We love Elstead lighting, and so do our customers. Elstead specialises in designing and manufacturing lighting that seamlessly blends quality, style and great looks, both classic and contemporary. They’re based in Britain, in rural Hampshire, and a lot of their gorgeous products are actually made on-site rather than abroad.
Elstead uses contemporary manufacturing techniques and machinery to support a wealth of traditional hand-crafting skills. They sell their beautiful wares across the world, in more than sixty countries, lighting up everything from homes to hotels, restaurants to cafes, parks and gardens, stately homes and public buildings. As you can imagine, Elstead outdoor lights are one of our top sellers.
Elstead Lighting’s fabulous Exterior Collection is particularly popular. It includes a huge choice of outdoor light fittings, everything from wall lights and chain lanterns to actual lamp posts, with fresh new designs added all the time. They even take our wonderful British weather into account – the gorgeous Kinsale Chain Lantern, for example, is made from tough black polymer material with transparent polycarbonate diffusers, specially designed to be corrosion proof and resist impact. When you live by the coast where the air is notoriously salty and corrosive, and cast iron rusts in no time, this level of attention to detail is really important.
Classical influences drive the design and style of Elstead products, enhanced by traditional welding and patination skills to create truly distinctive products with a personality all their own. But there’s more. The company also takes the very best in 110 Volt North American designer lighting from six respected US makers and alters them to suit UK voltages. Many of these fantastic lights are hand-made or hand-finished, and everything Elstead does is quality checked to very high standards.
This is a proper family business. MD Managing Director Jonathan Lucas is the son and nephew of the previous owners Stephen and Geoffrey Lucas. But the company actually goes back a very long way, beginning life as ‘The Elstead Forge’ back in 1686, in the tiny Surrey village of the same name.
Geoffrey Lucas took over the forge in 1967, making mostly gates, railings, fire baskets, hearth accessories and the occasional light. Whenever the forge was asked to make a light, they made a couple of extras and put them on display. They sold like hot cakes, so Geoffrey designed and made more. And the rest is history. It’s amazing how such a seemingly simple thing can lead to such a successful business, but that’s what happened, a journey that led the business to the internationally respected company it is today.
Geoffrey and his brother Stephen continued to grow the business through the 1970s, eventually building a new factory at the Mill Lane Industrial Estate in Alton, Hampshire. In 1979 Jonathan, the current MD, then just nineteen, joined Elstead Forge as a salesman. The company soon outgrew the new premises and took on an extra unit at Alton in 1984. By now they were specialising in lighting, so changed their name to Elstead Lighting Ltd.
1990 saw Geoffrey retire and Jonathan become co-director alongside his dad Stephen. The latest new premises came into being in the early 2000s, complete with a huge showroom and named Elstead House. Jonathan became the sole Managing Director in 2008 when his dad retired, joined by his wife Deborah, who is now the company’s Marketing Director.
In 2012 Elstead went global thanks to a brilliant partnership deal with the popular North American lighting brands Feiss, Hinkley, Quoizel and Flambeau, enabling them to sell American designer lighting into countries with 240v systems. 2014 saw the American brand Stiffel added to the stable of US designers, and in 2015 US brand Kichler joined in as well.
These days Elstead designs and makes more than 2,500 lighting products, representing one of the biggest collections of decorative lighting in Britain. We’re delighted to stock them, and we’re thrilled to be part of such a great British success story. When you want quality, style, great design and sheer variety, they’re spot on.