friends who met at Edinburgh University, Tala was built on the belief that the fastest way to a low-carbon world is through great design. Like theirs.
East London-based Tala prides itself on being sustainable and gentle to the planet, promoting the low-energy, efficient technology of LED lighting and earning a B Corp certification in the process. But it doesn’t stop there for Tala as the company strives to be a zero carbon lighting brand.
Avoiding plastic like the plague, Tala uses high-quality, natural materials like glass for their bulbs and aluminium and brass for their cool, contemporary fixtures as they are endlessly recyclable. Not to mention that they are pleasing to look at.
Tinker & Tallulah
You can’t help but smile when seeing one of Tinker & Tallulah’s swishy lampshades. The fun, playful designs are rooted in the glamour of Art Deco and old world opulence of the 1920s, all of which are identifiable by a pairing of a bold pattern or colour with a long fringed trim.
The brand was started by a husband and wife duo Racheal and Liam Millband based in Nottinghamshire. They initially wanted to purchase a fringed lampshade for their home. But when they were confronted with the high price points they came with, the couple decided to make their own. And as they say, what started as a DIY project became a hobby, then a passion and finally a business. But their products are still all made by hand and they are a maximalist’s dream come true.