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Steampunk Lighting at 1000Bulbs.com

Steampunk Lighting at 1000Bulbs.com

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If you recall the infamous steam-powered wheelchair in 1999’s Wild Wild West or the various gadgetry in 2009’s Sherlock Holmes movie, you’ve had at least a vague introduction to “steampunk.” But to make things clearer for those who are unfamiliar with it, steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by turn-of-the-century, steam-powered machinery. It has since evolved into a beloved home decorating and style trend among sci-fi enthusiasts. In this article, we unpack what makes something "steampunk" as well as disclose how you can integrate this unique aesthetic into your home lighting design.

Author G. D. Falksen, wearing a steampunk-styled arm prosthesis
Author G. D. Falksen, wearing a steampunk-styled arm prosthesis

What Exactly Is Steampunk?

Steampunk literature and entertainment is based on the premise that alternative power-generation methods such as electricity or petroleum were never fully developed. Steampunk stories are sometimes set in Victorian-era England or industrial America, while other times they are set in a dystopian futuristic society. In both scenarios, steam is reimagined as the primary power source for the kinds of devices we had then or have today, including light fixtures, telephones, cars, computers, robots, or more imaginative contraptions. Think modern day conveniences made with the technology available in the early 1900s, and you have a pretty good idea of what steampunk is.

What Makes Lighting “Steampunk?”

A steampunk typewriter fixture
A steampunk typewriter fixture

So what exactly makes something “steampunk?” This is largely debated by hardcore fans, but when it comes to lighting, we’d have to say that most steampunk-inspired light fixtures incorporate industrial-looking pipes and antique light bulbs. Sometimes a decorative pressure gauge, thermometer, water valve, cog, or pulley system is also incorporated into the design. Wire cages surrounding the antique bulbs are a popular accent, along with brass, copper, glass and polished wood elements.  Steampunk fixtures can be as simple as antique bulbs surrounded by metallic enclosures, or they can be much more elaborate mechanical or mad-scientist themed lamps and ceiling fixtures.

What Steampunk Options are at 1000Bulbs.com?

At 1000Bulbs.com, we offer an exclusive collection of steampunk-inspired antique light fixtures, as well as a few ideas for how to incorporate them in your home. While this selection is not all we have to offer, here are some of our favorites.

Sunlite 07040-SU - Antique Cage Wall Sconce
Sunlite 07040-SU - Antique Cage Wall Sconce

For a more understated look, the Sunlite 07040-SU 2-light cage wall sconce is a classic steampunk fixture. Accommodating two tubular antique bulbs (sold separately) with standard sockets in an antique black finish, this design will add a subtle touch of nostalgia to your home while blending in with a variety of other décor styles and color schemes.

Sunlite 07038-SU - Antique Wall Plate Sconce
Sunlite 07038-SU - Antique Wall Plate Sconce

For a more eccentric vibe, take a trip back in time with the Sunlite 07038-SU antique wall plate sconce. Meant to display a long, tubular vintage bulb, this fixture surrounds the tube with four black metal rods and has a copper-colored wall plate. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind light fixture in your hallway, den, or executive lounge.

Sunlite 07076-SU - Piping System Wall Sconce
Sunlite 07076-SU - Piping System Wall Sconce

For a more striking visual, check out the Sunlite 07076-SU piping system wall sconce, which accepts 5 bulbs and is fixed with a decorative pressure gauge. Roughly 3.5 feet long and just over 2.5 feet tall, this elaborate steampunk fixture sports a copper bronze finish, in keeping with the genre’s traditional industrial vibe.

Sunlite 07044-SU - Industrial Pendant
Sunlite 07044-SU - Industrial Pendant

For a steampunk edge in your bar or kitchen, you're looking for the Sunlite 07044-SU industrial pendant. This matte black fixture is perfectly reminiscent of early twentieth century lighting with it's dark finish and mechanical aesthetic, and it features a medium-base socket for a standard 60-watt bulb. Inspire your home decor with industrial-era fervor using this unique Sunlite ceiling fixture.

But Wait—There's More!

In addition to these three ready-made options, we also have more customizable options for displaying your steampunk sass. You can create your own DIY industrial pendant light using any of our sockets, cords, and plugs topped off with a metal lamp guard or wire cage. With so many mix-and-match options available, you’re sure to find the perfect elements for your next steampunk fixture at 1000Bulbs.com.

Remember, these are just a few examples—many more options abound! After you’ve seen a few fixtures, it’s easy to see what makes them “steampunk.” You can buy a pre-made fixture, or create one yourself for more a personal touch, all from the comfort of your home at 1000Bulbs.com. If you have any questions about your steampunk lighting options, ask us below in the comments or contact us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle PlusLinkedInPinterest, or Instagram!

Header image used courtesy of Emmanuel Huybrechts and Valeriana Stock under CC 2.0.

Lighting in the News - August 2015

Lighting in the News - August 2015

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