New Technology for Antique Lighting
Our lighting guru suggests alternatives to incandescent lamps for the antique lighting market.
 
What is the new LED and CFL technology going to do to the antique lighting industry? I know the owner of a $20,000 original Tiffany lamp who is never going to put anything but an incandescent light bulb in it. Will incandescent light bulbs still be available?
There will be incandescent lamps available, especially for historic fixtures; although you may have to smuggle them in from Canada ... like I do with my medications. Your client and others want the type of light they grew up with and are used to. But even incandescent lamps were a pretty new technology when Tiffany lamps were being made. I can imagine the people of the period saying that they would hang onto gaslight and not switch over to Edison’s newfangled bulb. People love incandescent light for the color, the dimmability and the initial low bulb cost. Consider CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent) lamps instead. A-lamps, flame-tip lamps and G-lamps from companies like Literonics (pictured) look like their incandescent counterparts. They dim with an incandescent dimmer and have a lamp life of 18,000 to 25,000 hours, depending on the type. Although they cost around $12, they do save around $68 over the life of the lamp (based on $0.11/kwh). Hopefully, in the future, mercury-free ESL (electron stimulated luminescence) lamps will offer most of everything we love about incandescent, while providing long life and energy savings.
randall_whitehead
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website www.randallwhitehead.com and follow his blog www.lightmakesright.com for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Lastest from ask randall

The best lighting for illuminating your face at a mirror is side lighting, also referred to as cross illumination. This would be a pair of fixtures... read full story
Even though I'm all about energy-efficient lighting and have replaced 98 percent of my incandescent light with alternative light sources, the one... read full story
Natural light is definitely ideal for applying makeup when you're being seen during the day. So when you are getting ready for work it's better get... read full story
One of the things I see happening over and over again is that when people test makeup in the stores, they are looking at themselves in a mirror that... read full story

Webinars

Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group Inc., LTF and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting.   Complimentary live webinar will take place at 2 p... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Ferguson, GM Lighting and Maxim Lighting/ET2.   This webinar has already taken place, but you can view an... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, AFX Inc., Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting.   This live webinar has already taken place, but... read full story