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!
The not-so-secret recipe for the amazing food you’ll find at any Bareburger restaurant in New York is listed right on their website. Organic, grass-fed, all natural, and sustainable are just a few of the words they use to describe the fare they create every day with the help of local farmers. And the founders take just as much care when it comes to designing their restaurant spaces using recycled, reclaimed, and sustainable materials. Two new locations feature one of our favorite upcycled lighting fixtures — The Mig Retro Steel Industrial Pendant.Read More
No matter what your age or design style, we all like a little bling in our lives. That special something that turns a head and starts a conversation. Or those little extras that pull a room together and make it pop. Often times, this home dècor bling has a history; a vintage piece that isn’t seen on every store shelf or website.
You can incorporate some history into your own home with Barn Light Electric’s collection of Vintage Accessories that include salvaged and decorative accent pieces. These items are a great way to add some new life to a room without the time, hassle, and expense of a major remodel. If you’ve always wanted to try out a new look, but didn’t want to commit to a complete overhaul of your dècor, adding accessories is an instant fix.
This Countertop Mirror in polished brass adds an elegant touch to a guest bath or entryway table. This fixture is an original manufactured by UrbanArchaeology.com and is currently listed at 50 percent off the list price. Or perhaps an Antique Door Knocker, also from UrbanArchaeology.com would make a lovely utilitarian addition to your front door. This American made knocker has a polished brass finish and is also available at half off the list price.
Salvaged Hardware is a great collection to browse for pieces you can install easily and quickly to pep up your dècor. A set of Polished Chrome Hooks in the kitchen to hold towels or tools would be useful or how about dressing up those tired cabinets with some Vintage Crystal Drawer Pulls?
And of course, switching up your lighting is always a favorite way to brighten up a room! A beautifully crafted floor lamp offers a dose of Victorian charm and could be used as an accent in any room. With a detailed shaft, claw feet, and two satin glass shades, the Antique Victorian Double Lamp has been attentively preserved for modern use.
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.