Best Lighting 2024: Best floor lamps, chandeliers and wall lights | British GQ

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Best Lighting 2024: Best floor lamps, chandeliers and wall lights | British GQ

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By Ali Howard and Britta O'Boyle

Of all the design disciplines, lighting is one of the most boundlessly innovative. Where form and function come together with dazzling results, we’re seeing some truly original lighting designs emerge on the market. We need good lighting all year round, but it’s a particular concern during the winter months with the shortest days threatening to dampen our mood.

When furnishing our homes, this means it’s important to consider the best ambient lighting for the space. Think about using multiple light sources, whether that’s with table lamps, standard lamps, fancy lamp bases or wall sconces, to create the perfect atmosphere. A directional floor lamp can offer a cosy reading spot; a sculptural sconce can throw light upwards and give you interesting shadows, while a large pendant hung low over a dining table has the ability to bring family and friends together under a pool of light.

Featuring options from some of our favourite furniture stores, from Pooky to Heal's and Soho Home, we've compiled an edit of the best lighting options for every situation, to help make one of the trickier home purchases a little bit easier. And if it's a desk lamp or an outdoor light you need in particular, you check out our individual guides to those.

Skip to: Which lights are the best? | Why do we need different types of lighting? | How do I light a large, open-plan room? | Which light bulbs should I use? | What are the best pendant lights? | What are the best floor lamps to buy in 2024? | What are the best table lamps to buy in 2024? | What are the best wall lights to buy in 2024? | What are the best chandeliers to buy in 2024?

Heal's Ribbon LED Ceiling Pendant

With its series of undulating and overlapping curves, this sculptural pendant demands to be the focal point of any room. Thanks to its impressive dimensions, it works particularly well over a long dining table and it uses LED lights too.

If you’re looking to elevate your WFH space, this elegant table lamp works just as well as a desk light. But with its angular brass stem, and its chic conical black shade, it is far from office-like.

Ridotti Raffia and Burnished Brass Floor Lamp

Mixing natural materials and shrewd design, this stylish floor lamp is a true original. Its raffia disc pivots to give you directional light, while the bulb picks out the material’s golden hues. A design-led ray of sunshine.

While bright, overhead lighting has its place, the use of multiple light sources, or layering, gives you greater control over the mood you want to create. It can also take you from day to night, gently easing you from task lighting into a cosy evening for example, which in turn sets you up for a restful sleep. Different types of lighting offer different functions too. For example, a directional table lamp gives you focused light where you need it, while a large, centred ceiling light will illuminate the entire space.

The different lighting solutions you’ll need to consider also depend on which room you are adding light fixtures to. Bathroom lighting for example, has to meet specific requirements to ensure it is safe to install where water is present and it is typically more functional, while you – or an interior designer – might opt for bolder lighting ideas for your living room as you have more freedom to experiment in larger spaces.

The key to illuminating an open-plan space is zoning. Just as you can zone a room with rugs and furniture pieces, you can also create areas of interest with clever lighting choices. In a large, open-plan kitchen, for example, a row of pendants throws light and focus over an island, while a relaxed seating area will benefit from an overreaching floor lamp.

Bright overhead spotlights meanwhile bring the whole space together, but it can be too stark and clinical in a larger room, so choose a dimmable option or ones with varying degrees of white light. Whatever combination of lighting you choose, be sure to pick high-quality options rather than just ones that suit your home decor.

Whether you’re investing in a contemporary chandelier, or you’re purchasing a simple linen lampshade to go with your vintage standard lamp, there are always guidelines from the manufacturer about which light bulbs are best suited and the maximum wattage (or wattage equivalent) you should use.

Beyond that, think about whether your bulb will be visible and an important element of the design: there are some brilliantly retro filament-style bulbs available for this purpose, but you also might want to consider energy saving options as filament . If you are layering your lighting, remember to go low with the wattage as multiple lights will have a cumulative effect on the overall brightness of your space.

Typically featuring a single light source, this ceiling-hung fixture can come in all shapes and sizes, whilst also accommodating various bulbs from energy-efficient to colour temperature options, and a multitude of light shades and lighting styles. Hang your stylish pendant low to give it the attention it deserves.

Reasons to buy: With its large glass amber-coloured shade, this unapologetically retro number brings homely warmth and instant relaxation to any living space.

The ’70s revival is a huge interiors trend for SS24 and this statement pendant hits all the right notes. Inspired by Soho House’s Little House West Hollywood, the sizeable shade has been handblown by skilled Venetian artisans, giving it its attractive globular shaping and its funky stepped form. The pendant is crafted from glass that’s been dyed using organic powders to give it a wonderfully warm and homely amber glow, while it’s transparent enough to show off an industrial-style filament lightbulb inside. Suspended on an adjustable tensile cable, there’s also the option to hang it low for a cosy, laid-back look. From £1,356. At

Heal's Ribbon LED Ceiling Pendant

Reasons to buy: This sculptural pendant is a veritable work of art. It offers an imposing presence, it brings a sense of movement to the room, and it’s also handily dimmable.

Where residential lighting meets gallery-worthy sculpture, this arresting light fitting deserves pride of place. The LED pendant features looping curves, which successfully mimic the kind of rhythmic ribbons used in gymnastics – the very definition of playful design. Yet with its chic satin gold frame, the pendant equally epitomises grown-up glamour. Most impressive, though is its size. At 150cm in width, it offers an imposing presence, demanding attention whether hung low over an elongated dining table, or as a statement centrepiece in the living room. £503. At

A lofty floor, or standard, lamp can have an imposing presence in any living space, choose a standalone light with bags of personality.

So'Home Metal Tripod Floor Lamp

Reasons to buy: Slender in form but industrial in its design roots, this nifty tripod floor lamp is equally at home in the living room, dining room, kitchen or bedroom.

While some bulky tripod-style floor lamps wouldn’t look out of place on a big budget film set, this one offers more of a soft industrial vibe. And that’s largely thanks to its pure white colourway. The metal lamp also boasts a slender silhouette with its delicate long legs supporting a small and simple directional shade. In contrast to the white, a looped piece in tan mimics a leather strap, while brass accents award the lamp a hint of glamour. This is a versatile floor lamp that will elevate any contemporary living space. £77 £55. At

Ridotti Raffia and Burnished Brass Floor Lamp

Reasons to buy: Inspired by the laid-back décor of the 1970s, this design-led lamp makes a statement in any living space. It’s also handily directional.

There’s so much to love about Lights & Lamps’ Ridotti. The statement floor lamp features a large satellite-like disc in natural raffia, a smooth central bubble glass globe, and a slim, burnished brass stem that stands on elegant tripod legs. Once illuminated, the light picks up the warm golden hues of the surrounding raffia, while the oversized disc can pivot on the stem, allowing you to control the direction of the light. We love this one for its bold mix of materials and its truly original form. £229 £115. At

Houseof Pink Diffuser Floor Lamp

Reasons to buy: This exceptionally stylish and cool floor lamp has a gorgeous matte finish and is available in a range of colour options, perfect for adding a statement.

If you're looking for one of the coolest floor lamps out there, you're looking right at it. The Houseof Pink Diffuser Floor Lamp is available in five different colour hues ranging from this dusty pink to a sunshine yellow, with blue, black and grey in between. Our favourite is the pink but they are all gorgeous and you just can't beat a matte finish in our opinion. The Diffuser Floor Lamp offers a tripod base that suspends over an oversized dome shade, diffusing the integrated LED light into a warm glow. It won't offer much functional light, but it's unapologetically trendy and it will look fabulous in any living room or bedroom, whether it is switched on or not. £299. At

Where there’s a surface there’s space for a table lamp. Choose wisely and fill your living room with multiple light sources for a softer look.

Reasons to buy: Thanks to its versatile design, this stylish light is equally at home on an office desktop, a nightstand, or in the living or dining room.

This piece sits perfectly between a decorative table lamp and a functional desk light, making it a versatile number. It’s fashioned from a mix of iron and brass and features a slender stem with a simple, conical shade in contrasting matte black. But what makes the Wilder really stand out is its sharp, angular shaping. The metal frame is almost gravity-defying in its unexpected bends while the shade is counterbalanced with a simple brass bar at the foot of the lamp. Its slimline silhouette means it's also a stylish space-saver. £160 £80. At

John Lewis Harmony Ribbon Small Table Lamp

Reasons to buy: Offering a lovely neutral design, this table lamp will complement a range of decors whilst also being part of a collection if you want extra lighting

The John Lewis Harmony Ribbon Table Lamp makes us feel relaxed just looking at an image of it, let alone having it on our bedside table. Its curvy silhouette is lightweight, minimalist and it will look great in a range of environments. Whether you want something for the coffee table in your living room, the chest of drawers in your bedroom, its ribbon design allows it to blend in anywhere. When on, the central light glows through the ribbon detail but this is a table lamp that will look as impressive off, as it does on. £70. At

Reasons to buy: The Joan Table Lamp's has a simple but very effective design, tapping into the industrial trend. It's a very reasonable price too.

If the industrial style is what you've picked for your home, then consider the Joan Table Lamp to add some personality to a side table in your lounge or your bedside table in the bedroom. The combination of metal, material loop and frosted shade make for a very chic table lamp in our opinion. The brass detailing at the bottom of the thin stem and the top of the bulb, coupled with the bolts that connect the bulb to the frame make for a very interesting feature lamp. It won't deliver the best task lighting perhaps, but it will most certainly add a lovely ambience to any room it is placed in. £40. At

Thanks to their ingenious design, these stylish lights and sconces may be wall-mounted, but they are no shrinking violets.

Reasons to buy: With its industrial design roots and its rich mix of natural materials, this circular wall light may be small but it gives a big impact.

Pooky might be best known for its heavily patterned empire lampshades, but its contemporary wall light game is also strong. The Plato playfully mimics an industrial outdoor light, thanks to its circular shaping, but make no mistake, this one’s designed to elevate an indoor living space. The dimmable light is crafted from brass and unusually, alabaster. Like marble, the calcite material boasts naturally occurring tonal variations as well as some clouding and veining, giving it a beautiful visual texture, especially when it’s lit from behind. This small but mighty sconce is illuminated via two small internal bulbs. £148. At

Reasons to buy: This sculptural sconce offers an ethereal quality and brings a sense of calm to any sleep space. Double up for pleasing symmetry on your bedroom wall.

Designed to look beautiful on the wall whether illuminated or not, the Anders wall light features a fluid design with fold upon fold of natural material. Seemingly soft but reliably rigid, the fabric is made from layers of banana plant fibre and has been skilfully draped and stitched around a central light fitting. Sculptural in form and deeply textured, the sconce plays with organic shapes and shadows, and that becomes even more apparent once lit up. Thanks to its natural makeup, no two pieces are exactly the same – grab yourself a unique light fitting that’s guaranteed to become a talking point. £1,170. At

John Lewis SES LED Single Spotlight

Reasons to buy: Made from durable metal with chrome detailing, this focused and functional spotlight is great for any living room or bedroom

The market of wall lights is vast, but while some on our list of the best wall lights are more decorative, this SES LED Single Spotlight option from John Lewis is both functional and fashionable. The metal finish and chrome detailing nod towards the industrial trend, complementing a range of interiors, but it's the focused lighting you'll get from this number that will make it more useful than many wall lights. You can tilt the dome-shaped shade to direct light where you need it, allowing you to highlight a painting perhaps, or a corner of the room for reading. This one isn't dimmable unfortunately, but it certainly looks the part. £35. At

Forget the grandiose, dust-gathering pieces of yesteryear, contemporary chandelier design is playful and innovative – but it is no less spectacular.

Reasons to buy: If you like the idea of a classic chandelier but you’re tempted by modern forms, this one cleverly gives you a traditional silhouette with a 21st century twist.

This striking contemporary chandelier features six glass globes that seemingly balance without support on its powder-coated black metal frame. This is, of course, a trick of the eye and the shades are tightly fixed, but we appreciate the playfulness of the illusion. There’s also a pleasing symmetry to this light fitting, and without a hanging crystal in sight, its long looping cords cleverly echo the shaping of a traditional chandelier with swooping arms. The globes are light grey in colour, which offers a gently diffused light and gives the piece an overall ethereal quality, in contrast to its stark industrial frame. £2,914 £2,476. At

Dunelm Vogue Forsan 6 Light Flush Chandelier

Reasons to buy: The Dunelm Vogue Forsan chandelier offers a designer feel for a lot less money than you might expect. The black finish is lovely too.

In a far cry from what the traditional chandelier offers, Dunelm's Vogue Forsan 6 Light Flush Chandelier appeals with its modern styling and gorgeous matte black finish. Bulbs aren't included which means you have the freedom to play with the sleek and minimalist design here, whether you choose to add filament bulbs for the ultimate trendy look, or perhaps smart lights to add some colour to your home. We see this making a statement over a dining room table, but its angular lines and bold look could make for a fabulous focal point in a bedroom too. £139. At

Reasons to buy: Forget understated glamour, this vintage-style chandelier offers all-out fabulousness. As with all of BHS’s lighting output, it is also incredibly wallet-friendly, yet it looks much more luxurious than it is.

For those in the know, BHS continues to deliver on its design-led yet tantalisingly affordable lighting offering, and the ‘Emily’ is a case in point. The chandelier boasts a shiny chrome frame, which gives the piece a contemporary edge, but it is the abundance of cascading crystal effect beading that makes this one utterly deco-fabulous. While naturally lighter than real crystal, the chandelier maintains a good, weighted drop, which gives it its pleasing curves. And just like the real thing, these crystals catch the light beautifully, bouncing it around the room to dazzling effect. £320. At

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