Custom Lighting: The Ultimate Guide
If you are in the custom lighting business or seeking for custom lighting manufacturer for your project, you must read this ultimate practical guide.
In this article, we will discuss the most common material for custom lighting, the guide to find an experienced manufacturer, the custom light fixture fabrication, and so on. Here we will provide you almost everything about custom lighting.
All of these will help to ensure the best quality at the most reasonable price for your custom lighting projects.
Now, let’s start our journey from some basic knowledge about custom lighting.
Chapter 1: What is custom lighting and its category
What is custom lighting
You can see custom lighting as a“unique work”designed by yourself. When you are upset about adding some attractive points to your space and project, custom lighting will give you a hand to a great degree.
Compared to other decorative lighting which you can find on the market, custom lighting can be designed totally by yourself. According to your project demand, you can decide its size, dimension, material, or any special design.
The Benefit of custom lighting
1. Decide the dimension of the lighting by yourself according to your demand for space.
According to the space required, the custom lighting will offer you more flexible options on the dimension of lighting. It is absolutely a good choice for space arrangement.
2. Select the material and finishing according to your project demand.
You can choose the custom lighting material by yourself for your project for some special situations. For example, if your project location is near the sea, you need to use stainless steel 304 or even 316 as the main material to avoid your lighting to be rusted.
In terms of the finishing, the custom lighting provides you the chance to select the finishing style on your own in order to unify the light fixture with the overall tone of your interior design.
3. Customize the overall lighting fixture appearance according to your space design
Whether it’s a chandelier, pendant light, table lamp or wall lamp, you can design the shape by yourself or invite a designer to help you. This benefit of custom lighting can realize a match between the lighting fixture and the overall style of your project.
4. Assure the lighting effects
With custom lighting, you can realize the ideal lighting effects through arranging different lighting fixtures design, using different types of light sources, quantity, power and illumination direction.
The category of custom lighting
In the light of the difference of application environment, we can classify the custom lighting into the indoor custom lighting and the outdoor custom lighting.
In addition, it also can be classified by material, which mainly includes iron, stainless steel, brass, glass, crystal and so on.
In nearly all projects, we classify the custom lighting into six types. As shown, they are custom chandelier, pendant light, ceiling light, table light, floor light and wall light.
Chapter 2: Where you need the custom lighting
For any project that is featured by individuation and high quality, custom lighting is absolutely a good choice for you.
Here we have summarized six common projects where the custom lighting will be used.
Besides being used as decoration, custom lighting plays a vital role in the success of the project design.
When you look for custom light fixtures, most probably you are looking for them for a hotel project. You may even agree that hotel lighting can almost represent custom lighting.
If the hotel is high-end and well-designed, you will find almost all the hotel lighting fixtures there are custom-made. From the moment you enter into the lobby until you walk into your room, you will see many kinds of custom lighting fixtures.
These custom lighting are often used to match the overall design of the hotel, from its lobby to the guest room. If the hotel is decorated by the regular lighting fixture purchased from the market, surely they will not match well with your hotel interior design, not even refer to the customer experience.
For example, the lobby represents the facade of a hotel. It will leave the first impression on the customer. So, the overall design is doomed to be crucial, which means the hotel lobby chandelier plays an important role in the design.
The restaurant is often seen as an important public place for people to communicate and connect with their family or friends. A nice atmosphere and a comfortable environment will not only increase people’s appetite but also make a great contribution to smoother communication. So the selection of custom lighting in the restaurant is vitally important, it can affect the people’s mood to some extent.
As we all know, the western restaurant always prefers to use crystal chandelier, it is featured by romance, warm and elegance. If you wish to create an environment like this, you can customize a unique crystal chandelier with a suitable size as the assistance.
However, the style of a Japanese restaurant is totally different from the western one. The Japanese advocate minimalism, so the overall design of Japanese restaurant embraces a kind of nature. Some nice paper pendant light can create a sense of life in the room. Under this environment, people will feel closer to nature and enjoy the peace of mind.
High-end villa & residential project
As an important component of the indoor design, the indoor lighting affects people’s life to a great extent.
By the use of custom lighting, it is not only used to illuminate the house, but also represents a basic element of creating the atmosphere you like and reflect your personality and taste clearly.
For high-end villa and residential project, you need to decide an overall style first then arrange your custom lighting, which including your foyer chandelier, stairwell pendant lighting, dining room chandeliers, kitchen island chandeliers, bedside table lamp and so on.
The custom lighting can reflect the culture and operating principle of a company.
Particularly for the reception and the main office area, you can take advantage of the custom lighting to show your company fully to the customer and create a well working atmosphere for your staff.
When you enter the casino, you must be attracted by its resplendent and magnificent decoration and environment immediately.
You will find that you are almost surrounded by many custom chandelier, pendant light and wall light. All the decorations, particularly for the custom light fixtures, aim to create a high-end and luxury gaming atmosphere.
This presenting of visual impact will successfully help the people integrate into this environment and enjoy a better experience.
Shopping mall project
The custom lighting is also becoming indispensable to the shopping mall.
To attract more customers, you can customize some chandelier indoor or outdoor. In that case, people will definitely stop to see and even stay there for some photos.
Besides, you can also add some custom pendant or wall light to make the mall more advanced.
Compared to installing the normal light for illustration merely, the proper use of custom lighting will create a more comfortable shopping environment for the customers.
Chapter 3: The main materials of custom lighting
Here, we will introduce you some common materials of custom lighting for reference. In most cases, the selection of material is an important part of custom lighting design and fabrication.
The table below will show you the main material and their own different features clearly, it will be helpful for you when designing your custom lighting.
|Iron||The most common material for custom lighting and can be used to make most kinds of outline structure for your lighting design. High hardness and cost-effectiveness.|
|Stainless steel||One of the most common materials for custom lighting. The good anti-rust property, high hardness, a suitable material for large chandelier and pendent light. More expensive than Iron.|
|Brass||The good anti-rust property, apply to make classical style lamps. Higher cost than other metal types, and not suitable making shiny plating color.|
|Aluminum||Good anti-rust property and good heat dispersing capability, a good choice for external custom lighting. While they are difficult to weld and if you want to develop a die-casting mold, it will be very costly.|
|Glass||Suitable for making the lampshade of custom lighting. Perfect light transmittance property, good thermal stability and good looking. While they are quite fragile.|
|Crystal||Better light transmittance and stronger than glass, often used to make splendid classic chandelier. You can choose K9 crystal which is value for money, while can also choose high-level crystal brands such as ASFOUR and Swarovski, which are highly costed as well.|
|Fabric||The common material for the lampshade of custom lighting. Have a variety of styles and colors to choose, no need to make a new mold and cost-effective. Fabric shade is easy to deform during transportation and difficult to clean up.|
|Acrylic||The common material for the lampshade of custom lighting. Good transparency and cost-effective. It will need to make a new mold for the irregular shape and the mold fee is high.|
|Paper||Good transparency and come with soft light. Easy to install and replace, help to add cultural presence to the room. They are easy to deform when affected by an external force.|
|Resin||Can be designed to any kind of style through molding, and cost-effective. Resin can be used to make the lamp body replacing metals. It is resistant to corrosion and rust as well.|
|Ceramic||Can be made into a table lamp body, or used for chandelier shade, has a high artistic beauty, the mold cost is not high. It is as fragile as glass.|
|Wood,Bamboo||Preferred by the Asian style lamps and symbolize nature.|
|Stone||A kind of high-level natural material for custom lighting, stone or marble comes with soft light and good texture. Heavy for transportation.|
|Concrete||Used to make the custom lighting with industrial style design. Often can be seen in the restaurant or bar.|
|Rattan||More natural than metal or glass material, often need to be knitted by hand. A kind of material used to make the lampshade for the custom lighting.|
Chapter 4: About the cost of custom lighting
For any custom lighting project, the below factors will determine the final price you get from your supplier.
The overall design of custom lighting
Obviously, the more complex the structure of your custom light fixture, the more difficult and expensive for the manufacturer to implement and fabricate it, so it will be more expensive.
Material and finishing
The different material depends a different price. For example, the Brass cost is much higher than the iron material.
Besides, the finishing will affect the price of the custom lighting as well. For example, compared to the painting, you have to pay more for plating finishing in most cases.
The dimension of the custom lighting used to be designed according to the space size and specific installation location, a larger one will be more expensive.
After all, custom lighting is an illuminator, any parameters involving lighting performance can affect the cost, which including the type of light source used, voltage, wattage, color temperature, dimming function. These factors contribute to the difference of lighting itself as well as the price.
Order required quantity
For the same custom lighting, the more you order, the lower unit price will be.
It is easy to understand. If your ordering quantity is high, the manufacturer can purchase the material in bulk quantity. This way can help to decrease the cost of material effectively.
Also, the higher your ordering quantity, the less mold cost each light has to share. Because it is quite usual to develop new mold for new custom lighting design.
Installation condition & location
When ordering large or extra-large custom chandeliers, you have to remind your supplier the specific installation condition ahead of time because they need time to design a suitable installation structure for the lighting, different installation conditions need different structure on your custom lighting, which can affect the overall cost.
Besides, the project location will also affect the price.
If your project is located near the sea, you must take the effects of humid and salty air into consideration. To avoid corrosion, you can choose stainless steel 304 and 316, or copper as your custom lighting material. The special material determines a different price.
So you should know, in order to get an accurate quotation from the supplier, you need to provide the information mentioned above in detail as much as possible.
Only like that, both of you will avoid the misunderstanding of the lighting leading to the inaccuracy of quotation.
Chapter 5: Where to buy the custom lighting, why it’s a good idea to buy custom lighting from China
When you plan to purchase custom lighting for your projects, you may probably take Europe, America, Canada, China, and other countries like Turkey, India, and Indonesia into your consideration. Because most custom lighting manufacturers in the world are spread over these places.
But which one would you choose?
Since the manufacturers in the places mentioned above have their own pros and cons in producing custom lighting fixtures, we are going to give a brief introduction to you to help find a suitable manufacturer.
There are a lot of custom lighting manufacturers in Europe, even the luxury chandelier was originated from Europe in the beginning.
The advantage of European manufacturers:
a) Most of them are capable of designing extraordinary lighting fixtures. Besides the very classic style custom lighting, one of the most popular designs, the Nordic style featuring in simplicity can be done well here.
b) They have top hand-made custom lighting. Especially, Murano Italy, is well-known for its hand-made glass around the globe, which is the main material of many custom lighting designs.
But some disadvantages are inevitable: it takes a relatively long production time, with high production costs due to high labor costs.
America & Canada:
Since America is the largest demander of custom lighting in the world due to its well-developed hospitality business, there are many custom lighting manufacturers scattered in the city like California, Wisconsin, Virginia of America, also in Toronto, Vancouver cities of Canada.
Advantages of North American manufacturers:
a) Advanced production facilities
b) Strong management skills
c) Supplying products directly to local hotels, avoiding
Disadvantage is that, the custom lighting is of high costs because of labor and materials costs.
Other manufacturers are mainly in Turkey, India and Indonesia, which are skilled in different lighting products.
Turks do well in the production of traditional style custom chandeliers and Muslim style lighting.
Bali area, Indonesia:
The manufacturers there focus on producing custom lighting fixtures by natural materials, such as rattan, bamboo, wood and the like.
The benefit of producing custom lighting fixtures here?
The price of custom lighting products in these regions is of competitiveness due to low labor costs.
As the largest producer and exporter of lighting products in the world, China absolutely has some incomparable advantages in custom lighting.
Here are some advantages of purchasing custom lighting from China:
- The world’s most concentrated lighting manufacturing base
About 60% of lighting fixtures are produced by the manufacturers in Zhongshan City, Guangdong province, and its surrounding cities such as Jiangmen, Foshan, Dongguan, and Shenzhen.
That means, most of your custom lighting designs can be a reality here.
- Well-developed industrial distribution
The distribution of various industries in China, especially Guangdong province, is well-developed, almost any materials and any products can be produced in this area.
Custom lighting manufacturing involves many different materials and processing techniques, often need with technology and experience of different industries.
With well-developed industrial distribution in our area, no matter what fantastic custom lighting idea you have, we can make it come true.
- Well-developed lighting accessories market
You can find any kind of lighting accessories in China, such as metal parts, glass parts, crystal parts, light source and LED driver parts.
Most of the time, you can just directly purchase ready-made accessories from the lighting market when you customize your lighting fixtures.
It’s definitely a good way to reduce costs of custom lighting, since there’s no need to worry about minimum order quantity issues.
- Lower expenses comparing with the West
When compared to America and European countries, the labor cost and transportation cost in China are more competitive.
Meanwhile, China never disregards the quality of products even the costs are lower.
Want to save expenses and still get quality products for your custom lighting? Choose China.
- Rapid-developing lighting design capacity
China has been investing a lot to promote and protect original lighting design, and cultivated a pool of outstanding talents in this field.
With better design capacity, our designers will provide more creative custom lighting products with more and more originality.
Chapter 6: How to find the custom lighting manufacturers in China
When you decide on purchasing custom lighting from China, you should wisely choose your manufacturers.
Here are some tips for you to find custom lighting manufacturers：
- Search engines
Just try to search “custom lighting manufacturer in China” or other relevant information on search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex and Yahoo.
You will gather amounts of information about custom lighting manufacturers by doing so.
- B2B (Business-to-business) platform
Alibaba, Made-in-China and Globalsources are the biggest online wholesale platforms in China.
You can search for custom lighting manufacturer on your own, or directly release the requirements of your custom lighting products on these platforms.
- Lighting Exhibition
When you look for a custom lighting manufacturer, lighting exhibitions are too good to miss.
Each professional lighting exhibition is a good chance for you to meet various kinds of suppliers. Getting to know as many people as you can may help find your guy.
It will be enough for you to find a reliable custom lighting manufacturer in the two exhibitions below:
Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition (over 2,500 exhibitors)
Date: June 9-12
Address: Guangzhou International Convention & Exhibition Center
Hong Kong Lighting Fair 2020 Autumn Edition (over 2,700 exhibitors)
Date: October 27-30
Address: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
- The lighting showrooms/factories in Guzhen Town, Zhongshan City, Guangdong. P. R, China
As the biggest lighting producer in China, Guzhen town boasts quite a lot of custom lighting manufacturers.
Not familiar with this place? Don’t worry. You can start with the lighting malls in the town.
The brief information about the three main lighting malls in Guzhen Town as the following:
Star Alliance Global Brand Lighting Center
Address(English): Zhongxing Road, Guzhen Town, Zhongshan City, Guangdong. P. R, China
Opening time: 09:00 – 19:00, from Monday to Friday
Address(English): No. 1, Zhongxing Road, Guzhen Town, Zhongshan City, Guangdong. P. R, China
Opening time: 09:00 – 19:00, from Monday to Friday
GUZHEN LIHE LIGHTING PLAZA
Address(English): No. 101, Tongxing Road, Guzhen Town, Zhongshan City, Guangdong. P. R, China
Opening time: 10:00 – 19:00, from Monday to Friday
Chapter 7: How to check out if your custom lighting manufacturer reliable or not?
The tips above can help you establish contact with some custom lighting manufacturers.
But how would you know they are reliable and capable of finishing your custom lighting projects as you want?
Take it easy.
The following checklist will assist you to find a reliable custom lighting manufacturer:
- The overview of factory
First, you should know the general situation of the factory, including the size of the plant, how many production workers, the management of the factory.
Gathering these information would be helpful for you to reconsider if the factory could be a good choice to do your custom lighting fabrication.
All in all, there are two major characteristics that the manufacturer should have: reliability and capability.
- Manufacturing facilities
Take a visit to the factory if you can.
The manufacturing facilities the factory has can reflect its manufacturing capacity.
It’s necessary for a factory producing custom lighting fixtures to have the following facilities: laser cutting machine, CNC machine, bending machine, recessing machine, welding machine, hole drilling machine, aging test equipment, and electrical testing machine…
- Engineering & Design team
It’s essential to know that how many product engineers the factory has.
Because product engineers have to be quick to design and prepare the precise shop drawings, where the production of custom lighting would spend quite a lot of time.
Trust me, you don’t want to waste your time on this initial design stage.
The more engineers, the better.
- Experience of custom lighting projects
What custom lighting projects has the factory done?
What luxury hotels has it served? What kind of custom lighting does it supply to the hotels?
Does it have experience in large size custom lighting manufacturing?
The experience a factory has is a good way to reflect its capability. The more luxury projects it has had means that the more affirmation they have got.
Rich manufacturing experience on custom lighting can foresee most production problems from the very first stage, and the manufacturer can give you workable suggestions before the production begins.
- Global quality standard
What countries does the factory export? Does it have relevant certificates?
If you export to America, UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) or ETL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) is the certificate the factory should have; European Union needs CE certificate, and Australia needs SAA (Standards Association of Australian), other countries have related demand on the certificate as well.
Having these authentication certificates means the products are of quality to your countries.
- Quality control system
Don’t forget to pay attention to custom lighting fixtures in detail, including material types & thickness, surface finishing, packing materials and the brands of the LED chip and drivers the factory uses in their production.
A reliable manufacturer should have a complete quality control system to make sure that each step is safe and perfect.
- Communication with sales support team
Communication is very important throughout the whole process of custom lighting manufacturing.
A reliable manufacturer should keep in contact with you in case any problem comes up during the production.
The manufacturer should give you timely feedback about the products, this effective communication will save you a lot of trouble for your project.
Keep in mind: there are no perfect manufacturers in this world. But you can follow the checklist above and the price the manufacturer offers to figure out who the most suitable and reliable one is for you.
Chapter 8: How to manufacture the custom lighting
Each type of custom lighting has a different manufacturing process because of different designs and materials. Would like to introduce you the general production process as here:
1.After receiving your custom lighting project order, the factory engineers will prepare precise shop drawings for your confirmation on all details before production begins.
2.Laser cutting machine will be needed to cut the metal materials into the required size and shape, on the basis of the confirmed drawings.
3.After laser cutting is done, the blank metal frame will be made through a series process, including recessing, blending and weld connecting.
4.Arrange all necessary holes drilling on metal parts, for metal connection and installation purposes.
5.Do polishing on blank metal frame and other metal parts, to ensure the smooth surface for the next step.
6.Surface finishing will be done after polishing, it can either be electroplated or painted to make the required finishing on metal part, also this is a critical step to protect the surface appearance of custom lighting fixtures from any corrosion.
7.Besides, if desired, the production staff should manufacture the glass or any other accessories as required by the production shop drawings, and create surface finishing for the accessories.
8.After surface finishing, the production staff will start to assemble all parts of the custom lighting fixtures in accordance with standard procedures and shop drawings.
9.When the assembly is completed, the custom lighting will go through a series of rigorous tests, ensuring the products are of high quality and safe.
10.In the end, the packaging team must choose proper materials to arrange the packaging, ensuring the custom lighting are well protected during transportation.
Chapter 9: How to make sure the good quality of your custom lighting order
- Have a clear demand for your custom lighting fixtures
When you place an order for custom lighting products, you have to tell the manufacturer what your requirements are, including required materials, thickness, type of light source, the brand of LED chips and drivers.
If you can provide the shop drawings, photos or samples to the custom lighting manufacturer, it will help a lot to explain your design idea clearly for a better understanding of what you need. If not, the manufacturer will do the drawing for you to confirm.
- Check the manufacturer’s production drawing seriously
When the manufacturer provides you with the production drawings, you need to confirm if the drawings are compliant to your custom lighting idea and product specification, and check on every detail so as to make sure that you can get exactly what you want.
If any change happens, you need to communicate with the manufacturer for reasons and figure out a solution at once.
- Sample or material sample confirmation
Always try to get samples or material samples to confirm before approving your custom lighting production.
Samples or material samples can avoid any misunderstanding on your communication and on shop drawings, also it is the only effective way to check if the finishing is exactly what you want.
For example, when you need custom lighting for hotel rooms, usually the required quantity is big, you need to request your manufacturer to arrange samples for your confirmation firstly.
For large size custom lighting, which usually required just few pieces for your project, you can request your manufacturer to produce a smaller size sample based on same design, material and finishing, or at least provide you all necessary material samples to confirm the details before final production.
After that, please keep the confirmed samples well because it will come in handy when it comes to inspection of goods later.
- Arrange inspection during production
Besides the quality control system your manufacturer has, your necessary inspection plays an essential role to ensure good quality of your custom lighting.
First, pre-installation inspection.
You should arrange a pre-installation inspection for your custom lighting fixture after the rough metal parts are completed, ensuring that all parts are made to the required size, structure and the like before surface finishing arrangement.
Second, finished product inspection.
When the assembly is done, you need to do inspection on finished products according to shop drawings and confirmed samples, ensuring that all parts match well and the custom light fixtures are done as you want.
Keep in mind: during this whole process, communicate with the manufacturer immediately if there’s a quality problem. Don’t wait till it’s too late to mend.
- Check the package of your custom lighting
The packaging for the custom lighting fixture is also critical for the whole project, as each custom lighting is in different shapes, and usually they need long transportation to arrive at the project site.
You should communicate with the supplier to design more proper package structure, taking modes of transport and custom lighting materials into consideration.
In all the cases, the customized Styrofoam, cartons and other supporting materials should prevent any movement or shaking of the custom lighting during transportation.
For fragile lighting parts, you also need to notify your manufacturer to prepare extra spare parts when you place the order. Even if the damage is done during transportation, those spare parts will save your day.
Chapter 10: How Goodlux Lighting can help for your custom lighting project
- 15 years of experience manufacturing custom lighting products
Each custom lighting project involves different designs, materials and production processes. That means, sometimes you will meet with various kinds of manufacturing problems that cannot expect.
15 years of manufacturing experience has witnessed our growth on custom lighting manufacturing. That’s why this experience is priceless and irreplaceable for us and you in any custom lighting projects.
15 years of manufacturing experience has shown that we are capable of realizing your lighting idea with a more reasonable lighting structure and better design.
- Fully-equipped manufacturing facilities
We have our own factory with an area 8,000m2 for custom lighting fixture fabrication, in which a variety of manufacturing facilities lie. That means, most of the metal parts can be produced in our factory.
We produce metal parts with a strict standard, and ensure the required production progress. Our engineering and design teams definitely can complete your order with quality and minimum time.
- Long-term cooperation with various raw material suppliers
We have various kinds of materials you may want for your custom lighting products, such as marble, crystal, cement, rattan, paper or any other material type as you require.
Since we have been working with many raw material suppliers for over 5 years, more committed relationships have been established, guaranteeing our factory can deal with custom lighting fixtures made by different materials.
No matter what kind of material you need for your custom lighting, we will provide you with quality outcomes.
- Supplying custom lighting to international luxury hotels
We have great experience in manufacturing custom lighting for international luxury projects, such as Hilton, Shangri-La, Four Seasons, Pullman…
We understand that international 5-star hotels are very particular about the quality of custom lighting fixtures, so are we.
As the supplier for luxury hotels, we will absolutely serve you with the most irreplaceable and unique custom lighting with quality.
- Professional sales support team
Our sales support team has over 5 years of experience on custom lighting business in average. In this case, it’s easy for them to understand your requirements and make sure the communication goes smoothly.
Having been in the lighting industry for many years, our sales support team can definitely give you some appropriate suggestions for your custom lighting project.
With the above guides, we believe you have the key points when you look for custom lighting in your next projects.
Each custom lighting jobs need very close cooperation with your manufacturer. To receive the best custom lighting fixture for your project, you should pay attention to any stage in the process.
Finally, I’d like to hear from you. If you still have any questions on custom lighting for your projects, please connect with us.