There are many elements that come together in the process of creating light fixtures, and each one of these elements has a different level of quality from different manufacturers. At Del Mar Designs, we have a lighting review system based on the level of quality that the manufacturer puts into each element for each light fixture.
We then average the elements for an overall light fixture rating: from 1 star being the lowest overall quality, to 5 stars being the highest overall quality light fixture we carry.
The list of elements used to determine the overall value of a light fixture are:
6LT Napa Chandelier by Kalco Lighting
Manufacturers like Kichler Lighting use a variety of different materials to create a light fixture. Some materials are valued higher than others; these higher value materials create a longer lasting, more precious and more durable lighting fixture than the average.
The most common materials and the values we give each are: (Start with 3 Stars)
- + Solid brass, stainless steel, and copper finishes
- + Crystal (Swarovski)
- + Wrought Iron, Iron
- + Blown Glass (Artesian Glass, Hand Blown Glass)
- + Seashell (Mother of Pearl, Mussel Shell, Capiz Shell, Oyster Shells)
- + Stone (Alabaster, Slate, Calcite)
- + Cast Aluminum
- + Wood
- + Acrylic
- + Resin
- - Metal
- - Spun Aluminum
WorkmanshipThe workmanship or craftsmanship may determine the overall life of a light fixture. There are many different methods that manufacturers like Minka Lavery use to create a light fixture. We have identified the most commonly used methods and rated them based on the value produced in the overall finished light fixture quality.
Above: Artisans at work at the Fine Art Lamps facility in Miami, Florida.
The most common methods of Workmanship and their ratings are: (Start with 3 Stars)
- + Handcrafted by skilled artisans in the United States
- + Shaped with a hammer and anvil
- + Hand-forged wrought iron lighting
- + Hand-crafted
- + Intricate Metalworking
- + Hand-forged iron
- + Hand Blown Glass
- + Carved Castings
- + Hand finished
- + Hand-tailored shades
- - Stamped Casts
Finish QualityThe finish quality of a light fixture is a necessary element when determining the overall value of the light fixture. There are many different quality levels to consider when rating the value of the overall finish. A good way to determine this is looking at a fixture type like outdoor wrought iron lighting and see how the finish lasts over time in the elements.
The most common methods of applying a finish to a light fixture are: (Start with 3 Stars)
- + Unfinished Copper (natural patina over time)
- + Unfinished Brass (natural patina over time)
- + Unfinished Stainless Steel
- + Marine Grade (very durable)
- + Acid Finish (color produced by an acid applied to brass or copper)
- + Nickel Plated (very durable)
- + Hand Painted (faux finishes, an artistic element is added to the finish value)
- + Polished Finish
- + Powder Coating (most common)
Light Output TechnologySome manufacturers use cutting edge light technology to create an overall light experience from their light fixture. There are many different types of light output technologies used in the lighting industry today. We have defined a few that add overall value to the light fixture.
The most common value added light output technologies are: (Start with 3 Stars)
- + Light Emitting Diode (LED)
- + Fixtures with Dimming Ballasts
- + Indirect Lighting
- + Shadowing Light Design
- + Compact Fluorescent
- + Low Voltage Halogen
- + Standard Incandescent
Product DesignProduct Design is another important factor in the overall value of a light fixture. Many manufacturers hire accredited product designers and engineers to design their lighting fixtures, these manufacturers are the manufacturers that usually produce original product designs. It takes accredited designers to identify trends in an ever changing industry and well designed products to support that change.
Above: A fixture of the Belgrave Square Collection from Fine Art Lighting being assembled.
The most common design related values are: (Start with 3 Stars)
- + Good Design Award Recipient - This award is given out by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, starting in 1957
- + Light Fair Awards - A variety of awards are gave out at this International Lighting Show
- + Original Design - Some lighting designs have become so successful that they are copied by other lighting manufacturers
- + Accredited Designer Light Fixtures - Premier designers such as Jessica McClintock, George Kovacs, & Cristina Saralegui, Roberto Pamio, Marco Piva, etc. design these lighting fixtures
- + Matching Canopy Design - Design Engineering is involved in creating the light maintaining standards and complementing the whole fixture with decor
- - Builder Grade Lights - These lights are comprised of the basic, universal design
- - Original Lighting Design Knock-Off
BrandThe final element we include in the Del Mar Designs Lighting Rating is the brand value. Many brands talk the talk about contributing to a better future, but which ones really walk the walk?
Casablanca Support team
Commitment to the Environment
We have identified the following brand qualities that we believe have value: (Start with 2 Stars)
- + Manufacturing Processes that Reduce Environmental Impact
- + Commitment to Energy Star Rated Products
- + Good Customer Service and Problem Resolution
- + Accurate Ship Times
- + +90% Product Availability
This completes the Del Mar Designs Lighting Rating description, Please call (800) 724-5501 if you have any questions about the way we rate our lighting products.