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 lighting designer
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 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.

Latest from ask randall

You are still missing task light and accent light. You probably need some decorative floor and table lamps as well, which can also be used for task... read full story
Super-shallow recessed fixtures can have a high glare factor. You might consider installing box beams to give you the room for recessed fixtures... read full story
Yes, exactly. An incandescent bulb at full brightness has a color temperature of 2700K. Additionally, incandescent bulbs also get warmer in color as... read full story
There is still inventory out there for higher-wattage incandescents, but I hope people will use LED sources, which use less power, create less heat... read full story

Webinars

Wednesday, June 8 at 2 p.m. EDT Register for this free CEU webinar here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0 Learning UnitIDCEC (IIDA/ASID/IDC/IDS) 0.1... read full story
Sponsored by Emerson and Kuzco Lighting. This free CEU webinar has already taken place, but you can still watch it on demand by clicking here. Webinar Overview:Learning units... read full story
Sponsored by Bock Lighting, CSL, Fanimation, Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and USA LED Lighting Solutions.   Wednesday, June 10, 2-3 p.m. EDT This free CEU webinar has... read full story

RL Tweets!

Email Subscriptions