I love candles as much as the next guy. But...

I like classic cars. And classic 1950s diners. I love art deco architecture. And I love candles. Such wonderful sources of light – soft, fleeting, dynamic, beautiful.

I also love vintage lamps. Edison tried so many filament materials, bulb shapes and gas fills (and vacuums), not to mention the supports, the pinches, the contacts. It’s hard to do something the first time that actually works, but once you’ve done it, the sky’s the limit. Ask the Wright brothers – once they proved that powered flight was possible, in a few short years we were flying across ever-greater bodies of water. But when I fly, I choose to do so in a 737, not in something strung together of spruce and muslin.

"Making a little light by producing an enormous amount of heat is just silly"

Lighting engineers have spent over a century moving us away from incandescent lamps because they know that making a little light by producing an enormous amount of heat is silly.

And yet, walk down Borough High Street, Bleecker Street, Alvaro Obregon here in Mexico City – name your chic destination – and you’d think it was a current technology.

Vintage lamps have become a crutch for interior designers, product designers, architects and indeed, lighting designers. Surely we should be designing something innovative, something that creates beauty in its own right.

I was sitting in a cafe in New York the other day that used just 950W for its general lighting, but then, add the handful of pendants with these lamps, doing no lighting work, and suddenly you add another two or three kilowatts to the electrical load. Because the designer was too lazy to design.

So come on people: let’s use our imagination, let’s create new luminaires that don’t depend on vintage lamps to look beautiful, let’s create new spaces that make new beauty of efficient technologies. Let’s stop using vintage lamps as crutches.

Comments 6

"Vintage lamps have become a crutch for interior designers, product designers, architects and indeed, lighting designers. Surely we should be designing something innovative, something that creates beauty in its own right." Well we have! We have launched our Bright Goods range of antique-style filament LED lamps which last ten times as longer as traditional filament lamps. Our range are fully dimmable, available in different shapes (squirrel cages/pear shapes, globes, GLS and other speciality shapes). Recreate the magic with our vintage LED filament lamps today - a must have for lighting designers, retail, restaurants and domestic environments - www.brightgoods.co.uk

You say love classics, vintage lights as much as the next guy, so you know LEDs just can not match the atmospheric light filaments produce, akin to gas and candle light spectrums. We like this kind of light because it's spectrum is pleasing to us; warm, romantic, whatever, it feels right. LEDs are mainly produced with little regard to light spectrum atheistic, but for cheapness, money (and cost saving), and with this comes issues like harmful Blue Light and our conscience knows that.

@ James Miller - what's your company called?

I fully support your thoughts. I love the squirrel cage lamps and have done for a long time, but they are everywhere and extremely inefficient. As well as this the light produced by them often end up leaving a space feeling bland with no control of where the light goes.

We are UK distributors for the Segula brand of dimmable LED vintage lamps; designers seem to welcome them as do all our happy clients. Maybe you do not have access to quality dimmable filament LED lamp?

They make people happy...as opposed to the mass of souless, nearly-identical, retangular, brushed-aluminum offerings being pushed on us.

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