Designers, homeowners, and even business owners the world over seem to be in a vintage tizzy. Anything old is a hot commodity and the lighting industry is no exception. A web search of vintage lighting brings up a host of fixtures from bygone eras that offer a timeless sense of style. Gone are the days when everything in your décor has to match. A modern loft in New York brimming with glass and metal may be accented with Art Deco wall sconces, while a ranch-style home in Memphis may feature gas station lights from the 1940s along the driveway.
Commercial venues also utilize vintage lighting not only for the distinctive look it brings, but also because vintage lights were simply made to last. Crafted in times when quality meant more than quantity, vintage lights were often made from the strongest, most durable materials available at the time. The disposable society had yet to emerge and lighting was purchased to last not for several years but for several generations.
This Vintage Caged Appleton™ Gasketed Light is a prime example of a fixture that has stood the test of time. Originally manufactured for damp and hazardous locations such as warehouses and manufacturing facilities, this vintage stem mount pendant is 14″ high, features a galvanized finish, and can handle up to a 200 watt bulb. With its wire cage, the fixture throws light in every direction and would be a unique piece in any workshop, garage, or industrial setting that needs rugged lighting. Like all our vintage lights, this fixture has been rewired and comes ready to install.
The Appleton name has been associated with quality electrical products since Swedish immigrant Albert Appleton started his own electrical supply company in Chicago in 1903 with two employees. From its humble beginnings, the company focused on creating innovative products that helped the country move beyond gas-powered lighting and embrace the power of electricity safely and efficiently. Grab a piece of history for your space!
This adorable little breakfast nook has so much going for it, it’s hard to decide which element we like best! With light streaming in on three sides, convenient bench seating, and a classic warehouse shade to cast light in the evenings, this space is loaded with charming details. The vented warehouse shade complements the vintage look of the apron front sink and the white subway tile that helps keep the narrow space bright and open.Read More
There was a time when warehouse pendant lighting was found, well, in warehouses! And also in factories where the wide bowl of these pendant lamps reflected light over a large area, a critical feature where heavy machinery and meticulous work was involved. These lights not only had to provide plenty of illumination, but had to be durable in an industrial setting. Manufacturers in the early 20th century would hand craft these light fixtures using only the finest commercial grade materials of the time.
Companies like Crouse-Hinds, Benjamin® and Goodrich™ spun shades out of steel, then coated and baked them with a porcelain enamel coating that was resistant to moisture, thus preventing rust and corrosion, unlike lights constructed from metal alone.
These days you can find vintage porcelain shades in almost every style of home and in many commercial businesses like the one shown in this shop window. Many homeowners choose to hang warehouse shades over kitchen tables and islands to take advantage of the wide spread of light. Not only do they provide generous downlighting, each fixture has its own history!
We recently added several “new” antique fixtures that have been cleaned, restored, and rewired and are ready to bring a touch of vintage style to your space! The 16″ Vintage White Vented Warehouse Stem Mount Pendant is a classic light that features a tough white porcelain enamel shade and your choice of six different stem lengths. The vented neck on this shade lets heat escape over the top of the shade.
For a slightly larger shade, check out the 18″ Vintage White Smoot-Holman Stem Mount 3-Tiered Shade. This rugged ceiling light offers plenty of illumination from its white porcelain interior and features a unique stacked neck design. Six stem lengths are available to customize this light which has been cleaned and rewired and comes to you ready to hang. For lower ceilings that require a flush-mount version, don’t miss the 14″ Vintage Benjamin® Vented Warehouse Flush Mount!
Top photo courtesy of RemodelistaRead More
When the electric light was first created and mass produced in the 19th century, society was changed forever. People were no longer at the mercy of the sun or unpredictable and sometimes dangerous gas lighting to find their way after dark. The library industry was one that embraced the new technology with open arms and open doors. More people could come to the library more often, and stay later, thanks to the long industrial lights that were suspended over the tables where patrons would read and conduct research. These lights were perfect for libraries with their rounded shades that didn’t allow a lot of overlighting into neighboring spaces. This style of vintage lighting was also quite popular in warehouses and stockrooms where long tables needed downward focused light without a lot of glare.
To get this look for your space — be it a garage workshop, kitchen island, or retail display — check out our Vintage Benjamin® Stockroom Porcelain Library Light, part of our collection of Vintage Stem Mount Pendants. This classic Benjamin® fixture comes in the traditional vintage green with a white porcelain interior that reflects light so well. It measures more than 20″ long and can handle up to a 200 watt bulb so it will bring plenty of light to any table setting. The mounting features a Galvanized finish and comes in a variety of lengths, ranging from 6″ to 48″ for customizing.
These 19th- and early 20th-century porcelain fixtures were crafted by hand from the finest materials available at the time. The porcelain enamel glass finish was not harmed by the chemicals and conditions often found in factories or warehouses and would give a lifetime of service. And while we love finding these vintage treasures to restore and rewire for our Vintage Barn Lighting site, Barn Light Electric is also proud to have revived the porcelain enamel manufacturing process to create outstanding vintage reproductions of many classic styles of lighting.
As you drive through the grounds surrounding the Grove Park Inn, you feel surrounded and immersed in the history of place. The Inn will celebrate its 100th year in operation in 2013 and has served not only as a hotel to presidents and celebrities whose photographs line the hallways, but also as a rest and rehabilitation center for US Navy sailors returning from World War II. There are countless vintage touches throughout the grounds including these handsome vintage gooseneck lights near the Grovewood Gallery and Café.
Old World charm abounds here at the Gallery amidst the sculpture gardens, working artists’ studios, and more than 9,000 square feet of both traditional and contemporary arts and crafts. These gooseneck lights exemplify the talent and craftsmanship of the metal artisans of the early 20th century who created porcelain enamel lighting that would stand the test of time. These fixtures are much like our 16″ Vintage Benjamin™ Warehouse Shade, a classic light with the original Benjamin™ sticker still on the shade. With the traditional green porcelain exterior and the bright white interior, this fixture will throw plenty of downward light onto any exterior site. Like all of the lights in our Vintage Lighting collections, this fixture has been cleaned and rewired with new components and comes to you ready to install.
A slightly smaller gooseneck, the Vintage Green Warehouse Gooseneck Shade, would make a fine addition to a barn, workshop, or garage. This fixture measures 12″ across and can be customized with your choice of several different gooseneck arm styles. It features the classic green exterior and white interior and can handle up to a 200 watt bulb for plenty of illumination. To create a family of vintage lighting, don’t miss the matching Vintage Green Warehouse Shade Stem Mount light, a rugged fixture that will light up your porch or workshop space for years to come!Read More
When your radar is tuned into vintage lighting as much as ours is — work hazard — you tend to spot vintage fixtures in all sorts of places. A vintage gooseneck on an old barn, a deep bowl stem mount pendant over your neighbor’s dining room table, or perhaps a vintage milk glass shade in a friend’s kitchen. True antique lights can be found in residential settings but not so often in commercial venues. Commercial lighting requirements often place a higher priority on quality and durable materials than on style and aesthetics. But a quick browse through our Vintage Sign Lighting collection and you’ll find plenty of options that offer both style and quality.
This chiropractor’s office chose some vintage emblem shades to get just the right angle of light on their front door and walkway. These lights resemble classic Benjamin™ Emblem Sign Lights such as the 10″ Vintage Benjamin™ that features the standard green porcelain exterior and the bright white porcelain interior to help reflect the light. This fixture comes with your choice of stem mounts ranging from 6″ to 48″ long and can handle up to a 200 watt bulb. The Benjamin™ markings are visible around the exterior fitter.
Also found in our Vintage Sign Lighting group are Angle Shade Lights that include the Vintage Porcelain Enamel Clamshell Gas Station Light. These lights also come with the classic green porcelain exterior and six stem lengths to suit your space. The secret to these antique lights’ longevity lies in the porcelain enamel coating. Porcelain lighting was prevalent in this country back in the early 20th century but fell out of use when cheaper painting techniques came on the market. Only porcelain enamel has the strength and durability to stand up to sun, wind, rain and other elements long term making them an excellent choice for commercial lighting. Barn Light Electric is proud to be America’s only manufacturer of porcelain enamel lighting!Read More