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.
Savannah, Georgia, is known as the Hostess City of the South and is brimming with southern charm and style. Close to the ocean and situated on the banks of the Savannah River, this town has plenty of coastal and nautical influences in its architecture, food, and culture. Savannah also happens to be home to our good friend Joel Snayd of Rethink Design Studio. Joel works with both residential and commercial clients in the Savannah area with a focus on showcasing each client’s personality through design. Today we take a peek at a dining room that Joel created featuring some beautiful vintage sconces. These sconces highlight each individual photograph on the wall while providing ambient light to the space as well.
To get this look, consider our Bulkhead Wall Mount Light available in either a Satin Nickel or Polished Brass finish. This rugged, wall-hugging fixture has its roots in the Atomic Era and features a unique cast guard and glass design that throws light around all sides of the fixture. You can customize this light by choosing clear, frosted, or ribbed glass. Originally manufactured by Urban Archeology, these sconces are offered at 50 percent off their original prices.
Another piece in our collection of nautical lighting is the Boathouse Wall Mount Light which features a smooth Satin Nickel finish. This unusual light has plenty of marine influences and would be perfect in a coastal setting — on a boathouse, dock, beachfront condo, or even a cottage on a lake. The clear glass jar of this light can handle a 100 watt bulb and is rated for wet locations.
To create a coastal feel throughout your home, don’t miss the complementary Bulkhead Fixed Pendant, also offered at discounted prices, and available in a variety of vintage finish colors including Polished Chrome, Polished Brass, Statuary Brown, and Green Patina.
Top photo courtesy of Joel Snayd
The lively city of Antwerp, located on the eastern banks of the river Scheldt in Belgium, is rich in art, architecture, and culture. Though famous for its diamond trade and the fifth largest port in the world, there are centuries worth of nooks and crannies to explore along its cobblestone streets. One of these hidden gems is the Boulevard Leopold, a quaint bed-and-breakfast located in a 19th century home that features a mix of vintage and modern. Here in the kitchen, we find floor-to-ceiling tile including a decorative blue pattern along the top of the walls that flows onto the ceiling. This treatment draws the eye upward, expanding the narrow space. And taking center stage – a delicate glass shade pendant that adds another vintage touch.
This shade would be right at home in our Glass Shade Pendant collection where we offer a variety of Milk Glass, Holophane Glass, and Cased Glass vintage fixtures. This light in particular looks much like our Flared Milk Glass Shade with Cotton Twist Cord. This 9 1/2″ wide shade offers a nice spread of light with its shallow, flared design and can be paired with either an unfinished brass or polished nickel socket. What gives this light a truly unique look is the colored cotton twist cord which comes in your choice of Putty, Brown, Black, or Red and in a range of lengths to fit any space.
Another easy addition that really boosts the character of this light is a nostalgic Edison Style Light Bulb. These bulbs are offered in a variety of shapes and styles and produce a warm, soft light. The Victorian 40-Watt Light Bulb features a quad loop filament while the 1910-Era 60-Watt Light Bulb has a squirrel cage filament. These authentic, replica bulbs put the perfect finishing touch on any vintage and industrial fixtures!
Top photo courtesy of RemodelistaRead More