What (and who) you need to know before plugging in that fabulous lamp you brought home from Europe.
Although decorative lighting is likened to jewelry for a home, so far we can’t see pendant lamps or sconces sauntering down catwalks and they rarely make it into fashion magazines. What a pity, because decorative lighting is gorgeous, especially fixtures that hail from the world’s high-design kingdoms like Italy, the Netherlands and the UK.
Lighting designed in Europe has always possessed a special mystique. It’s where talented imagineers grow up in the cool shade of tradition and glide toward a future all their own. But there’s an important consideration to keep in mind when ordering from Europe directly: Plug one of those sleek or sparkling creations into your wall and you might find yourself in the Dark Ages.
As many know, Europeans build their creations around a completely different style of wiring than North Americans do. That’s where Canadian lighting conversion comes in. Eurolite in Toronto, one of the busiest lighting showrooms and workshops in North America, serves as a kind of Ellis Island for exotic fixtures on their way to designers, consumers, and retail showrooms across the continent. They not only transform lighting for North American outlets; they stay ahead of the trends and, being the exclusive dealer of brands from both continents, supply us with some of the finest finds from both sides of the pond. We asked them which European styles are most popular and what you need to know before you turn your sofa into a front row seat at a fashion show for lights.
Be sure the European lighting you’re buying has been certified by a Canadian lighting inspector during its “immigration.” If the lighting you bring home is not certified, the fixture could cause an electrical fire that would not be covered by insurance.
Some fixtures are impossible to convert for use in North America. Consult your interior designer or a company like Eurolite before you set your heart on a particular creation.