Category Archives: Blog

McCloud Lighting is Back!

It was once said that “To attempt to form a style independently of the past would be an act of supreme folly.”
Owen Jones 19th Century Architect.

This encapsulates the creative spark behind the ‘Gracie’ light and the McCloud lighting range as a whole. I worked with Kevin to produce his iconic lighting range in the early noughties. Today, I am pleased to announce that the McCloud lights are back in production having found a new manufacturing base and Orange Lighting are thrilled to have gained the exclusive sole distribution rights.

All commercially successful design needs a strong story behind it. Perhaps none stronger than introducing a light that was designed by Mr McCloud who has become synonymous with new home design to a generation. The narrative is sculptural with echoes of the fun and whimsical. Many have a rustic handmade feel or resonate with an early Italian rococo influence which Kevin adores.

The ‘Gracie’ light features a shade made from pure porcelain that casts a warm glow of honey across a room. Ideal for a welcoming ambiance, a convivial dining area or just to recreate candle lit atmosphere. It is available as pendants and wall lights to deliver a co-ordinated lighting scheme for a corporate or high end residential

Call us now for prices – the wait is over!

Interior Design Blinded by Lighting Developments

We all know that Interior Designers are busy people – especially in this stressful economic climate. Lighting is an essential element of any interior design but is often overlooked. I keep my client designers up to speed with new developments and the fixtures on offer. It helps them stay up to speed with the lighting ingredient in their work and keeps their all important clients happy too!

So I had a hunch that recent new building regulations had been overlooked by the design community. It was signalled by the many conversations I have over a week and as the months pass by it became increasingly obvious. So I sent out a survey to my community of 5000 designers to confirm my suspicions.

The survey revealed a worrying lack of knowledge about recent new lighting regulations that have been in force for months. The measures introduced by the government over a year ago are critical to new builds and refurbishments and can lead to expensive adjustments and even fines if not observed.

In my questionnaire – interior designers and architects were probed as to their awareness of the new Lighting Standard Part L1a; a measure that amongst others =  dramatically increases the stipulated use of low energy lighting. Over half 53% claimed to have no knowledge at all of the requirements. The findings raise serious concerns for all concerned in the building sector and for commissioning clients too.

The research results indicate a higher level of awareness of recent changes of building regulations and new specifications regarding low energy ratings. However further analysis reveals that design professionals have a shaky grasp of the facts and that the vast majority 72% do not have the necessary know how to choose fittings that comply with regulations including the new ‘Target Emissions Rate’.

I think these results are very sobering and the finger of blame should be pointed at the authorities. If sweeping new regulations are to be imposed – a commensurate level of publicity is necessary. It is plain through these results and from my conversations across my clientbase , that many of these new measures have not been flagged effectively.

For instance, the range of lights available has been transformed by these new measures, which in turn, has a large impact on the aesthetics of a scheme. Without a thorough awareness of the available lighting options designers will hampered in their outcomes.

I offer all designers a free briefing on the new regulations in order to avoid pitfalls with future projects. Just call or email me and I’ll send you a briefing.

LED – Now is the time!

Now is the time is start or increase your use of LED lighting!

The new Part L regs since Oct 2010 state that 75% of new lighting must comply with low energy status. Now is the time to embrace LED lighting solutions.

So why is everyone so excited about these LEDs?


  • Super efficient and pay for themselves quickly compared to standard technology when thinking about downlights.
  • They make economic sense and they are a sustainable option.
  • They cut out maintenance costs.


So you’re using a set of LED downlights in your next job – how will it effect the look of the scheme?

Be careful about quality. Cheap LED’s are weak, very white with little control over consistency in terms of colouring between each downlight.

Colour binning is the term for controlling how consistent the colouring of LED’s are. The best colours are more expensive.

Genuine warm white coloured LED downlights that are a mains halogen GU10 replacement, are out there and affordable.

If you are used to using low voltage halogen downlights, then be careful as the majority of entry level priced fittings are claiming 50W halogen status – not qualifying whether the weaker mains halogen or the stronger low voltage halogen.

Remember – higher powered low voltage equivalents are out there.


Some technical stuff…

LEDs can be dimmed, be careful about compatibility of the dimming mechanism.

LED’s are run by drivers, you need to use a dimmable driver.

Heat is generated by LED’s and the thermal management of the LED chip is a key element to the successful life of a product

There’s more techie stuff – refer to our LED 101 Guide.


Entry level GU10 equivalents are affordable and will pay for themselves many times, over the course of their life.

More expensive LED downlights can give you a low voltage halogen equivalent now, but we’re talking well over £100 each. They will still pay for themselves many times over.

Dimmable fittings increase cost.


The future is now. The upgrade in light output is amazing in the next generation of LED due out this year 2011.

The lighting industry has not had such speedy development since the birth of the light bulb.

2011 will see your clients requesting LED’s … be prepared!

Just give me a call or drop me an email – we’ll deal with it!!

Birmingham Show

Birmingham lighting show more aimed at retailers than specifiers for decorative lighting. Chinese LED chaps displaying latest shapes and sizes of retro fit lamp. Do not expect to be wowed at annual NEC gathering but still worth a whizz round.

LED 101

Orange Lighting LED Downlight

The thing about LED lighting technology is that most of us know its is the way ahead. Problem is – we are not really sure how to use it properly … yet.

LED’s are spreading across our world like an luminous rash heralding a new age of energy efficient lighting that once they are fitted can be forgotten. Once only seen as little lights on your stereo – seemingly they can now be used to uplight 80m high buildings! But can we trust them to really be a replacement of other tried and tested lamp technology ?

Why would we use an LED source, say in a downlight ?

Colour : LED’s can at last now match the same colour rendering of our beloved incandescent GLS lamp.

Longevity : usually quoted as 50,000 hours which is over 11 years if you leave the lights on for 12 hours everyday.

Low maintenance : No lamp changing and when they begin to fade after a decade or so, manufacturers are now beginning to make the LED replaceable in the fitting.

Energy efficiency : Very highly efficient saving huge amounts of energy and running costs; the fittings pay for themselves even compared to compact fluorescents – the only current alternative to GLS lamps.

True directional light : Halogen lamps reflect varying degrees of beam (flood etc) but they loose efficiency in the process. LED’s can now have lenses to focus and direct the light and effectively control the beam.

Robust: Solid state lighting (which LED’s are) have no filament to burn out and can handle tough conditions.

Dimmable : LED’s can be dimmed but the colour remains the same. If you want to mimic an incandescent source and enjoy a warmer glow as you you dim you will be disappointed! However – if you want the same colour of light but with a lower intensity – then it is smiles all round!

Environmental : With some fittings made from 85% recycled aluminium and 100% recyclable in addition to their efficiency, they have a very low carbon footprint. Additionally, unlike compact fluorescent lamps they contain no mercury.

Dimensionally smaller and more compact that ordinary compact fluorescents.
… to name a few.

Go to for more information and LED fittings we recommend. Our next email will suggest downlights that we have tested and have confidence in proposing as true replacements for halogen and compact fluorescent fittings. We’ll also reveal our criteria for selecting a fitting.

Tardis Lighting

I always loved the notion of a space being larger inside than it is outside, as in Dr Who’s spacial mind bending Tardis. Wouldn’t it be amazing that such a small space could be so big?

I first began to consider the power of 2 dimensional illusion as a student painting theatrical backdrops to look three dimensional to the seated viewer. Theatre is the home of optical trickery and a powerful media to use is lighting. Our brains are just waiting to be fooled with misguided optical information.

So lets use some cunning lighting techniques in the bathroom to open up that small space.

Tip1 :Light receeds, dark advances.

Push the walls back by washing them with light. We’re usually helped in bathrooms as they have shiny surfaces that love to reflect light. Hide a light source and let it pour up or down the wall. A tried and tested technique is to recess or box in a fluorescent lamp above a mirror but with IP44 rated LED strip lighting we can easily mount a light channel anywhere. Try a strip above and below a mirror mounted on a cabinet, washing light up the wall onto the ceiling and down onto the sink.

Tip 2: Niche Lighting

Create a niche by either building out a wall slightly leaving enough room for a recessed boxed section to be made or take up some space in a stud wall or build into the brickwork. Lets put in a row of small LED IP56 rated 1W lights along the top, lighting up the niche. A wall with a niche fools us into thinking the space is wider than it is and when it’s highlighted and lighter than the wall, it falls back even further.

Tip 3: IP44 Illuminated Mirrors

Mirrors are great as they make a space look twice the size anyway and all bathrooms and cloakrooms have a mirror. A shadowless reflection of a face is best lit from either side of the mirror, usually with wall lights. If there is no space for wall lights a space saving solution is to find an IP44 protected illuminated mirror that has integral lighting within each side. We supply one that has just that and integral uplighting!

Tip 4: Hidden lighting

Not much rooms for fittings? Incorporate them into other fittings. Glass shelves can be backlit where the shelf itself acts as a light. We have a product that does exactly that. Glass shelves can be top lit from a downlight, where the glass catches the light. Recessed kick plinth LED lights linked to a presence detector can turn themselves on when you stumble into the loo in the night, illuminating the floor and guide you on your way back to bed!

Tip 5: Lift off the roof!

LED’s are changing the way we use light as they are so small and last so long. A technique not usually found in a bathroom is to create a ‘coffer’. Seems strange to actually lower the ceiling alittle, but do the same as described with the niche but this time in the ceiling.  Hide a strip of LED’s around the perimeter which uplight the raised section of the ceiling, visually lifting the ceiling sky high!

Tip 6: The future

Lets look to the future and not too distant either. With OLED’s, (Organic LED’s) the actual surfaces of a built space will emit light! Osram, a leading lamp manufacturer, is investing millions into this very real opportunity to have wafer thin laminated OLED’s into any surface. Our bathroom walls will be the very lights themselves…

… now even the Tardis doesn’t have that!

Did you enjoy the Show? 100% Design and Decorex Review

Trainer’s for 100% Design; brogues for Decorex. Yes my choice of footwear to tread the halls this year certainly reflected the genre of each exhibition. 100% a mixed bag of assorted architectural products and Decorex firmly encamped in the high-end decoration sector.

Happily each show had it’s fair share of lighting manufacturers, but the shock was that the LED revolution had not hit these halls to the extent I had anticipated. The decorative light fitting in a plethora of guises limps on. LED,  the hard-working lighting kit relegated to feature at the Arc show!

For me the September shows are an annual line in the sand for design and development. My criteria for what’s useful and worth my attention shifts. I define ‘interesting’ according to the criteria that a product or company can add value to my business (and therefore yours) and  increase turnover with a good margin of profitability.

As the old maxim goes the reality of design is 5% creativity verses the 95% perspiration. However the truth is I secretly yearn to be inspired at shows before I see the business opportunity. The following selection affected me in that order.

Atelier Sedap: As a distributor for the UK importer of this fab lighting & decoration company, I have fallen in love again with the amazing detail the high density plaster sculptural wall lights can give.

Built in architectural lighting can be so effective and dramatic when the illumination of a space is considered at the earliest point in a project. Hidden and embedded light fittings within cornicing and walls are stunning. Their sculptural leaf wall lights can transform a scheme.

Porcelain Lighting: Diffuse are taking porcelain into this century with a well-considered and high spec double-sided LED unit hidden within their suspended cylindrical shades. The quality of light is so pleasing to the eye. We also discovered a German company that has some fabulous porcelain pendants – We love porcelain!

I found an LED manufacturer that has a useful collection at the show. One finds plenty of LED Co’s at the back of magazines, but which ones can we trust and use with confidence? May I suggest that is when you pick up the phone and call me!

A word of caution too. I found a lighting company selling bathroom lights under the label of IP44 and splashproof, when they were only part protected and therefore not certified. Please please check with us with regard to bathroom lighting projects, even certain manufacturer’s do not understand this crucial element of a fitting design  and installation.

So it seems that we will have to wait another year before the dominance of LED really tells on the design industry. It does make me wonder who is still designing spaces with conventional fittings – that are destined to be ‘live’ for the next ten years? As with all fundamental technology shifts – LCD, CDs and wireless – the moment of transition is swift and terrible!

If you want to be fully briefed on the LED revolution, IP44 or any aspect of interior lighting – call me without obligation!

t. 01279 812350  e.

Click Here for the full lighting range

Its Showtime!

The exhibition season is upon us once again; namely Decorex,100% Design and the London Design Fest. It’s a moment in time where we can gauge the developments and changes in the lighting world as we compare this year to last. We can safely predict that from highly decorative to the architectural light offerings – this is the year of the LED.

Next week I will review and report what I feel is best from the shows with regards to lighting innovation and usability but if you are a visitor – let me point you in the direction of the following companies.

Best & Lloyd at Decorex – a firm favourite of mine and an established stable of great British lighting and run by an enthusiastic team. It’s an outfit where quality and attention to detail rule. Their collaboration with a Parisian glass factory has produced some stunning table lights.

Diffuse at Decorex, kings & queens of porcelain, have built upon their trade mark chandeliers of porcelain panes to launch floating pendants lit by LED. Porcelain when unlit has a beautiful milky colouring but when lit spreads honey like light into your interior – remember – milk and honey!

I’m a sucker for aesthetically adventurous lighting and I’m expecting that Alturo Alvarez, here at 100% Design from Spain – will not dissapoint. We love Spanish design and I am distributor of these cheeky chappies. 

We’re all still looking for that LED downlight that is a genuine replacement for halogen – keep your eye out for Photonstar and ACDC – tipped to get there as soon as humanly possible.

As independent suppliers and distributors – we can supply from many of the lighting Co’s at the same price you would get direct. Of course, with us you enjoy the added advantage of our experience and opinions and advice. So remember us too – as you stalk the halls and the first person to say hi to me wins a show lanyard of your choice!

Another thing….I would love to hear about your favourites in this years show season. Contribute at ‘See the Light’ on Facebook – there is a bottle of champers for the best review!

See the Light – the video!

Regents Pavilion is a great place to argue the importance of lighting in the built environment. We aim to lift lighting back to the top of the agenda for architects and designers.

Lighting is more than a functional element to a design; it governs our emotional response to a space.

Light governs what we see and how we see it; badly used it can ruin any scheme.

Interesting times – LED revolution is upon us – are you keeping up with developments?

Light is used to elevate the appearance of the structure, raising the canopy  and making it look taller.

Light rejuvenates an urban space that would otherwise be left in darkness, creating a focal point and a highlight of interest. We can do this in the interior by creating high spots of illumination; on a dining table, a front door or sculptural feature.

Repetition is pleasing to the eye, where the darks are just as important as the light. Create interest in your interior by creating dark areas that emphasise the lit areas – such as purpose built niches.

This pavilion of light is used here to link two buildings; it’s a basic instinct for our eye to be drawn to the light. We can convey our guests through an interior eg., down a corridor or across a lobby, by drawing them to the light.

Use of large fittings in an interior introduce an element of grandeur. This pavilion is lit dramatically and acts the same way as a large chandelier.

There needs to be a sense of drama in our lighting schemes; a tug on the emotions in order to create a truly memorable scheme.

Let’s restore lighting to it’s rightful place.

Join our Facebook Group – ‘See The Light‘ and help raise the awareness of lighting.

Call me Andrew Orange for a lighting solution of a simply to source a fitting.


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Credits: Regents Place Pavilion by architects Carmordy Groarke,

Lighting design: MBLD;   LED: DMA / Radiant Lighting