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The "Switch" to LED: Options for Antique Lighting

by Electra Abernathy

Want to save on your energy bills but keep the historic look of your vintage light fixtures?  Decorative LED light bulbs may be just what you need.  You may think of energy-saving bulbs as ugly, but we now offer varieties that look quite similar to incandescent bulbs.

In recent years, several countries, including the United States, have created new standards regulating the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs.  These standards are intended to phase out the incandescent bulbs that exceed 40 watts, and to encourage the development of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives.  The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 required that light bulbs become increasingly more efficient in the next few years.  Under the law, incandescent bulbs that produce 310–2600 lumens of light are effectively phased out between 2012 and 2014. Bulbs outside this range (roughly, light bulbs currently less than 40 watts or more than 150 watts) are exempt from the ban. Also exempt are several classes of specialty lights, including appliance lamps, "rough service”  bulbs, 3-way, colored lamps, and plant lights. Now is the time to start exploring alternative lighting options, and LED bulbs may be the best choice for the environment and for preserving the look of your vintage light fixtures.  

In the late nineteenth century, people were used to the softer glow of gas lights and kerosene lamps, and early household electric light fixtures did not give off a harsh bright light.  LED light bulbs provide a soft, ambient light that is perfect for vintage chandeliers and wall sconces.  Compact fluorescent lights may be too harsh for historic light fixtures, but LED bulbs can provide a more authentic-looking glow for your vintage lights. 

LED bulbs are available in a variety of sizes and shapes for use anywhere in your home.  Flame-shaped bulbs, often used in chandeliers and sconces, are available with either candelabra or standard bases.  There are several options for ordinary household bulbs, as well.  Our Pharox LED bulbs come in dimmable and non-dimmable models and are available in bright white or a warmer tone.  When installed in many ceiling fixtures, they even look like regular incandescent bulbs from below!  We also carry round, standard-base vanity globes and smaller round, candelabra-base bulbs often used in vintage ceiling fixtures. 

Benefits of LED Light Bulbs

LED light bulbs are a great way to save energy, money, and reduce your carbon footprint.  LED accent bulbs give off the light equivalent of a 25 watt incandescent bulb, but use only between 1 and 4 watts, and the 6 watt Pharox 300 LED bulb produces as much light as a 60 watt incandescent!  LED bulbs also save you the hassle of having to periodically change burnt-out bulbs because they have a much longer lifetime than traditional incandescent bulbs.  The average lifetime of an LED bulb is about 30,000 to 35,000 hours (approximately 25 years), compared to an incandescent bulb’s 1,000 - 2,000 hours or a compact fluorescent bulb’s 10,000 hours.  And unlike CFLs, LED bulbs do not contain mercury and do not emit harmful UV radiation.

Check out our selection of LED bulbs and consider giving them a try. Use coupon code ELECTRA at checkout to save 20% off any of them. Offer valid through June 30, 2014.


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Deck Your Halls!
Here are a few of our favorite antique ceiling and wall sconces from our inventory.
Cornucopia Turn for Rotary Doorbell, Antique Nickel
Use with our Mechanical Door Bells
Adhesive House Number, Large
For use on glass doors and windows
Classic Mailbox with Lock, Black
An Elegant Victorian Style Mailbox
Star Fish Ceramic Vertical Oval Plaque
Star Fish Ceramic Vertical Oval
Script Monogram Ceramic Oval Plaque
Script Monogram Ceramic Oval
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