10 Feature Lights for Under £150

You ask and I shall (attempt to) deliver. Herewith, as requested, ten of the best affordable feature lights. Now affordable is one of those weasel words that means different things to different people. For some it will mean the cheapest, for others the one that suits their style so well that they will pay extra to never have to replace it. Or if you really want a feature you might decide to pay more for the light and sit on a cheaper chair. It’s very subjective. So, on that basis, I have chosen 10 lamps – a mix of wall, floor, ceiling and table – that are all under £150. And bear in mind too that wall lights, while gorgeous – the choice these days is huge and there are many, many beauties – often need an electrician to install them and a plasterer to make good the wall afterwards and repaint. So what looks like an affordable object can often turn out to be anything but in the final analysis. That said, if you are at the start of a project or you have small rooms and low ceilings, wall lights are your friend. So in no particular order let’s go:

UPDATE: As has been pointed out in the comments it’s hard to marry ethical eco lights with affordability. I shall revisit this topic and am going on the hunt for suitable makers – suggestions welcome below. 

1 KIKKERLAND BULB TABLE LAMP £12 from Urban Outfitters 

kikkerland bulb table lamp £12 from urban outfitters
kikkerland bulb table lamp £12 from urban outfitters

The army green base gives this a vintage air and the frosted bulb will soften the light somewhat – otherwise it might be a bit interrogation. I defy anyone not to enjoy the toggling of that Dolly Switch on and off. It’s battery operated (3 x AAA) so you can move it around should you need to although I appreciate you won’t want to have it as the main source of light on your desk.

2 DUCIE BRASS AND OPAL TABLE LAMP £39 from Lights & Lamps 

ducie brass and opal ball lamp from lights and lamps
ducie brass and opal ball lamp from lights & lamps

For a slightly more grown up version there is this with a brass base and a dimmer switch. The opal globe is part of the lamp but the bulb is not included so note that. Also, there is no cable visible in the pictures (and no mention of a battery) but there is a picture of a length of cable in the accompanying carousel. This is a slight bugbear for me as we won’t be buying it for a photograph and will therefore have to factor in the, admittedly quite pretty, grey fabric cable. It’s a lovely light though and that wouldn’t put me off although I would like to see it in the shots.


charcoal arch floor lamp from houseof
charcoal arch floor lamp from houseof

Reaching up to the top of the budget for this floor lamp which leans against the wall (there is an invisible cord that fixes to the wall to stop it toppling over). Not only is this wooden lamp a bit different from the standard standard lamp but it works in a small space too. I have a gorgeous floor lamp that I adore, but by the time the shade is on it takes up as much space as an armchair so it’s not a very practical piece. This will tuck into a corner and the frosted bulb (notice a theme here?) means it won’t dazzle you when it’s on. Houseof, by the way, was founded by two ex BhS lighting designers and, before its sad demise, BhS was the interior designers secret lighting supplier so this is a good company to know about. I see they are also stocked in H&M too.


whitney cluster pendant from
whitney cluster pendant from

Up at the top end of the budget again but this coloured glass light is as pretty on as off which is what you need in a ceiling light which you might not even use much in the evening if you prefer more ambient lighting. So the on/off look, which should always be considered, is crucial when it comes to ceiling lights. I can’t even remember the last time I turned on the pendant light in my bedroom. Also worth pointing out that mouth blown glass pendants like this cost hundreds of pounds and while blown glass has a particular ethereal quality to it, this, which given that it’s on the ceiling so you won’t see it close up, is a fantastic price for something of this style.

5 USB CLIP LAMP £79.99 from Zara 

usb clip light £79.99 from zara
usb clip light £79.99 from zara

Coincidence I swear but another portable/rechargeable light, this time from Zara and this picture doesn’t show you but it also has a pleasing toggle switch at the top for turning on and off. Portable speaks for itself but it’s also good if your desk is small or if you are working from a kitchen table or other home hot-desking situation where the lighting wasn’t necessarily created with WFH in mind and you need to pack away at the end of the day to make way for the next activity – playdough or supper depending on your household.


mouro portable lamp £149 from Heals
mouro portable lamp £149 from Heals

Last one of these but I bought one for the 19yo for Christmas as he doesn’t have particularly lovely lighting in his student house so I thought this would work as a bedside reading lamp and also you can angle it to wash light gently up the wall. It’s heavy so it won’t fall over but gives a nice soft light. It went down so well that the 17yo has demanded one and was quite disgruntled when told he would have to wait until his birthday. In August.

7 AURORA TABLE LAMP £95 from Pooky

aurora resin table lamp £95 from Pooky
aurora resin table lamp £95 from Pooky

Now here’s the other thing you need to consider when buying lamps and that’s that the shade often isn’t included so you need to factor that into your budget too. That said, you might have a shade at home that isn’t being used or that you can swap around from something else which is why I included this. Because the other way to make a statement is to take a traditional shape and use it in an un-traditional material – so this is blue resin (they have also made it in yellow, green and orange). That instantly makes it fun and different and eye-catching. All the things you want. So you can either build on that with a fabulous shade or contrast it with a sober plain affair that won’t compete with the base.


pleated shade pendant light £79.99 from H&M
pleated shade pendant light £79.99 from H&M

Right so this one comes with fitting and shade but not bulb or electrician to fit it to the ceiling. That said, it’s very pretty and will give enough light all around – something my sons are always complaining about with my fancy shades that look fabulous and don’t give enough light for whatever it is teenage boys need to see to do. We’re not asking and we’re not even thinking about it.

9 FRITZ HANSEN NIGHT OWL £143 (various stockists but on sale for £121 here

fritz hansen night owl
fritz hansen night owl £143

Comes in four different versions; all black, or black or white with a wooden base, I like this soft white one best as it gives an all over ambient glow. It’s 30cm high so would work on a desk or gently glowing in a corner or by the bed. The cable is black but you can, apparently, put the shade in four different positions to hide it.

10 PORTER TABLE LAMP IN ANTIQUE BRASS  £123.10 from Jim Lawrence

brass lamp base from jim lawrence
brass lamp base from jim lawrence

Sometimes you just want something simple and classic that won’t start a fight with the sofa and this is one of those. I have something similar that I bought about 15 years ago from a local lighting shop (mine is silver) and what’s good is that it’s tall and slim so it will rise above whatever else is on the table with it and also create a focal point in a corner. Add a simple cream shade or have a riot with colour and pattern. It’s up to you and if you can store bulky shades you could even change seasonally.

hector 30 anniversary lamp by original btc in the home of

As you may have gathered by now lighting is an expensive business. There are plenty of generic lamps about but if you want something a bit different and something, that crucially you can just plug in and switch on without having to pay for shades, fittings, bulbs and wotnot, you can search for a long time. I have pretty much drawn a blank for interesting floor lamps under £150 as you will have noticed. There are lots of tall, thin, angular ones with metal shades but I don’t want one like that in my sitting room so I’m assuming you don’t either. If you do then, for my money, the best is the Original BTC Hector with the porcelain shade – and yes I do work with them but I haven’t been asked to say that here so if I didn’t want to I wouldn’t. It’s around £250 although I have just this second found it at The White Company for £146  (reduced from £209) so grab it fast if that’s the one you want.

I hope you have found some inspiration here. There are lots more lights over on Design Storey Shop at all sorts of prices. As per the original premise of the shop there will never be more than 50 in any collection. Currently there are spaces to fill… I’m working on it.


Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


    1. Sorry my mistake for replying in a hurry – I was answering the bit about planet friendly battery lights (yes I agree) and saying that I had addressed this in my answer to Sharon’s comment that I would look at this in more detail and return to this subject again with some ethical choices. I am totally with you that lighting is key to a good decor scheme – and in fact, done well can elevate cheap furniture. My apologies for rushing past and thank you, as always for your support over all these years.

  1. I agree that Alan Carr was a turn off on Interior Design Challenge this week. I’ll give it a go again next week but may just record it and fast forward the bits where he has a bit of ‘banter’ with the contestants. I agree that at least Fearne had an interest in interiors and and artistic vibe.

  2. Yes, some great looking lamps, but my question is always – Where are they made? Almost everything lighting related seems to be made in China (including light bulbs). Ethical? Planet friendly? At least one of your top end price lamps here is made in China, I believe. And as for the cheapest – if they’re sold at that price, how much would the person making/assembling it have been paid?
    Don’t think many of these retailers are in your Do Less Harm directory, although I know that some are.

    1. Yes you highlight a real issue there. Afforability versus ethics. I’m going to update the post to point this out and I will come back to it once I have done a search on ethical light manufacturers – please all feel free to add your suggestions here

  3. I was looking forward to the return of the ‘great interior design challenge’ this year, but due to the change of host, I’m unable to enjoy it or take it seriously. Am I the only one who feels the BBC have once again dumbed down and trivialised a once interesting( and informative) programme by selecting a ‘popular’ comedian to present it, who quite obviously(unlike Fearne Cotton) has little interest in interior design and is just there to make ‘jokes’….what a shame

    1. Yes I completely agree with this – the programme just doesn’t have the same vibe as last year at all. A shame for the contestants and Michelle Ogundahind who is a design guru indeed (alongside KWS of course!)

      1. How do you know Alan Carr has no interest in design? For one, his home was designed by Daniel Hopwood.
        I personally am enjoying this season and Alan as presenter. The contestants have a varied background and approach to interior design.

  4. Some wonderful lamps here. I’ve always said that lighting is the key to any interior, next to ‘balance’.
    I’m not sure about how planet friendly some of these beautiful battery-powered lamps are?
    Thank you, for bringing light into these often dark days.
    Bless you.

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