Indie of the Week #29: Geoffrey Harris

Geoffrey Harris's lighting shop is a place we should be thankful for when it comes to the brow-furrowing experience that is... buying a low energy lightbulb. "It's a bit of a nightmare", says Harris, "two or three years ago I got very annoyed about it - but I'm over it now. The main problem was that it was launched on the public very badly: the first wave of bulbs were pretty rubbish - and people don't like being told what to do”. 
Harris opened his shop on Battersea Park Road in 1999, but he’s been selling lighting since 1969 when he got his first job in Habitat, aged 17. He went on to set up The London Lighting Company on the Fulham Road in 1973 and ran it for nearly twenty years.
Now, he concedes, the compact fluorescents and LEDs are pretty good (although the cheap LEDs give off a cold light) and whereas he used to change bulbs all the time when he came into his shop in the morning, he hardly ever does now. But consumers still have to be fairly clued up as all bulbs are not alike - some of them poke out of the fittings. He’s tackled the issue by pairing bulbs and lights on his website. All he has to do now is make us believe spending a tenner on a light bulb is a good idea.
Who are you? Geoffrey Harris of Geoffrey Harris Lighting Ltd.
Where can we find you? 537 Battersea Park Road, London, SW11 3BL; 
Describe your store in five words: Unique original modern lighting store.
What makes you different? We stock everything we sell for immediate despatch or collection at the shop.
How you decide what makes the cut? Do I like it – is it the correct price – is it readily available.
What were you doing before you did this? Only ever sold lighting since leaving school – so I guess before this I was a school boy!
If you were starting again what advice would you give yourself? Nobody knows everything.
What are you most proud of? My shop and my website and our own Tommy enamel shades.
Do you have a favourite thing in the store right now? Doo-Wop by Louis Poulsen
What's hot for 2013? LEDs, LEDS and LEDs - we are slowly working on it!
Every Wednesday 'Indie of the week' celebrates the best independent stores around. These places sell interesting and varied collections of design-related things you don't see everywhere else. They may support young or local designers or be great at finding unique things from around the world. By thinking a little more creatively about what they stock they are fighting the bland homogenisation of so much of the high street. And since I'm down with the realities of modern life, online only stores count too, because a beautiful and easy to use website is just as delightful an encounter in cyberspace.
Do you you have a favourite store?  I'd love to hear from you.