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An Interview with Greg Harburg of Lighting Inspirations & D'Epoca

Mitchell Elworthy

lighting inspirations interview

The Lighting Outlet has long had a successful relationship with Lighting Inspirations and D’Epoca brands, both of which are owned by Lode International. In this interview, to find out more about the brains behind the business(es), we sat down with Greg Harburg! Buyer for Lode International.

Read on to discover which light style is everyone's favourite, how to choose a quality light, and why American trends are now dominating the industry.

1. Can you tell us a bit about how Lode International began?

Lode International began over 20 years ago. It started in 1965 and has continued under two Italian brothers who came across to Australia in the mid-1960s, importing lights from Italy to the Australian market. Each brother has over 40 years of experience in lighting wholesale.  

I came on board because I already had owned a lighting retail shop, and had extensive experience in lighting fashion (I’ve worked in light buying since 1974).

2. What are the differences between Lighting Inspirations & D'Epoca lighting brands? What styles do they showcase?

D’Epoca features industrial warehouse looks for a rustic style. Lighting Inspirations is a modern brand that features lots of exteriors lighting. Lanterns, wall lights, crystals, and pendant lighting - all in a classic, slightly opulent style.

D'Epoca Pendant lamplighting inspirations pendant lamp

3. How do you identify what lighting trends are going to take off in Australia?

Basically, we watch what happens overseas to determine the trends for our brands. Europe is historically a big trendsetter, however, in recent years, America has produced a really thriving light industry through economy of scale - it is truly influencing lighting across Australia.

4. When buying lights, what do you look for to ensure the quality of the light fitting?

We work with the same factories in China that we know will produce quality work. Additionally, we are constantly checking their samples, price, and if they are matching up with our lighting needs.

Otherwise, the markers of a good quality light include the finish. For example, is it chrome flashing or chrome plating? Is there a certain amount of clarity in the glass? And is it good, well-cut crystal?

User function is important too. For our lanterns - can the user reach in a replace the globe easily? 

After a while, it is gut instinct, you know if there’s a problem with the quality.

D'Epoca Pendant Light

5. Finally...do you have a favourite light product or style at the moment?

My favourite is probably everyone’s favourite - crystal. No matter what the trends of the lighting industry, crystal is consistently a popular choice. People just love its sheer brilliance and simplicity.

crystal chandelier     Lighting Inspirations Lantern

I also love some of the lanterns we have at the moment. They’re contemporary without being too modern, and they reflect the light beautifully.

*Our thanks to Greg Harburg for interviewing with The Lighting Outlet.  

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