Restoring Your Lighting - Lamps And Fixtures
Identifying the material and finish of your fixture is the first step in the restoration process .
Many early fixtures were made of white metal, sometimes referred to as Spelter. This metal is a combination of lead, zinc, iron, and sometimes others. This became widely popular in lighting fixtures for its ease of casting and detail . Brass parts were sometimes combined on the same fixtures.
White metal always had a patinated finish, be it Gilded, painted, chemically patinated, or in rare occasions, silver plated. Cast brass fixtures were not common in the United states in the 19th and early 20th century, most came from England or Europe.
Antique Lamp And Fixture Finishes
It is important to identify the finish before proceeding to restoration . Many Antique fixtures were destroyed in the 60's and 70's by the use of machine polishing which removed important finishes and casting detail. Fixtures' finishes can be hidden by years of nicotine, dust, grime, or even paint. In many cases this is preserving the original finish and can be removed safely by a professional .
Having your fixture evaluated by a qualified restorer is the first step, contact your local Museum for a list of qualified people near you or you can contact me for a free consultation .
Choice of Bulbs - Vintage Fixtures
The use of incandescent bulbs in Vintage lamps and lighting fixtures is the leading cause of socket failure .
Wattage is a measure of consumption and this causes heat ,not brightness as many believe.
Socket Replacement And Rewiring
The use of LED bulbs in soft white with a color temperature of 2300 to 3000 is very close to that of incandescent bulbs with virtually no heat and would eliminate the need of socket replacement and rewiring . LED s are available in all configurations and sizes and we highly recommend them for all fixtures .
LED Edison Bulb - 7 Watt - 60 Watt Equal 800 Lumens
- 3000 Kelvin incandescent match ,medium base
Works well with fixtures without shades or the bulbs are visible