floor light


Estro's bespoke lighting for luxury hotels and restaurants

Estro are leading specialists in custom lighting (and bathroom accessories) for hotels and restaurants, so they are central to our mission.

We go to them for fully bespoke lights in quantity. They are based in Tuscany, so they deliver all the convenience of: high Italian standards of craftsmanship; ease of communication; short runs and single samples; plus quick deliveries. If necessary, one can fly in to Pisa and be in their factory by lunchtime! And they have proved exemplary in handling aftersales issues promptly, efficiently and cheerfully. In other words, totally different to sourcing in China – which would be irrelevant if Estro's prices were not competitive, but they are. Amazingly so. And they are nice people. ;-)

They have another brand, Luminara, that makes a diverse range of luxury lights that are more suited to public areas and residences, so if you work on such projects, do still come to the Estro’s stand and see what they have to offer.

It is difficult to give an impression of the production of a supplier of custom lighting because of the variety of their production, much of which is dictated by the designs and requirements of the interior designers, rather than by the maker themselves. Estro do have fine, relevant collections in several catalogues — a Classic, a Contemporary and a Luxury one, plus one for bathrooms (lights and accessories), but they are a starting point, really. So what I thought I’d do is show you some pictures of interiors that have Estro lights. They will need no comment from me – you’ll be able to see for yourself what I would point out. And pictures of interiors (and exteriors) are much more interesting than pictures of lights, aren’t they….

Finally, Estro have introduced a third brand, Idèo, for cordless lights, taking advantage of the low power consumption of LEDs. Unlike most others, theirs have a traditional look (the one you can see in the Monte Carlo picture above is a powered version):

They are also available in a bronze finish, as seen here on the table light:

So, Estro is a very important company for anybody involved in specifying for luxury hotels and restaurants!

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lightjunction: CTO's show of strength

CTO Braque table light set

 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

CTO's display at lightjunction will include three designs,  launched at Maison et Objet in January, that demonstrate their understanding of trends and of the UK market.

Braque, above, is a table light with a sculptural bronze base that recalls the slender, hand finished bronze work of Alberto Giacometti. Also, with its three offset feet, it could be a Martian that has come to visit, waiting patiently on the console table to be taken out for a walk....

CTO Braque table lightCTO's high standards extend to the silk-covered cable. It is sad how often a good light is let down by shoddy details, such as plastic flex and poor quality switches.

CTO Heron floor light set

Whereas the Heron floor-standing reading light is plain, minimalist. It is in a finish that is both traditional and appropriate for a light fitting of this kind. The result is that there is no interior into which it would not fit.

CTO Heron floor lightThe head can be angled and the switch is on the top of it -- i.e. within easy reach (no having to get up to try to find a blob on the cable on the floor to stomp on).

Let's hear it for good reading lights -- allowing the rest of the room to be in soft, dark shadow, with just the light from the flickering flames of the fire adding movement and warmth.

CTO Harvey rectangular pendant  light

Nowadays, most dining tables have to be rectangular, sadly, rather than round. In lighting terms this implies a row of three pendants or a single rectangular pendant. CTO's Harvey is the latter.

Superficially, it is one of a class of dark brass frames that have clear glass, designed to show off the squirrel cage lamps inside. But, hugely popular as these lamps currently are, they are being phased out.

CTO have anticipated this by replacing the clear glass with a bronze tinted polycarbonate that will warm the light coming from whatever light sources we are allowed to use in the future and, by having a ribbed pattern in the polycarbonate, the profile of the lamp is broken up. So however dreary the State-imposed lamp may be, this pendant light will add interest to it.

CTO Harvey rectangular pendant light


In other words, three practical, well-made, carefully designed, well priced lights.

lightjunction 18 22 September 2013



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Seven fine outdoor standard lamps

Luceplan grande costanza open air floor light outdoor exterior Over the past few years, there has been a growing trend towards outdoor versions of indoor lights. This allows for the creation of outdoor rooms. You can also take a light and repeat it, first indoors and then outdoors. If you have a large plate glass window, the parade of lights can be seamless, powerfully connecting the exterior space with the interior space.

Here is an exterior version of Luceplan's iconic Costanza -- the Grande Costanza Open Air:

Luceplan Grance-air-01-21322-1The shade can be off-white, "rust" or light green. The structure can be white, aluminium or -- as in the top picture -- rust (a good finish for an outdoor light).

In most territories, there are no specific IP ratings required for outdoor lights. Instead, the manufacturer must make every aspect of the luminaire suitable for exterior use. This is not just a question of electrical safety: they also have to think about the effect of rain, sun, sand, salt and wind on the structure and materials.

This is what is going on inside the Grande Costanza shade...

Luceplan grande costanza open air detail

...the lamp and its holder are inside a sealed glass tube.

FontanaArte's Amax seems the odd one out in this company because it is so big. There are two versions: H205cm Ø82cm, or a humungous H240 Ø109cm (but then the indoor Amax is very big as well). Its size gives it a visual impact from a distance that smaller lights could never have.

FontanaArte amax terra outdoor floor light exterior standard lamp

To really get the effect of a standard lamp, it's fun to have a shade made from something that looks like a fabric that you might use in a drawing room.

Plis, one of Vibia's two outdoor standard lamps...

Vibia Plis 4035 outdoor standard lamp exterior floor light

...has a warm-toned polyethylene shade that is ribbed, as if it was made with ribbon.

Vibia Plis outdoor standard lamp detail

Whereas their Wind has an open weave shade that is in fact made from glass fibre filaments (in green, orange, white or black).

Vibia Wind 4055 outdoor standard lamp exterior floor light

The shade of Marset's lovely TXL is also made from fibre glass and plastic, to give a warm, fabric-like effect:

Marset TXL pitdopor standard lamp exterior floor lightLike several of these outdoor standard lamps, TXL is part of a family of outdoor versions of indoor lights. Here is the pendant (in the snow):

Marset TXL outdoor standard lamp exterior floor light

Bover's fine wicker (actually a polyethylene fibre) Fora...

Bover fora pie outdoor standard lamp exterior floor light

has a matching table light:

Bover fora mesa outdoor table light

However, all the lights so far have to be plugged in, but you are not going to have power sockets all around your garden, park or beach, as you do in the rooms of your house. Ideally, therefore, you would be able to pick up your standard lamp and plonk it down anywhere.

Those really nice people at Viteo thought this too and so came up with Zoe...

viteo zoe outdoor standard lamp exterior floor light cordless...which has solar panels on the top. About fifteen hours charging give five to six hours of light from the 7W 3000K LED light source. But what if you don't want a cordless version? That's OK: Viteo have introduced Zoe Basic, which you plug in -- just like all the others!

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Milan 2013: Penta's Tic Toc -- two outsize designs and 528 options!


...and there you have it -- two great designs with four shade options (two round and two square).

The glass bases come in six colours...

penta tic toc glass colour options

...and the four shade options come in a choice of five colours of linen and six colours of silk...

penta tic toc shade fabric options

...which I make to be 528 easy-to-understand alternatives.

The result is a wide choice of large, elegant, forthright, lights from Penta.

They are great in themselves, yet they are also particularly useful for contract. The range of options means not only that you are more likely to find a standard combination that suits your interior, but also you can have several lights from the same family, all of them  in different shapes and colours.

Coloured glass shapes in such large sizes are difficult to make, which means that outsize coloured glass lights like this are rare, and really make a statement (more or less of one, depending upon the colours you choose). Here are the dimensions:

Penta tic toc floor light table light dimensions

So they can be lowish floor lights or largish table lights.

They are a development on from Penta's really useful line of table lights, New Classics, the Bon Ton...

penta new classic bon ton table lights

...the Desir...

Penta NEW CLASSIC Desir table light

...and the Pascia...

Penta NEW CLASSIC Pascia table light

...for which there are three possible shade shapes. The tallest combination of base and shade is H100cm.

Penta also do a range of floor-standing New Classics:

Penta New Classic Terra floor lights


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Milan 2013: Penta's Glo Mini -- great singly, fabulous in clusters

PENTA GLO MINI PENDANT LIGHT SE Penta have introduced a mini version of their Glo, wisely named Glo Mini. They have also introduced two new colours: black and the (very fashionable at the moment) rose gold:


This means that there are now three sizes of pendant and three sizes of table light (plus a floor light)...

Penta Glo table light floor light pendant light dimensions

...available in six colours:

Penta Glo glass options

Each diffuser is made from borosilicate glass with a frosted glass inner shade that not only prevents glare, but also ensures that the lamp cannot be seen, an important consideration when all the lamps that you would not mind seeing will have been banned by politicians by 2016.

The result is round glass shades (for which we are being asked a lot at the moment) but without the bulb problem, in a variety of colours and sizes that mean they work well individually...

PENTA Glo set

Penta GLO table light rose gold

Penta GLO floor light

...and are one of the best designs from which to create a cluster, mixing sizes and colours as you like:

Penta GLO Multiple Composition

Glo is designed for Penta by Carlo Colombo.

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