Roger Pradier's fine outdoor lighting

Roger Pradier Citadelle outdoor wall light
Roger Pradier Tetra outdoor wall light

Unfortunately, most decorative light fittings are specified on the basis of (a) what they cost and (b) what they look like

This is not good for the people who have to install and maintain them. Nor is it good for the people who have to live with them.

It is particularly not good for companies that make luminaires with a specific functionality, whose staff are 100% focussed on making the best product to meet those requirements.

One such is the 100-year-old French outdoor lighting maker, Roger Pradier. I tell you now that the prices are very good. And you can make up your own mind about what their elegant traditional and contemporary lights look like.

So I can now focus on other aspects, which explain why this is the best company to go to for outdoor lighting.

In no particular order:

1. 25 year guarantee against corrosion of the aluminium, which makes up 99% of their products (the remaining 1% is copper or brass). Tells you all you need to know, really. One would only make such a commitment if one knew that the quality of design and manufacture ensure that problems would be very rare – for 25 years!

2. Ease of installation and maintenance by, for example, self-levelling backplates and plug-in assembly. Thus, for a wall light, the fitter attaches the backplate to the wall and, when everything is properly aligned and connected, plugs the luminaire into place. There is a four minute video that makes all this clear. Click here to see it (and wonder why other makers don’t go to so much thought and trouble to be really helpful!)

3. 20 standard colours (any colour on request) and five metal finishes: aluminium, brass, zinc, corten steel and copper:

Roger Pradier five metal options

4. Gor-tex-covered drain holes. An outdoor light may accumulate some condensation in it, however well it is made. This is especially true of luminaires with high IP ratings, because there is less scope for them to "breathe". Other manufacturers ignore this. Roger Pradier put in little drain holes covered in Gor-tex (to allow moisture out but not in).

5. Sea and desert air cause no problems for these dedicated outdoor luminaires. They achieve this by selecting premium aluminium, giving it a special treatment in the factory, before powdercoating it with high quality paint. You can now understand why there are customers in beautiful but harsh environments who will only risk specifying Roger Pradier outdoor fittings.

6. IP ratings and IK ratings. You may be specifying for a project outside the UK, where specific ratings for IP (ingress by solids and moisture) and IK (external mechanical impacts) are required. Roger Pradier has many IP65 products .

7. Photometric data. LUMIDAT and other photometric data files are available extremely promptly. Photometric diagrams are included in the catalogue. Basically, all the information needed by lighting designers is readily available. As they work with you on the project, they will providing photometric support for their recommendations.

8. LEDs: many of Roger Pradier’s fittings come in versions that have dedicated LED light sources. There are LED versions of all the luminaires shown in this post (except the second to last two). They are shown in a dedicated LED catalogue, which you can download here.

Note that there are many more Roger Pradier designs which do not have dedicated LEDS, (but retrofit LED lamps can obviously be used). These are shown in the main catalogue, and on the web site.

Dedicated LEDs are invisible, but normal lamps are not. That means you can see them, but sometimes you may not want to. Roger Pradier are way ahead of you, and offer…

9. …elegant ways to conceal ugly lamps:

Roger Pradier Tetra applique

Note that there is frequently the option of frosted glass.

10. Designs come in complete families:

Roger Pradier Olympic outdoor wall light
Roger Pradier Olympic outdoor lights on a column
Roger Pradier Square exterior wall light
Roger Pradier Square outdoor light on a pole
Roger Pradier Avenue 4 exterior lighting typologies
Roger Pradier hanging lantern
Roger Pradier illuminated bollards

11. You can add:

• spotlights (a wide range)

Roger Pradier Avenue 3 with integrated spot light

• PIRs

Roger Pradier outdoor wall light with integrated PIR

• and power sockets:

Roger Pradier outdoor power sockets

12.   Leading international designers. Besides their own inhouse specialist designer, Stéphane Joyeux, Roger Pradier also commissions designs from the likes of Patrick Norguet (who has also designed for Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Cappellini and Renault), Philippe Nigro (Hermès, Foscarini, Ligne Roset, Lexus) and the late Cedric Ragot (Roche Bobois, Paco Rabanne, Azzaro).

For a two minute video introducing the company, go here.

To download the general catalogue, go here.

To download the LED catalogue, go here.

Roger Pradier outdoor wall lights on a château

So for the easiest outdoor lighting company to work with, for attractive fittings suited to prestigious locations, competitive prices – and happy clients! – we recommend Roger Pradier.

Roger Pradier Bristol outdoor wall light

Whatever issues you may be wrestling with, the chances are that, during the last 100 years, this specialist company has met and resolved them. If not, there is the current team looking forward to working with you: in this context, it is important to know that they design and make everything in-house.

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Cini&Nils at lightjunction

Our fine lighting event, lightjunction, taking place as part of designjunction during the London Design Festival (17-21 September), has a very specific purpose. It is to increase specifiers’ awareness and understanding of high quality, relevant suppliers of decorative lighting. I'm highlighting some exhibitors in these posts, to give an idea of how the brands were chosen.CINI&NILS

Why learn about Cini&Nils?

Because brands can change. You think you know what they do, but they can develop in new directions. That is the case with Cini&Nils. Theirs seemed to be the purist of decorative lighting collections. Every model fulfilled a specific lighting requirement, or overcame a particular lighting problem. They were designed to meet that need in the best possible way.

The result was very efficient lighting, that also looked good because Form Followed Function.  The approach inevitably led to innovation. For example, theirs was the first mains-powered track system, the Tenso. Still available, still as elegant and versatile as ever, and still with the wide range of light bodies that can be used with it, 2014 saw the addition of the Tensoled:

The Tenso system allows lights to be put where otherwise they could not go: under a vault or a ceiling with frescos, or across a void:

Visit their stand at lightjunction to see the full range of possibilities presented by the Tenso system, and by its small brother, the miniTenso.

But now Cini&Nils are adding to their portfolio purely decorative designs (i.e. they are not created to meet a specific lighting requirement), though they still display an intellectual rigour.

One of the most spectacular is their FormaLa:

What you are seeing is a flexible strip that has LEDs on one side. You can curve it as you like:

Light fittings? Or Art…?

The concept is simple: its realization was not. Obviously, as the strip is bent, one side is stretched and the other side is compressed. Since it can be bent either way, both sides must be able to expand and contract. So a lot of research and development had to go into finding materials that could handle the stresses. Such installations can cover a lot of wall, spectacularly yet economically, creating a major impact, so you’ll want to discuss with them how you can use it.

Assolo explores what can be done with a circle, if one thinks beyond the standard horizontal ring pendant. What if one hung the rings vertically…

…or attached them to a wall, projecting outwards?

They found that they had a minimal, clean fitting — which created fantastic, large patterns. Such a simple way to articulate a plain wall or a ceiling:

There is even an outdoor version!

Having exploited (biggish) circles, Cini&Nils then decided to explore what could be done with (smallish) cubes. The result was the clever Cubismo:

There are two versions…


…that can be combined together to make larger installations.

The lower part is away from the wall and has the lamp behind it. The upper part, being flush to the wall, acts as the reflector. This, combined with the three angled sides of each of the cubes, results in striking chiaroscuro effects:

You can have any RAL colour for a quantity of fifteen or more.

But Cini&NilsCubismo is better seen  than described – another reason to visit their stand at lightjunction!

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General Lighting Stories

lightjunction: trend #6 -- LEDs make possible the use of new forms and materials

lightjunction, our new fine lighting event, will be collocated with designjunction at the Sorting office on New oxford Street during London Design Week, 18-22 September 2013

LEDs produce very little heat and are much smaller than other electric light sources. This means that lights can be made in new shapes, and out of a much wider range of materials, including those that are environmentally sound. The results can be unusual, and are exciting designers who do not normally create lights, such as the Japanese master of folding fashion, Issey Miyake:

Artemide In-Ei pendant light Issey Miyake

We all love paper lanterns. They don’t last long, though, so (except for Vitra’s Noguchi designs) few European lighting companies use paper. But now Artemidehave risen to the challenge. They are cooperating with Issey Miyake to use a paper-like material (in fact, recycled pop bottles) to create a delicate range of lights called In-Ei (Japanese for shadows, shades, nuances).

Artemide Issey Miyake minomushi floor light

They are made using the same mathematical process that he evolved for fashion, that enables a single piece of cloth folded flat to become a three dimensional article of clothing. Ernesto Gismondi, la grande fromage at Artemide says,

"When you see them, you can't help feeling moved; when you understand them, you are full of wonder seeing a future we thought unreachable and couldn't imagine this beautiful."

Such is the power and potential of fine lighting!

Artemide Issey Miyake in-Ei Mendori table light

The new materials that LEDs enable can be sustainable. PET bottles for Artemide (above), and, below, recycled paper for &Tradition, who make Victor Vetterlein's appropriately-named Trash Me out of it. When you have finished with the light, recycle it again!  They say, “like our global culture, it is a product that is ephemeral.” Discuss.

&Tradition Trash Me table light

Shikai Tseng's Ripple for Poetic Lab puts the LED lamp outside what might look like the shade but is, in fact, an unevenly shaped blown-glass form that gently rotates, creating shadows and patterns that are continuously changing, like slow cold, flames:

Poetic Lab Ripple table light

You have to come and see it (and their amazing clock, which is also a light)!

Utterly different again, is Artemide's Reeds, that uses LEDs to light up the "reeds" from the bottom. They gently sway, evoking, they say, "the peace and tranquility of the breeze blowing through reed beds by a lake."

Artemide LED reeds outdoor lights

We have already seen in lightjunction Trend #2 how LEDs are permitting dark woods to be used in ways that would never have been possible before. Here are two more examples.

The first is the strong, simple, beautiful Cloak pendant light from Vitamin -- a ball of oak or walnut with an LED inside that has a thick layer of glass draped (like a cloak) over it:

Vitamin cloak pendant light -oak

You know you want one -- in fact, you'd probably like three in a row. But, in oak (above) or walnut  (below)...?

Vitamin Cloak pendant light - walnut

The second is this wooden pole with a metre of LED strip inside it -- Sticklamp from the Chilean design and architectural studio, Ruiz Solar:

Ruiz Solar Sticklamp linear pendant light

By the way, they are also showing the really cool M100 chair -- so cool (particularly in this copper version) that, though it has no LEDs in it -- it is not a light at all! -- I'm going to show it to you anyway.

Ruiz Solar m100-chair-copper-edition

That would be an inappropriate note upon which to end a post about LEDs, so let me remind you here that, because LEDs are changing so fast, I have asked Megaman to present one of the daily half-hour lightjunction training sessions. No lamp maker is more committed to evolving LED light sources that meet the needs of decorative lighting makers, as this silver topped LED GLS demonstrates:

megaman-led-crown-silver lamp

thanks to which, we can continue to use iconic designs like Michele De Lucchi's Gloriette ceiling light for Produzione Privata:

Produzione Privata glorietta ciling light

Megaman will bring us up-to-date with what LEDs are doing well, and what that are not doing well, at this stage in their development. We are seeing hotel groups insisting that all light sources are LEDs. This is like saying that all cooking must be done in a microwave, so we have got to do all we can to enable specifiers like you to know when LEDs are appropriate and when they are not (yet).

Of course, they'll have to give the same presentation again next year because LEDs are changing so fast -- but that is part of the issue. So, to end, here is a Megaman LED light source -- amazingly (given how small it has to be), a retrofit G9:

megaman-g9-led lamp

 And an elegant candle lamp:

lightjunction 18 22 September 2013
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lightjunction: David Trubridge wins Best Lighting award at Dwell on Design in LA

David Trubridge Manuka Shadowslightjunction, our new fine lighting event, will be collocated with designjunction at the Sorting Office on New Oxford Street during London Design Week, 18-22 September 2013

Dwell on Design in Los Angeles is one of America's most prominent design events. David Trubridge's recent attendance at this prestigious fair was heralded by an unexpected win; his Manuka Light won the Best Lighting category:

David Trubridge at Dwell on Design 2013

This contemporary pendant received great interest from the public and its recognition as an outstanding piece truly delights us all.

Inspired by the Manuka, a tea tree indigenous to New Zealand (and source of the laughably expensive honey)...

wikiFile Manuka flowers

...David's Manuka Light creates a delicate and intricate array of interlinking patterns on the surrounding surfaces.

David Trubridge manuka pendant light

Who needs wallpaper when you can have such beautiful shadow-play?

The Manuka Light uses LED lights and is made from bamboo ply and translucent polycarbonate.

David Trubridge Manuka pendant light


It is delivered flat-packed and comes in two sizes. Here's David Trubridge modelling them (he was feeling a bit washed out that day).

David Trubridge Manuka pendant light sizes


lightjunction 18 22 September 2013

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It is so, so easy to use Azimut spot lights!

Azimut bi pro explanatory image 560When recommending Azimut AR111 spot lights, we are usually pointing out their practicality (you can point the lamp wherever you want) and the design heritage, that goes back to the 1960s, when Christian Girard was lighting fashionable Paris night clubs and shops, and the houses of people like Johnny Hallyday. As an example of their use, here is the Abseitz concept store in Stuttgart, lit by Gregor Scholz.

Abseit Stuttgart Azimut lights

The main luminaire being used is the Bi-Pro -- two lamps in one fitting...

Abseit Stuttgart Azimut spot lights

...that he was able to use in a variety of locations:

Abseit Stuttgart Azimut spot lightsThese were using halogen lamps, but the Azimut range is now fully exploiting a very high quality LED AR111 -- a LED 11-A1:

Azimut LED 11-A1 glare-freeContact us for the specifications.

But the point of this post is very simple. The Azimut lights are so easy to use because the lighting bodies are attached to the base by magnets. Why this is such a good thing becomes clear as soon as we demonstrate it to you. But for those that haven't seen us do this, Azimut have now produced a little film!


Now do you see?!

Azimut LED AR111 light


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