HOW IT ALL STARTED
Today Elstead Lighting is headed by Managing Director Jonathan Lucas, who is the son and nephew of previous family owners Stephen and Geoffrey Lucas. However, Elstead Lighting was originally known as The Elstead Forge and was founded back in 1686 in the tiny hamlet of Elstead, Surrey, England.
The forge was taken over in 1967 by Geoffrey Lucas and at this period the forge mainly produced gates, railings and general ironwork, as well as some fire baskets and hearth accessories. When the forge received an order for a fire basket or light they would make two or three extra, and put the surplus on display. The lights proved popular, which led to Geoffrey designing and making more. It was this simple change that started Elstead Forge on its journey to where it is today.
Throughout the 1970s and 80s the forge grew in sales with the help of Geoffrey’s brother, Stephen Lucas. Together, they quickly outgrew the Elstead premises and built a new factory in the Mill Lane Industrial Estate, in Alton, Hampshire.
Then in 1979, 19 year old Jonathan Lucas, son of Stephen Lucas, joined Elstead Forge as a salesman. They outgrew their premises once again, and in 1984 the company moved into an additional factory unit on Mill Lane. By then specialising far more in Lighting than other products, the company changed its name to Elstead Lighting Ltd.
In July 1990, Geoffrey Lucas retired from the business and Jonathan took over Geoff’s share of the firm and became co-director, alongside his father Stephen Lucas. The company then managed to secure orders and on-going business from many of the best known high street names.
In the early 2000’s, the company found new premises to allow them to operate in a more modern way, with the benefit of a large showroom. This site is now our present home, known as Elstead House.
Stephen Lucas semi-retired in the early 2000’s and retired fully by 2008. Jonathan Lucas became the sole Managing Director in his stead, and was later joined by his wife Deborah in 2009 who is currently the Marketing Director.
Elstead went global in 2012 when a partnership deal was signed with four North American lighting brands; Feiss, Hinkley, Quoizel and Flambeau. This allowed us to sell American designer lighting into the 240v market.
In 2013 Elstead House was extended to provide a 9000 sq ft showroom to showcase more of Elstead’s growing portfolio of brands. The collection was further expanded in 2014 with American brand Stiffel’s cast zinc portables, and again in 2015 with lighting ranges from Kichler. There are now more than 2,500 products on display – one of the largest collections of decorative lighting in the UK.