We love looking through our old lighting catalogs here and often marvel at how things have changed in the lighting industry in the last 100 years. In the early 1900s, workers in factories, warehouses, and production plants often struggled with inadequate lighting offered by the bare bulb pendants of the day. The work was hard, slow, and often dangerous, simply because of the working environment.
Companies such as Benjamin, Goodrich, Crouse-Hinds, and Appleton stepped up and began designing a new style of industrial lighting for these spaces — crafting wide, shallow bowl RLM shades spun from steel then coated with porcelain enamel glass. The companies touted... Read More
We spent much of the 1970s and ’80s being bombarded with the message that new is better than old. Lease a new car then turn it in and get another new one. Use a new plastic bottle each day instead of filling up a glass. Luckily, there’s been a significant shift of late towards preserving the past. Upcycling, reusing, and repurposing are no longer fringe concepts but words to live by!
Like many people, we love finding old treasures like vintage barn lights. Ones that have been in use for decades and, with a little TLC, can be made like new again for many more years of service. Barn Light Electric grew from the excitement of finding old lighting fixtures made... Read More
I know it’s July and the school bell will remain silent for six more weeks, but there’s no time like the present for a little education.
No groaning please. Education is information and information is key when you’re looking to invest in lighting. Let’s face it. You can go to your local big-box store and spend $20 on a look-alike wall sconce that came from China. But considering it only costs you $20 and it had to be shipped overseas, how much money do you think actually went into the materials? Not much. Which is why most “inexpensive” lights rust almost immediately or fall apart at the first hint of use.
So a little history... Read More
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... Read More
Regardless of what your third grade teacher may have told you, Thomas Edison was not the sole inventor of the light bulb. Yes, it’s much easier to simplify history at times, especially for nine-year-olds, but like most other major inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries, advancements came in baby steps, developed over time by different scientists and inventors around the globe who took each small discovery and propelled an idea forward.
Many people were key figures in the industrial lighting realm with Sir Humphrey Davy helping devise one of the first explosion proof fixtures. At the turn of the century, Peter Hewitt patented the mercury vapor lamp while... Read More
The open floor plan home design which came into vogue in the 1990s remains popular today for a host of reasons. An open plan makes a small home feel bigger with fewer walls and chopped up spaces, plus it takes advantage of natural light. Larger spaces tend to have multi-functional uses and allow for more interaction among the family. Lighting in this type of home becomes even more important because it can be seen from so many areas. An architect or interior designer strives to have a familial look among the fixtures as the eye travels from space to space. Instead of having one overall light to brighten each room, task lighting takes priority here such as the chandelier... Read More