Blog posts of '2019' 'April'

2019 London Design Festival

London Design Festival – three words that are guaranteed to excite everyone on the Christopher Wray Lighting team. We love London. We love design. And we definitely love festivals.

If this is the first you're hearing about this festival, have no worries as we have all the information you need to become an expert on this particular event.


When is the festival on?

This year the London Design Festival will be held from Saturday 14 to Sunday 22 September. That's a whole 9 days, so however busy you may be, there should still be some room to fit this event into your schedule. Founded in 2003, the festival celebrates and endorses London as the design capital of the world and, 15 years later; attendance numbers hit a record-breaking 588,200 so it’s growing each year.

It's worth being aware that London is always a busy city, but during the London Design Festival it will be a whole lot busier. More than half a million visitors flood into the city from all corners of the globe, and that's in addition to the usual tourist crowds, shoppers, and city workers.

Planning your visit in advance is definitely a good idea!


Where is the festival held?

The London Design Festival takes place in London, England. Unlike many other festivals, this one doesn't have a single central venue. It's just an event that is held across the city, although the official zones or districts as devised by the LDF organisers are:

  • Bankside (South London on the banks of the Thames, from Borough Market to Oxo Tower Wharf).
  • Brompton (Brompton area, centred on Brompton Road. This road is a continuation of Fulham Road, and eventually fuses into Cromwell Road).
  • Clerkenwell (Historically famous area of the central North. Also known for being a centre of Anglo-Italian culture).
  • Fitzrovia (right in the heart of the city, Fitzrovia is where you'll find a lot of high-tech companies competing for attention).
  • Marylebone (a very old area of central London with many small shops, boutiques, and studios).
  • Mayfair (one of the largest and most upmarket design areas of London, made famous by being the most expensive property on a Monopoly board).
  • Pimlico Road (one of the smaller zones, but easy to find and traverse).
  • Regent St & St James's (big, popular, and famous, this district hardly needs an introduction).
  • Shoreditch (officially the "Shoreditch Design Triangle", it's in the East End of London).
  • Victoria (officially the "Victoria Connections Design District", it's an area that mostly caters to the business community).
  • West Kensington (a very arty district, centred on the Olympia building).


We hope you enjoy the show

We are really thrilled that the London Design Festival is going to be a hugely popular event once again this year and we look forward to the buzz that it creates.

Christopher Wray Lighting has always been a pivotal figure for lighting design in London and we are constantly innovating and devising new ways to light up your life so take some time to check out some of our bespoke designs. We’re proud to play such a big part in London’s design scene and it’s festivals like this that allows designers like Christopher to promote and showcase their creativity.

Why Choose LED Lighting for Your Bathroom Upgrade

Technology is a wonderful thing in most aspects and it’s sure been a game changer when it comes to the lighting industry. Since 2015, homeowners have spent millions of pounds on upgrading their more traditional lighting to LED lighting and they’re reaping the rewards of doing so.

Your bathroom is a hugely important space within your home; it’s a sanctuary where you can wash off the hard work of the day, relax in the bathtub and pamper yourself. It’s also somewhere that you groom and get freshened up; ready to face everything you have to like a champ.

That’s why it’s so imperative to have the right lighting in your bathroom. A lot of bathrooms have poor lighting that doesn’t cast enough light on mirrors to be effective, or the lighting is simply wrong for the overall style of the bathroom.

If you are remodelling your entire bathroom or you simply want to upgrade the lighting to suit your modern fixtures, then LED lighting is the way to go.


Here’s why our first choice for bathroom lights are LED:


Prices are much better

The LED lighting market has seen a massive growth in popularity, which has resulted in more affordable prices for both bulbs and fixtures. It now costs a whole lot less to upgrade your lighting to LED than ever before.

Whether you are simply looking to swap out your bulbs to LED or you want to upgrade the entire system and go for the sleeker looking new LED fixtures and strips – then you can do so without the hefty price tag that used to accompany it.


A whole range of new styles

When people hear the term “LED lighting” they often think that they are going to end up with bare fixtures that cast some sort of fluorescent glow all over their homes. The truth of the matter is that the LED lighting market is now one of the most stylish and modern within the industry.

You can now get LED lighting for your bathroom in a huge range of styles to suit the décor of your bathroom, whether that’s contemporary, rustic or traditional. LED lights are cool, stylish and will add that little bit extra to bring your bathroom décor together.


An improved quality of light

We are well aware that the early attempts at LED lighting often produced the sterile white or blue light that you’d find in an office or a hospital and it wasn’t particularly stylish or flattering. However, the LED lighting industry has advanced so rapidly that you can hardly tell the difference between LED and incandescent lighting nowadays. LED lights are also dimmable, which makes them the perfect addition to any bathroom, as they can be as bright as they need to be for your grooming but put down low when you want to relax in the bath with some candles.


Smart lighting

One of the most wonderful things about LED lighting is its potential for connectivity; LED lighting can be controlled from your smartphone or tablet through an app. This means that you don’t have to get out of bed when you realise you’ve forgotten to turn the bathroom light off.

Smart lighting is also an important feature when it comes to the safety of your home, as you can turn lights on even when you are not there and deter anyone that thinks you are out.


Save energy

We are all becoming more and more conscious of the impact that we are having on the planet and one of the main problems is our energy consumption of fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources. LED lighting was developed due to the need for more energy efficient lighting solutions. LED bulbs use dramatically less energy than older bulbs; they use less energy and save you money on your monthly bills. We think that’s a win-win!

If you’d like to know more about our lighting range or you have a question about interior design in general, we would love to hear from you today so please do get in touch.

How to Light Low Ceilings

It’s common knowledge in the interior decorating world that a high ceiling makes your room look larger, lighter and much more spacious, even if the width dimensions are not huge.

We would all love to have high ceilings in our homes, but the fact of the matter is that it’s not always possible and sometimes our homes simply have low ceilings; this shouldn’t put your off trying to make the room look as spacious as possible.

The right lighting fixtures can go a very long way in making your low-ceilinged room look far bigger than it actually is.

If your ceiling is under 2.4 metres, then it is considered a low ceiling and this is mainly due to the fact that you have very little leeway when it comes to vertical lighting fixtures. If you have a low ceiling, you need to carefully select your lighting so that it doesn’t become a hazard for the taller visitors or members of your household.

Whether it’s just in your attic and other such rooms, or if it is your whole household – having low ceilings means that you do have to make some compromises but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have really great lighting designs.

If you light your low ceilings badly, it could cause accidental pools of high-contrast lighting in your room and across your ceiling which will leave huge hot spots and really dark shadows that may make it hard to see what you are doing. If your low ceiling is somewhere like a basement, then lighting is particularly important as there is bound to be a lack of natural light.

You really don’t have to worry about your low ceilings, instead embrace what you’ve been given and take the opportunity to make unique, calculated design decisions that will enhance the size of the room and make it feel spacious.


Use low-profile fixtures

Large, long/low-hanging fixtures are simply not going to work in a room that has a low ceiling. They are going to take up all of the vertical space and actually make the room look and feel more cramped – particularly for taller guests that keep bumping into them.

So, pendants and chandeliers are probably not going to be the first choice for a room with a low ceiling. Instead; there are a whole lot of really great, modern low-profile options for you to choose from including;

  • Flush mounts and semi-flush mounts: Flush mounts don’t have the best reputation in the lighting industry and that’s because they used to be archaic and unsightly lamps that detracted rather than added to a room’s charm.

    However, these lamps have gone through a complete revamp and now are available in all sorts of styles and designs that will bring an extra bit of energy and style to your rooms that have low ceilings. Our range of flush and semi-flush mounts are perfect for your low-ceilinged room, but remember to avoid anything that hangs.
  • Recessed lighting: If you haven’t heard of recessed lights then don’t fret too much – they are also called pot lights and for good reason. These lights are built into the ceiling, rather than on the top of it and outside of it, which means that they take up virtually none of the vertical space that is so important in a room that has a low ceiling.

There is a wonderfully large range of lights for low ceilings that you can choose from that will make your rooms seem bigger, more spacious and won’t knock your tall friends or family on the head every time that they enter the room.

If you’re worried about your low ceiling, then get in touch with us and our team of expert designers will be on hand to help you achieve the look that you want.

Top Tips For Lighting Up Your Kitchen

Like anything in life, your kitchen requires the right balance between lighting and décor to get it looking and feeling as perfect as it possibly can. The kitchen is often the hub of the home and many hours are spent meal prepping, cooking, doing grocery lists, helping kids with the homework and drinking wine with your best friend.

That’s why it’s so important that you choose the right light for your kitchen. Here is a handy guide put together by our design experts on how to get your kitchen lighting just right:

The three types of lights

As with any room in your home, you shouldn’t just stick to one type of lighting and rather use a combination of different lighting types and styles to get the best overall effect. The three best kinds of lighting for your kitchen that you should know about are ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting.

  1.        Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is the main source of lighting in your kitchen and could be an extra addition to natural window light, or a fill-in if you don’t have any natural light to rely on. Ambient lighting works best when it is cast evenly over the room from your ceiling and this means that you can use a combination of lighting styles like chandeliers and flush or semi-flush pendant lights and mounts.

  1.        Task lighting

As already mentioned, task lighting is the main source of light in your kitchen, however, it isn’t going to be able to reach every nook and cranny in the room and, as such, it’s doing to leave shadows and dark areas that you are going to want to adorn with lighting.

Task lighting helps you to illuminate the areas that your ambient lighting doesn’t reach; this ensures that your countertops and cabinets are sufficiently lit to safely prepare food, read recipes and do homework. Strip lighting and puck lights are two of the most common choices when it comes to task lighting in kitchens.

  1.        Accent lighting

Accent lighting is the crème de la crème of kitchen lighting; while some people may see it as an unnecessary addition, most people know that accent lighting is absolutely essential. Accent lighting includes fixtures like kick lights and cabinet lights that are used for the sole purpose of making the most beautiful and unique parts of your kitchen stand out.


The Most Important Areas to Light in Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is comprised of a few very important areas and you need to make sure that the following spaces are illuminated in the right way and style to accentuate their features:

  • Your island: Your kitchen island really is where all the action happens; whether that’s as an integrated cooktop space or if it’s more of a chopping and hanging out area – you’re going to want to ensure that you light it correctly.

    If you have an island that is used predominantly for cooking, cutting or reading recipes, then something like hanging lights of down lighting is going to look great. If you have a more of a counter seating space or socialising island, then look at lighting fixtures such as pendants.
  • Under-cabinet lighting: Lighting your cabinets correctly is way more important than many people believe it to be. Ambient lighting is great for an overall light throughout the kitchen but it can leave dark shadows under cabinets and under-cabinet lighting is used to rectify this and give the space the illumination it needs.

    Task lighting can be used for these spaces to ensure that you can read your recipes, see your ingredients, find your spices and much more.
  • Ceiling lighting: Lighting your ceiling well can make a huge difference when it comes to how big your kitchen looks. Uneven lighting often causes rooms to look small; use recessed lighting or other lighting options to ensure your ceiling is evenly and properly lit for the look you want to achieve in your kitchen.

If you’d like more expert advice on how to remodel your kitchen or you would simply like to find out more about our lighting fixtures, please get in touch as we’d love to hear from you.