All posts by Andrew Orange

Tea Break Tip VIDEO: How To Design With Light

Get ready to learn something new in just a few minutes with our Tea Break Tip Training Videos. In less time than it takes to make a brew, let lighting designer Andrew Orange build your lighting knowledge in simple to understand steps.

How to Design With Light

Designing with light is a skill open to everyone who wants to enhance their built environment. Harnessing the power of light is a privilege that demands our attention.

Watch Andrew succinctly explain 5 key ways to practically and quickly improve your next projects lighting design.


Tea Break Tips: Your 2 minute CPD!

If you found this quick teaching useful then you need to see these too:

Understanding an LED Downlight

Downlights are a powerful tool within lighting design – let us quickly teach you the basics of what they are and how to use them with more Tea Break Tips.

Let us supply your downlights for your next project.



Tea Break Tip VIDEO: Using an LED Downlight.

Get ready to learn something new in just a few minutes with our Tea Break Tip Training Videos. In less time than it takes to make a brew, let lighting designer Andrew Orange build your lighting knowledge in simple to understand steps.

How to Successfully Use Downlighters

Downlighting is a fundemental lighting technique to master, so understanding how to avoid the common mistake of using them too much is essential.

Watch Andrew succinctly explain 4 key ways to successfully include downlighting in your next lighting design.


Tea Break Tips: Your 2 minute CPD!

If you found this quick teaching useful then you need to see these too:

Understanding an LED Downlight

Let us supply your downlights for your next project.





Tea Break Tip VIDEO: Components of an LED Downlight

Get ready to learn something new in just a few minutes with our Tea Break Tip Training Videos. In less time than it takes to make a brew, let lighting designer Andrew Orange build your lighting knowledge in simple to understand steps.

Know Your Bezels From Your Baffles

Downlighting is a fundemental lighting technique to master, so understanding how a downlight works is essential. Watch Andrew break down and explain an LED downlights component parts.


Tea Break Tips: Your 2 minute CPD!

If you found this quick teaching useful then you need to see these too:

Consider letting us supply your downlights for your next project.





Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning as professional designers has the double edged sword of opportunity and necessity. Nice if we have the time, foolish if we do not make it.

The term Continuing Professional Development within our industry has at least allowed us all to say that our competence comes from the mindset of not knowing enough, rather than knowing it all already. So the door to learning more remains widely open.

However, there is the rub! With so many doors to go through to keep abreast of change in so many fields, as designers you have to master the art of grab and run – darting through each door and running out with armfuls of info to hopefully read at a later date.

As the gatekeeper to our (not biased) very important door of lighting design and supply – I want to ensure each visit remains brief but beneficial and as it’s an Orange door – fruitful!

Each raid you make must yield more ‘how to’ -design, & ‘by using what product’ -supply. That way you build your knowledge based in the reality of real life application.

What is important to you?

Your contribution is essential to help shape our content to suit you and the other time poor designers who read this blog.

So here is our ONE question survey!

What do you want to learn more about lighting design?

We would love to hear from you personally – use our contact form found here

I look forward to reading your answers but for now – grab these goodies and run.

Last week’s issue was on Light & Mood – if you missed it you refer back to it here

As independent consultants and suppliers, we go where we please; building relationships with the manufacturers who understand our needs can favorably help us to supply their product to you the trade buyer. A shortlist of key companies are on our homepage but that’s not an exhaustive list and it adapts to cater to your project requirements. So ask if you do not see what you need.

For a quick (1:49min) and effective whizz around a great collection of beautifully designed contemporary lighting amongst some equally good looking Mediterranean visitors to the recent Euroluce Lighting show in Milan – here is the Spanish manufacturer Vibia, ask us for trade prices.

Thanks for contributing.

Time Saving Checklist

We are all busy people and so often there is just not enough time. Not enough time to fulfill that list which looked so achievable at the beginning of the day. … “so where did that day go!?”

As designers when time is short we can so often run to the safe ground of familiar territory but I challenge you that this well worn path leads only to the Land of Mediocrity (not a real place but worth capital letters).

Now, the danger of mediocre is that part of it is actually acceptable – small parts even good and we’re stacked with many good reasons to justify avoiding risky new pastures that may only lead to project failure.

Reasons being:

You were in a hurry

The market demands it, no one will notice

It’s not my job, I was given an unachievable specification

The products were second rate, the client won’t pay for quality

It’s actually pretty good, no one really appreciates all my hard work anyway…

But the other part of mediocre isn’t so good, regardless. The hard won reputation of our work being better than it needs to be, is why most of us keep our jobs. Because you care.

You care enough to build in fail safe systems for when the pressure mounts, to fall back on a method that will deliver your best even when you’re up against it.

So over the coming months I will be equipping you with tried and tested, fast methods of making lighting design decisions. 


Fail Safe Tip – Time Saving Checklists

Important prospective client conversations are the gateways to new relationships and projects but without definition they can get out of control. They can become a liability as time will race by without the guarantee of payback. As interested as you are, you need to home into key questions to create a successful succinct dialogue.

So it’s important to follow a loose checklist to ensure your meeting is productive.

Let’s say this is for kitchen lighting – throughout the conversation I am filtering information to answer 3 key questions:

Q: What is their worldview of good design? 

This conversation is defining whether you are entering as designer who will be paid for the lighting scheme or simply a selector of product.
Ask what types of lighting do they like, have they considered lighting as a key element before?
Are they interested in pushing the interior solution to include built in lighting?
Do they want to control the lighting to sculpt the atmosphere for different times of day. An enthusiastic reply about getting the mood right is a key reply.

Q: Where do they need us most?

Lighting design can be easy, anyone can choose a downlight and line them up. We are here to find the edge and show that we are worth including.
Are there architectural features we can use or are making the space tricky to light?
Downlight selection – choosing the best product.
Help them understand that good lighting is to not over light a space.
Emphasise the importance of avoiding glare.

Q: How can we create the best value and therefore a happy client?

Their definition of success shows us where the value for them is.
Take the client on a journey to understanding what good lighting is and how a good scheme’s value to them will probably cost more than they initially thought!
A well designed lighting scheme will iron out technical details prior to installation and reduce pitfalls and unnecessary extra expense.


Gathering Key Details

Understanding the project thoroughly is important even before quoting for any design work:

  • Schedule of existing circuits & and can that be changed – ie what scope is there?
  • Locations of intended or existing switching
  • What is the desired control for this room. Eg simply switched / dimmable to some circuits but with what – rotary mains or a digital system. We could inherit the builders/electricians choice that I have to specify compatibility to.
  • Are there existing positions to consider or is the whole ceiling being renewed?
  • Any architectural features we should know about not obvious from just a plan
  • Style of the kitchen
  • Ceiling height and ceiling construction (plasterboard / lath and plaster etc?)
  • Elevations required / kitchen plans to see whether we can use wall space or uplight from units / build in lighting into the structure
  • Any constraints – listed building? Solid floors or timber? Wall construction?
  • Any lighting already specified in the cabinetry / kitchen joinery
  • Intended multiple uses of the space
  • How important are decorative features to the scheme ie must have pendants?
  • Fire ratings required?
  • Project timetable

Successful Outcome for the Client:
Feels valued, listened to and excited by your ideas.

Successful Outcome for you:
Quickly collate poignant lighting questions that will be useful to them but importantly foster trust in you and enable you to deliver a key design idea that they are excited about.


Light & Mood

Light has the power to change our mood.

Are you suffering from a late night boxset Netflix binge and are now paying the price?
Solution: you need some cooler white light to wake you up!

Are you finding it hard to relax after a crazy day at the office?
Solution: Dose yourself with warm whites of light to usher you into a sense of calm.

It’s amazing that as designers we have the power to harness this amazing insight into human behavior and use it for the benefit of our customer. Look at the applications of each colour temperature and ask yourself if you are utilising this opportunity enough? This isn’t just for the canny lighting designer, but all of us can do this if we fully understand how to control the colour temperature of a light source.

How Do You Control Colour Temperature?

A source of light will create a colour of light that will be measured as having a colour temperature. It has the measurement of a degree of kelvin. For example 2700K is a warm white. Now we are in the age of LED lighting, within the ranges of useful temperatures the manufacturers want to make, we have a wider choice of source of light to use.

VIDEO: Colour Temperatures

This short 3min video taken from our blog archive, explains colour temperatures and acquaints you with the natural colours that can be recreated within interiors by walking you through a range of colour temperatures.

LED: Bringing Outside Colour Inside

In this archived blog, with the kind permission of Chris Orange Photogrpahy (fabulous interior design photographer too by the way used by others within our industry), we inspire you to explore the wide range of colour temperatures by labelling stunning landscape photography with degrees of kelvin.

The power is in your hands! Explore the possibilities of enhancing the mood of an environment by using the right colour temperatures.

As a company we are committed to your education in lighting. Our longstanding blog of teaching and observations about lighting is openly archived online so please do use our valuable free resource.

Faceless Business

We are not a faceless business.

With regret we are all witnessing the decimation of the High St as the new world order of online sales just makes sense. Whilst in the Toy Dept in John Lewis Oxford Street recently, I felt that I was betraying an old friend as I became irritated with their lack of choice on the shelves. You could argue the retailers model of curating choice for us is becoming superfluous as we demand a world of options?

However, do we want to sleep walk into a world of faceless business at the cost of convenience? Acceptable maybe for home shopping but it’s crept into business to business sales.

We all know Astro Lighting? They have progressed over their 22 year history into an indispensable source of lighting. Their foundations were in retail which meant that their progression into the hospitality, contract & design sectors – all our bit – has seen them widely exposed to the retail forces of online sales. The traditional retail and trade price structures deteriorated into extinction and consequently we have a product many of us want to use but have very little in the profit to warrant the service we deliver. Prices have plummeted for all of us as the benchmark has been set by online box shifters – the faceless business – not design professionals.

However, we have great news. Astro, in an attempt to strengthen their sales in our market, have adapted their discount structures and validated Orange Lighting with Project Partnership status to the design community. They understand that faceless business is undermining their professional product and we are one of their ambassadors.

Our ethos is relationship first. We see you.

Our aspiration is to empower you with lighting knowledge, be authentic, treat you as individuals and value every engagement.

Do come to us with all your Astro Lighting enquiries and if their pricing online has caused you any issues, I hope we will all see some improvement in the near future.

The face of lighting is Orange!

(our thanks to Magritte for his paintings!)

New 2019/20 Catalogue just out this week – view downloads or order a copy

VIDEO: Outdoor Lighting Tutorial

Embrace the outdoors – is the message of this quick tutorial on the four key things to know about garden lighting!

Designers, Specifiers and Installers can be reluctant to include the garden and outdoor spaces within residential projects. The fact is LED lighting has revolutionised exterior lighting – in terms of cost, longevity and ease of fit! So the following tutorial aims to inspire all those who have shown qualms, to brave the outdoors.

We want to help you specify and supply your Integral LED outdoor lighting range. Click below to see the full range:






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Tailor-made Lighting Services

The tricky thing about technology and the disruption it causes – is that you never quite know which direction it will take. For instance – ten years ago everyone was taking retail away from bricks and mortar and toward online. Who would have believed that that trend would be reversed? Well from our own part, at Orange Lighting, that day has arrived! We are announcing the close of our sister retail site “houseoforange” in order to realise a brighter future!

For our customers; Interior designers, Architects and Specifiers of lighting – buying lights online is not a simple matter of looking at an online catalogue and filling a virtual shopping basket. As LED and controls packages become more complicated and projects become more sophisticated – our customers demand more. Every purchase comes with extra value free advice on a whole host of issues….compatibility, light quality, durability and longevity are just some of the issues that have to be discussed.

So, we have acknowledged the needs of our clients and will offer extended free consultancy services including a virtual appointment service – through It will join the online blogs, tutorials and instructional video that are already on offer at the site.

In a way, we are reversing the online retail trend by abandoning ‘off-the-rail’ and re-embracing bespoke tailoring. Hence, when you want to plan the lighting scheme for your next project in the new year – call us, book a virtual appointment – heck – we will even Skype!

Having taken your brief – we will fill your requirement with the best products at the keenest prices – and offer timely logistics to smooth the process of lighting. All accompanied by our recommendations and product guarantee.

Remember, we have direct relationships with the leading brands and have sourced the quality products at all levels of budget.

Astro Lighting – Hugely popular as such good design, quality and price. Despite being seen widely online you should be buying and specifying with confidence through us as a main dealer.

See our range of higher end architectural LED downlights that have proven indispensable for quality hospitality and residential projects. With so many projects still going strong long after their 5yr warranty – they pay for themselves many times over. (Visit our Downlight Product page).

Visual Comfort Lighting – ask for trade access to the European collection from this mammoth American manufacturer. Making the entire Ralph Lauren Lighting range to name just one, we supply these ranges prewired at 220V.

Wandsworth Controls – with over 100yrs of manufacturing the best quality of switch plate, we now offer their entire range and sophisticated controls that can be linked with them – direct to you avoiding the usual route of electrical wholesalers.

So call us or press the meeting button and organise your next personal lighting plan. The fitting room is just over here…

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When Interiors Go Crazy

You know us creatives secretly want to give our imagination a free hand and interior design is no exception. Hospitality is one sector where in the effort to differentiate from other offerings – can push projects to the extremes. In the case of the Duck and Waffle, all you can say is – wow! The concept 24/7 restaurant invites diners to experience a playful take on traditional British cuisine with broad European influences while overlooking stunning views of London. The space is a profusion of shapes, patterns and colours – a feast for the eye as well as the digestion. So when it comes to designing a lighting scheme, it’s tricky enough to visualise the space for any project simply from 2D drawings – but what about this crazy ceiling!? How do you tackle a lighting design when there is hardly a flat surface in the scheme!? This space is busy but there are some calming and beautiful parts to this interior too.

The project was conceived and delivered by 01 Creative and photographed by Chris Orange Photography, in pictures that capture a scheme that is a triumph of precision through designed chaos.

So how would you set about designing it?

1. Planning the lighting design remains the same – all the key areas need lighting – countertops, back walls to widen the space and to draw the eye through, table tops etc. Thankfully drop pendants are still en-vogue so they can surreptitiously suspend light sources through all kinds of shapes and tangles.

2. Notice the curved corrugated iron sheets in the ceiling? To my mind – a brilliantly clever choice:

• lowers the ceiling to create a more intimate space and shields the eye from a profusion of exposed services.

• Creates repetition which every lighting scheme loves as we can bring in a flow of lights and darks – each panel lighting the top of the one behind with a very warm white.

• Light is being used to accentuate the corrugation too – so there is a greater detail shown in the contrast.

• A vernacular design choice for the theme of the space.

3. This type of ceiling, in reality, is great as you can hide cables and have the opportunity to commission the space with care whilst retaining flexibility in positioning – as long as that is an original intention of the design. Circuits still need to be specified and taken into the spaces they serve, terminating them in readiness for the fittings to plug and play after – spotlights on leads with a plug into a lighting module for instance. Black track lighting is a winner in this type of space.

4. Glass and bottle racks reliably hide light fittings in perfect places and within the narrow lines of a dropped ceiling they are still required to give the traditional downlight a home – in this instance over the bar stool area along the window.

5. Typical for a bar design there is a trend for very rich whites – lower than 2700K – achieved by dimming decorative tungsten halogen or choosing LED decorative pendants that are available from 1800K to 2700K.

6. As you enter the space the flooring contrast between the polished concrete and pathway of stone tiles invites the user deeper into the space – the light plays a role with the parallel lines of the bar and plinth lit with LED strip showing the way and with the back cupboards of food all lit.

7. Remember the silhouette technique in backlighting objects – the well lit wall (from track lighting) behind the unlit display of farming/garden tools – creates a greater impact – we are more interested in the outline and shape of the tools than we actually are on the tools themselves – it’s drama/theatre that works so well.

So the message is, be brave! Take each element and play with the lighting until you find a point of harmony – but don’t forget the functional aspects too. The trick (as always) is to plan flexibility into the scheme to give you best opportunity to achieve the best result. Of course, with any project that looks daunting – call us we will be happy to help with the planning.

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