Lighting materials: a guide to lamps, shades and the various things they're made of

Beautiful lighting comes in a huge range of different materials. From warm brass to blown glass, here's a guide to some of the most popular lighting materials – including, naturally, some favourite Pooky examples along the way...


Table lamp materials

Table lamps are a brilliantly versatile lighting option, and they’re also beautiful decorative objects in their own right. Designer table lamps can be made from a wide range of different materials, including brass, ceramic, resin, wood, glass and marble. Here’s the lowdown on just a few of our favourites...

Brass table lamps - warmth and elegance

Trafalgar table lamp in antique brass

With its warm, mellow tones, brass is a wonderful lighting material and it’s just perfect for making stylish table lamps. A set of brass designer table lamps set strategically around the room will create a lovely, buttery light and a welcoming ambience.

From a practical point of view, brass is durable and easy to maintain, and it’s also an extremely versatile material. This means it can be fashioned into all sorts of different styles, from classic column table lamps to sleek contemporary numbers, and with a range of different colours and finishes, including antiqued brass, polished brass and bronze, all of which can create different effects.

If you’re looking for a sense of character and history, the super stylish Trafalgar table lamp in antique brass is one of our all-time favourites and really showcases the natural elegance of brass.

Meanwhile, for a more contemporary feel, the Oriel table lamp is a great example of just how versatile brass is as a material, with its rectangular stepped base housing an eye-catching brass circle, which gives the piece a lovely sculptural quality.

Oriel table lamp in antique brass


Browse our brass table lamps.


Ceramic table lamps - bold and beautiful

Nellie ceramic table lamp in turqouise and Artur ceramic table lamp in stone 


Ceramic is a fabulous way of introducing richness and texture to a space. As well as being a very resilient material, ceramic lighting is available in all manner of colours and glazes and can really transform a table lamp into a design statement.

For a classic look, try the Nellie ceramic table lamp with its simple curved shape and rich turquoise glaze. Or for a striking style statement, the Artur table lamp really demonstrates the versatility of ceramic, with its unique thistle-like design taking inspiration from the distinctive flower buds of the globe artichoke.

Browse our colourful ceramic table lamps.


Wall light materials

Wall lights are a stylish and flexible addition to any lighting scheme. As well as being a great source of ambient and task lighting, they can help to build warmth and atmosphere within a space, and they can also play a key role in your interior design theme.

When it comes to materials, wall lights are available in a vast array of different options, including metal and fabric, brass, glass and ceramic – and there are styles to suit any space, from rustic to futuristic! Here are some Pooky wall light material faves…

Metal wall lights - smooth and stylish

Stanlette pendant shade in red with copper interior and mini elbow wall fitting in antique bronze


Whether you’re looking for a contemporary style or a more traditional vibe, metal is an enduringly popular choice for wall mounted lights. It’s smart, durable and reflects the light beautifully.

Metal wall lights can be crafted into a huge range of different shapes and sizes, from classic sconces and uplighters to smooth and shiny cylindrical numbers. They also come in a range of finishes, including antiqued bronzes and classic coppers, brushed golds, vibrant reds, bold blues and uber urban blacks. (In fact, the main challenge when choosing metal wall lights is arguably the abundance of choice!)

Different metals have different qualities and characteristics, with golds and brasses tending to give a more traditional feel, while metals such as copper, aluminium and chrome can lend a more industrial tone to a space.

Metal pendant shades make a lovely choice as a wall light material. Our Stanlette pendant shades are small and elegant, and cast a gentle directed light. The Stanlette comes in a range of different materials and colours, from gunmetal grey to bright red with a striking copper interior, and you can even pair them with a dainty rose wall fitting in chrome – proving that metal doesn’t have to be harsh and functional!

For an ultra modern look, try the Helios wall light in brushed gold aluminium, which with its lovely rounded sun-like shape and golden glow will take your space to another dimension...

Larger Helios wall light in brushed gold aluminium


Browse our range of metal wall lights.


Fabric wall lights - colour and texture

18cm pendant printed linen ikat shade in navy yoda and Kyoto pendant shade in brass and papaya parchment


Fabric shades are a classic choice for wall lights, and a great way of introducing colour and texture. But if you’re thinking classic may also mean passe, think again! Fabric wall lights come in a wealth of different materials, from cotton and silk, to parchment, marbled paper, linen and jute, and each has its own special qualities.

Cotton is a very popular and versatile fabric, which is durable and easy to clean, and it’s particularly good for dyeing. Our block printed cotton wall lights include a host of different colours and patterns, including our fabulously vibrant hand-printed Syrian Tile shades, which feature stunning Middle Eastern inspired geometric patterns.

Meanwhile, silk is another brilliant material for wall lights – it possesses a beautiful sheen and texture, and an almost iridescent quality all of its own. Take our lovely cone shade in gorgeous cobalt blue silk, teamed with our lightly antiqued brass mason wall fitting – small and stunningly beautiful.

Or for something cool and contemporary, try a parchment wall light, such as the Kyoto pendant shade. Our parchment papers are handmade from a variety of exotic fibres and lined with cotton and they elicit a lovely, soft glow.

See our designer fabric wall lights.


Ceramic wall lights

Regular Hania ceramic wall light in pacific blue glaze


The beauty of ceramic wall lights is that they’re both smart and, if they’re handmade, characterful. Many of our ceramic shades – such as the Hania –  come from a tiny pottery in the hills of Southern Poland. Because each shade is made individually,  No two shades are the same: there are some imperfections, here and there some small lumps and bumps, but that is what adds to their charm, we think.

Browse our ceramic wall lights.


Pendant light materials

Pendant lights provide a beautiful focal point within a room, and they’re available in a range of materials, including glass, metal, wood, ceramic and concrete. Whether you’re looking for a classic chandelier or a modern statement light, here are some of our top picks for pendant light materials...

Glass pendant lights - class and beauty

Larger Aquila glass pendant light

When it comes to pendant lights, there’s something rather special about glass. Whether it’s intended for the hallway, the living room or above the dining room table, a glass pendant light – or a set of matching glass pendants – can really make a statement and set off a space.

Glass is a particularly versatile material. It’s easy to clean and diffuses the light beautifully, and it can be fashioned into an almost limitless variety of different textures, colours and transparencies.

If you're looking for a classic lantern style with a twist, the Apollo pendant light in glass with antiqued copper is a real showpiece of a pendant.

Or for an Art Deco vibe, try the Aquila pendant which is blown by mouth into a beautiful teardrop shape.

But for the ultimate show stopper, it has to be a chandelier. Whether it’s a traditional crystal number, or a more modern take on this interior design essential, there’s nothing quite like a chandelier for dropping jaws.

Orb chandelier with multi coloured glass roundels 


Explore our blown glass pendant lights.


Concrete pendant lights - cool and creative

And now for something completely different ... think concrete, and you may conjure up a somewhat brutalist image of an industrial concrete building from the 60s. However, as a lighting material concrete is surprisingly fabulous!

Firstly, concrete is very durable and long-lasting, and easy to maintain. Secondly, it’s much more interesting and versatile as a design material than you might think. Concrete can be shaped into almost any design and it can be left untreated for an urban vibe, or polished to a beautiful shine. Concrete is also very tactile and is great for creating textures and making a statement.

Our Soprano pendant light in pale grey concrete really hits the right note, with its gorgeous curved shape – and to steal the show, try suspending a row of three Sopranos over a kitchen island!

Soprano concrete pendant light


This is just a selection of some of our favourite lighting materials, although it wasn’t easy to choose... see the full Pooky range here.