As experts in heritage lighting, Victorian lighting styles are ingrained in our very being; we’ve been producing interior and exterior Victorian lighting since 1837.  Here we take a look at the difference between Victorian and Edwardian lighting styles and some of our top picks.


How to approach period lighting.

Before deciding on a lighting scheme it is important not only to consider the design and the look you’re trying to achieve, but also to consider the functionality of the space.  There are three main types of lighting we suggest thinking about before getting started…

  • Ambient lighting: This is the light that allows you to use the space. This essentially  replaces daylight and make the space safe when it is dark, whether this is inside a building or outside (streetlights for instance).
  • Task lighting: This is specific lighting that allows you to perform a task (as the name suggests!) For instance, a reading light that allows you to read a book in the evening when it is dark outside, or a desk light that.  In an outside environment this may be a streetlight or a light at your front door or in your porch to allow you to open the lock safely and easily when returning home in the dark.
  • Accent and feature lighting: This type of lighting is very design led and will bring attention and focus to a specific area. This may be a piece of furniture, an artwork or a sculpture or specific area of planting in a garden. It will add interest to the space and also serves as decoration.

Victoria Back Lamp – Electric

Lighting and design styles: Victorian vs. Edwardian

Period lighting can create a wonderful mood for your home and garden alike.  Whether it’s highlighting a piece of art, using lighting as decoration or creating a comfortable and homely mood with ambient lighting, it’s important to get it right.  You need to be able to use the space appropriately as well as make sure it looks good.  So before you start, make sure you consider the style you’re aiming for.

Victorian design is known for being detailed, eclectic and elaborate.  It was a time of experimentation and bold design and Victorian lighting spans across candles, gas, oil lamps and electric lighting so functions were varied too.  Typically Edwardian features, although subtle in some settings, vary in comparison.  Here is a comparison of the main features of Victorian vs. Edwardian design…

Victorian lighting features

  • Bay windows
  • Brickwork porch
  • Colourful brickwork
  • Dark wooden furniture and floors
  • Elaborate design
  • Fireplaces (often in every room)
  • Geometric tiled hallways
  • High pitched roof
  • Narrow hallway
  • Ornate gable trim
  • Patterned and floral wallpaper
  • Stained glass windows

Edwardian lighting features

  • Brighter rooms
  • Houses built in a straight line
  • Mock-Tudor cladding and timbers at the top of the house
  • Parquet wood floors
  • Red brickwork
  • Simple decorative features
  • Wide hallways
  • Wide rooms
  • Wooden frame porch

How to get the period lighting look

One of the great things about Victorian lighting reproduction is that beautiful, historical designs can be built to be easy to use, and last, by featuring modern lighting technologies. The William Sugg team are handcrafting experts and use modern technologies and methodologies to eliminate the technological pitfalls often associated with the past.   Consider your space and how you want that space to be used, and then go for lighting design which reflects the era and design style.  And why not add some flair and create something totally bespoke?  There are so many options available.


Our ‘Top Victorian picks’

Once you’ve decided what functionality and design you’re going for, this iconic style is easy to achieve.  Here are some of our top picks and best sellers.

  • Victoria back lamp. These stunning back lamps, designed over 100 years ago, were originally created to light narrow passageways of Victorian London. 
  • Windsor lantern range. The Windsor lantern range is the definitive Victorian style and a best seller for exterior lighting and street lighting. These lanterns are available in a range of sizes and are handcrafted in copper. 
  • Richmond Globe. A stunning and eye catching piece that speaks for itself! 
  • Flambeaux lighting. For a touch of glamour and intrigue, flambeaux lights are a stunning addition to outdoor spaces. Here’s one of our favourites – the Stoke Flambeau 

Have an original heritage light fitting that needs bringing back to life?  Take a look at our restoration services.