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Loomlight supplies reclaimed retro and vintage industrial lighting to suit every interior. We took some time out to speak to founder Andy Iliffe about his background, his business and his tips for sourcing original industrial lighting.
How did Loomlight begin and is there a story behind the name?
Loomlight began in 2012 with just myself working on it in those days, in my house and shed. I worked on the business in my spare time whilst also maintaining my “day job”. It grew quickly so I had to find workshop premises as we continued to expand. We are now a family run Leicestershire-based company with a global client base.
We are lighting specialists and wanted our company name to reflect this. We liked the word “Loom” because of its connections with our product. “Lumiere” means light in French. “Hierloom” because the build quality of our light fixtures are second to none and the design is completely timeless so they can be passed down through generations. “Wiring looms” is an assembly of electrical cables or wires which transmit electrical power.
You previously worked as a lighting engineer and designer. Can you tell us about this?
I started out as a lighting technician back in 2001, which involved many years installing lighting systems for concerts all over the world. This would often mean spending up to 8 months away touring lights for bands performing at arenas and festivals throughout Europe, Russia & Australia.
What made you decide to set up your own lighting business?
After the relentless time away from home and with kids on the way, it was time for a change, so I was already thinking about business ideas and what I was going to do next.
During a family holiday we fell upon an amazing salvage yard, where we spent too much time. There were all sorts of amazing items, and it was here that we bought five small reclaimed industrial lights with a vision to restore and sell them. Interest was high and so the business continued to grow from there.
“My connections with interesting sources in the UK are great too and it is here on home territory that I find some fantastic fixtures from disused factories and warehouses.”
Loomlight salvages and restores original industrial lights. Where do you source them from?
I source our lights from shipbreaking regions off the Bay of Bengal & Arabian Gulf where the majority of the world’s ships are sent to be recycled. My relationships with our suppliers in these areas is good and long-standing which now means I can source the best and most unique industrial lighting on offer. This also means we benefit from being able to source some of our fixtures in large quantities.
My connections with interesting sources in the UK is great too and it is here on home territory that I find some fantastic fixtures from dis-used factories and warehouses.
Can you tell us about the restoration process?
We have extremely high standards so the restoration process is thorough and can be quite time consuming. Before each light fixture leaves the workshop it has been dis-assembled, paint is stripped and every component is then highly polished or a bespoke finish is applied. All of our strip lights come with a warranty and that is all down to the work we have put in to restoring these fixtures.
Sometimes we find components that may have perished or broken so need replacing. We source parts as close to the original as we can find, often from the original manufacturers. If these parts are no longer available, we’ll manufacture the necessary part in our workshop. Glass can be a tricky one. It is often broken or scarred by the acetelyne torches that are used to break up the vessels. Finding glass with a convex form or explosion proof dome of very specific dimensions is often difficult. However this is what we specialise in, so we have become very good at sourcing bespoke items.
A reclaimed vintage industrial mild steel and brass table lamp conversion. The salvaged passageway light was taken from a de-commissioned super tanker.
What are the main challenges that you face when restoring original lights and making them fit for use in modern interiors?
Initially the main challenge was ensuring that we adhered to electric standards across the globe. We only use CE approved, Ex.Class, or UL listed electrical components, depending on which country we are sending the fixtures to. We are often asked to provide UL certification for the US market and CE certification & compliance with the Low Voltage Directive in Europe. We factory test for electrical safety and provide certificates for the wiring and electrical hardware. Our aim is to always restore the fixture back to its original specification.
Who are your customers?
A large percentage of our clients are US and UK based interior designers. We also supply commercial developers and a variety of different hospitality clients who generally are looking for something out of the ordinary or bespoke. We have over 130 fixtures installed into a new development in Paddington, London. On top of this we also have plenty of individuals looking to buy one off fixtures for their homes.
Can you tell us about your most recent Loomlight projects and installations?
We have recently had a variety of requests for bespoke finishes such as different rust effects, acrylic mirror gold paint and bright copper veneering. Due to the size and nature of our company we have the advantage of being highly flexible and can respond to these bespoke requests with ease, offering our clients a tailored service and original product.
We have recently completed an interesting order to add copper veneer finish to a number of fixtures which are being installed into an exclusive Argentinian polo club. We are looking forward to seeing the final photos of these lights in situ so we can share them on our website and Instagram profile.
We would like to thank Andy for taking the time to talk to Warehouse Home. For more information, visit his website.
Reclaimed vintage industrial Korean flameproof striplight made by Daeyang in the 1970's with an applied rust finish.