About Rugby Ball LightDesigned for rugby fans, both young and old
Designed in Twickenham, the Home of England Rugby, the Rugby Ball Light is an exclusive rugby ball shaped desk or bedside lamp.
The England Rugby Ball Light is an official licensed product of the RFU & Gilbert, rugby’s original brands.
A replica of the Gilbert Rugby ball used by rugby players the world over, the Rugby Ball Light has been designed specifically for rugby fans, both young and old. The 4-piece construction duplicates the structure of a size 5 rugby ball. The ellipse trim colours and team logo look brilliant even when the lamp is not switched on.
Whether for the office, den or bedroom, for working, reading or as a night light the Rugby Ball Light is the perfect gift for the rugby fan in your life.
If you’d like a Rugby Ball Light in your favourite team’s colours let us know and we’ll email you if it becomes available.
Steve Hicks the designer of the Rugby Ball Light was interviewed about the challenges of developing and manufacturing the product.
ED: Do you play rugby?
SH: No, I don’t play anymore. Even at school I only played a little 7s. I was the wrong shape for rugby: a real matchstick man. I am massive fan of the game. I watched every game of last year’s World Cup and never miss a 6 nations match whoever’s playing. We are really lucky that the office is virtually in the shadow of Twickenham and the Stoop so we have live rugby available whenever we need a fix.
ED: Where did the idea for Rugby Ball Light come from?
SH: A few years ago we were asked to create a table centre for hospitality areas at Twickenham. We came up with the idea of the Light. Originally it was much plainer and powered by a battery. After a couple of events the client came back to us and asked us to manufacture more lights as some had been taken by guests as souvenirs. It was then we realised that the Light would have legs as a retail product.
ED: You're an event and exhibition designer. How have you found the process of designing and developing a consumer product?
SH: The design element was pretty similar to my previous work. After taking a brief, in this case from myself, I do a lot of research. Then a lot of sketching, much of which is tossed into the waste paper basket. Finally, I produced a concept illustration and fabrication drawings. In this case there was a huge learning for me in fabrication techniques and materials but I had some great advice.
ED: So who helped you develop the product?
SH: I worked with a specialist injection moulding business down on the south coast. They helped me develop the design for tooling. Having decided to use the Gilbert styling to create an authentic looking ball, adding the coloured trademark ellipses proved difficult. Eventually we settled on the 8-part construction method, allowing us to use a coloured material rather than an application.
We worked hard on the precise tooling required to create the radius edge between the sections. I insisted that this feature was vital to give the Light an authentic appearance. The factory and UK agent have been great too; streamlining the design for mass production and in ensuring the Light is compliant with all the legislation. Gilbert and the RFU have been a great help unlocking the world of brand licensing. The RFU light is official licensed merchandise of both brands.
ED: What plans do you have for the future?
SH: We have plans for complementary products but we’ll keep those close to our chest for the time being. In the short term we hope to continue to work with Gilbert and expand our range to include more teams.
ED: What other teams would you like to add to the range?
SH: At the moment we’re focused in on developing the England rugby light. We’d like to partner with any teams; home nations, other international teams, and clubs, both professional and amateur, perhaps even sponsors too.
ED: Have you enjoyed the process?
SH: It’s been great learning new skills, working with different specialists, visiting factories. The geek in me loves heavy machinery, and challenging myself. It’s been a little frustrating getting used to the long lead times in the manufacturing process compared to my event work. It’s been great talking to and getting feedback from professionals, local clubs and potential customers. I’ve really enjoyed it all. I have one of the prototypes on my desk. I hope our customers enjoy the Light as much as I do.