Celebrating ten years of the London light, Charlie Bowles, Original BTC

By Matt Balmer
June 20, 2019

Charlie Bowles, Director of Original BTC, discusses why he is so proud of the first light he designed

June 2019

I CREATED THE London in 2009 – it was my first lighting design for Original BTC, the same year I joined the company. This year we celebrate its 10th anniversary, which makes me tremendously proud. I am now involved in many areas of the business – sales, marketing, shows, exhibitions, the showrooms…, but designing the London remains a career highlight.

To describe it, I would say it is a retro-flavoured table light with a spun aluminium semi-sphere shade and a solid chromed base. It has cotton-braided fl ex woven through its curved chrome arm to match the colour of the shade – yellow, putty grey or black. Today, it is one of our bestsellers.

My inspiration came from two of my favourite movements: Mid-century Scandi and the Bauhaus. The latter appeals to me both aesthetically and intellectually, for its clean lines and sense of logic. Its great names placed huge value on lighting and its impact on atmosphere and effect on perception and behaviour. When I design, I think about how lighting can create emotion, a sense of wellbeing, or a particular mood. To me, the London means business – when I sit down at my desk and switch it on, I’m ready to focus.

I think the design has lasted because of its simplicity and the use of quality materials which combine to make it timeless. It’s smart and functional as well as pleasing to the eye. I love its proportions, clean lines and the detail – I’m a stickler for detail. The coloured flex threaded through the arm is subtle but striking at the same time and gives it a tailored finish I find satisfying. I particularly like the yellow version. I’ve put my designer hat on several times to consider what I could adjust to improve it, but there isn’t a thing I’d change.

London has even made it into the movies – it appeared in several films including Men in Black, X-Men and Kingsman II.