Founded by lighting pioneer John Cullen in 1981, John Cullen Lighting is an acknowledged world leader in lighting design and renowned for developing the most discreet light fittings designed to maximise the effect. Indeed, the company is often credited with fundamentally changing the way we light our homes.
John Cullen designs its discreet LED light fittings in-house and manufactures in Britain. ‘We could manufacture anywhere but we choose to do it here,’ says Sally Storey, who joined the company in 1983 and took over as Creative Director in 1985. ‘One reason is that there is so much quality workmanship in Britain; another is that it makes it easier to be agile and adapt to the rapid change in technical development, which keeps us at the cutting edge.’ This might be a quintessential British company, but it is truly international in its outlook, working with luxury residential, superyacht and hospitality projects worldwide. In 2016 it opened an office in Dubai and another in Paris this year. Sally travels widely herself, designing lighting schemes for top brands, corporate clients and private customers.
‘Most people are aware of the transformational power of lighting, but few understand how to use it to achieve what they want – even designers and architects’
‘It is important for us to look beyond the British market and we have always worked with designers outside Britain,’ says Sally. ‘Paris, for example, has a wealth of design talent but without local representation it was difficult for us to demonstrate our creative lighting techniques fully. With Dubai, we were already doing a lot of work in the United Arab Emirates and we realised that if we opened a regional office we would be able to get involved with so many more exciting new projects and offer an even better service. We have gone from strength to strength in the Middle East and Asia Pacific the region.’
Through working with Indian clients who own homes in Dubai, John Cullen has also developed a flourishing market in Mumbai. ‘India has been a fantastic opportunity for us,’ says Sally. ‘Our representatives in Mumbai were so excited by our lighting pod – essentially a white box which can be lit in different ways to show how lighting can change a space – that they have installed one in their showroom. It has been a great success.’ Closer to home, Sally and her team run
regular Lighting Masterclasses for both the general public and professionals at the company’s London showroom and at various venues outside the capital.
‘It is important for us to look beyond the British market and we have always worked with designers outside Britain’
The company has also been accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to present Continuing Professional Development (CPD) lectures to architects and trade professionals. Most people are aware of the transformational power of lighting,’ says Sally, ‘but few understand how to use it to achieve what they want. Even designers and architects struggle with it, partly because changes in design trends create new lighting challenges, but also because the technology is constantly evolving and it can be hard to keep up.’ John Cullen’s role, says Sally, is to spread the knowledge. ‘Every space can be transformed into something truly magical just by the way it’s lit. Our mission is to show the world how to get the most out of light through perfectly executed lighting schemes and inspire with light.’
JOHN CULLEN LIGHTING 561–563 KING’S ROAD, LONDON SW6 2EB +44 (0)20 7371 9000