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Buying Vintage Style Bulbs

Buying Vintage Style Bulbs

Antique replica bulbs: While many people enjoy the uniqueness of their dusky glow, others are more hesitant to jump on the vintage lighting bandwagon due to past purchases with murky results. Like a proverbial comeback kid, the Edison bulb’s rising popularity is two-fold. On one hand, Edison and similar bulbs provide a nostalgically comfortable ambiance, and on the other hand, they are not your everyday household bulbs. The nuances of vintage lighting are few, but important to remember if you want to truly appreciate the environment that these classic bulbs can contribute.

Wire cage wall fixtures with antique bulb

Brightness Comparing the glow of your antique replica bulb to the standard bulb in your bedside table is like comparing tangerines to oranges, they are both orange in color and round but taste different. We have written about the differences in brightness before. In our article, Are Edison Bulbs Bright Enough?, it is explained that the beloved antique gleam has a lower brightness and color than today’s standard incandescent light bulb.  Even though a replica bulb—whether it be an incandescent or LED type—might state it’s a certain wattage, the lumen output (i.e. brightness) is not the same as the current range of a household bulbs. Furthermore, most lighting in contemporary homes is a cheerfully warm white, 2700K color temperature. The reproduction of a vintage bulb is meant to imitate its predecessor’s modest hue, ranging from 1800K to 2400K, a decidedly yellow color that is still well below what is considered acceptable lighting in modern residences. For that reason, when you see a replica bulb think of it like a candle, providing a little extra light, but it is not meant to be your main source of illumination.

Set of 4 types of Edison bulb pendants

Construction The retro style of vintage bulbs is a pivotal selling point. In addition to their candlelight color, the notable swirling and crisscrossed filaments in bulb interiors lend a handcrafted charm to your light fixtures. Many antique reproductions also feature an amber tint, boosting the well-known honeyed glamour while also contributing to the aforementioned contrast in color and luminosity. Consequently, the dark-hued shine is best utilized in ambient lighting situations. This means you would be greatly pleased if you used these bulbs as decorative lights in your living room or near your dinner table but highly disappointed if you expected to cook or read by their meager light. Ambience lighting is for creating a certain atmosphere, which Edison bulbs and their siblings are well-suited for, but brighter task lighting is required for things like homework or the soufflé you are determined to master.

Characteristics You can find many of the most common and recognizable light bulb shapes in antique replica styles.  Bulbs vary in shape and style, from the standard A19 incandescent shape to the trendy oblong Edison shape, spherical globesminiature S11 bulbs, or the odd yet alluring shapes of radio and tubular bulbs.  Besides various convenient shapes, the distinctive filaments also come in several types of windings. For example, on our website we carry vintage reproductions with filament windings like spiral, quad-looped, hairpin, diamond, and a delightful crisscross pattern known as “squirrel cage”.  If you include the tint—which can be amber, slightly amber, or no tint at all—you have a vast amount of possibilities.

Whether you switch to energy-saving LEDs or stick with tried-but-true incandescent likenesses, we welcome your thought-provoking questions (like which type of bulb is the most steampunkish?), insightful comments on lumen distribution, or even “puny” lighting jokes in the area below. You can learn more about vintage light bulbs and other light topics on our blog or check out our FacebookTwitterGoogle Plus, LinkedIn, or Pinterest as we share amazing and crafty lighting. Contact our captivating team of customer service representatives, who are repeatedly thrilled to offer the know-how for your inspired lighting projects as well as empathic solutions for those electrical mishaps.

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