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Our History

Best & Lloyd was founded in 1840 and built lighting for the great houses of Europe and America. It pioneered precision engineering which was used in the burgeoning automotive and aerospace industries and created many of the interior details for Pullman Trains, early Odeon Cinemas. In 1900 it had showrooms in Paris, London & New York and was responsible for many of the iconic designs of the 20th Century.

175 Years

Best & Lloyd was founded in 1840 in Birmingham, England, where all our lights are still produced today. We began life making candle lamps and, by 1900, had become the largest lighting manufacturer in the world. International status meant showrooms in London, Paris and Rome, as well as at New York’s prestigious 1 Park Avenue. Every shop was serviced from our Birmingham factory with a lead-time of seven days on board ship. In 1928, founder Robert Best’s grandson designed the iconic Bestlite range. This industrial desk lamp was inspired by the Bauhaus movement and has been in production ever since. Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously chose the Bestlite for his office in Whitehall, and so we provided the lighting for Downing Street too. Other historical commissions include many of the fixtures and fittings as well as the lighting on all of the Pullman and Orient Express trains, both original and restored versions.

We’re perhaps best known for the Odeon cinema’s art deco glass lighting schemes, which we designed and produced, and we’re proud to have the watercolour sketches in our company archive today. Best & Lloyd’s New York showroom closed in the Great Depression in 1933, but it was responsible for many of the wonderful art deco lanterns that adorn the city’s streets. Our tradition of excellence continues to thrive, and recent commissions include private residences spanning the globe from Beijing to St Petersburg, New York to Mumbai, and hotels such as Bel-Air in Los Angeles, Trianon Palace in Versailles and Savoy in London. The last ten years have seen a huge boom in the building of super yachts, and we’re the supplier of choice for many of the world’s leading boat designers, with Best & Lloyd lamps adorning more than half of the top twenty boats in the world. We returned to the US in 2011, and endeavour to bring the very best of English tradition and craftsmanship back to American shores.

  • Robert D Best
  • The Surprise Gas Pendant Stamp
  • Surprise Gas Pendant
  • Surprise Gas Pendant Advert
  • Best&Lloyd on Madison Avenure circa 1930
  • Madison Avenure Store
  • Best&Lloyd on the Orient Express
  • Experimental Bestlite with clock
  • Churchill’s study with Bestlite

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