Category Archives: Fixtures

Outdoor Light Fixtures with a Vintage Look

outdoor light fixtures

If you’re looking for outdoor light fixtures and want a classic vintage look you may find your answer here. Being fans of Edison bulbs and everything else vintage, we wanted to find options for outdoor light fixtures which kept up that old world feel. We looked through a few hundred fixtures and found those which were reasonably priced, had good customer reviews, and good construction quality. Hopefully we can save you some time by having done the legwork for you.

Wall Mounted Outdoor Light Fixtures

First up are the sconces. The first sconce we selected is from Kichler. Kichler has a great reputation and makes some really good looking light fixtures. Outdoor light fixturesThis one, from their Barrie collection, has a look of timeless elegance. It’s a classic hexagonal shape, with glass panels forming a dome above the light. There is a fancy curve over the light which suggests the look of a lantern hanging from a bracket. This light is available in black and what they call “tannery bronze” which is a brown with a patina effect. This light can use up to a 100 watt bulb. It takes one standard (medium) base bulb. It’s 15.5” high and 8” wide. The fixture is made from cast aluminum, so it’s lightweight and can stand up to the elements without rusting. Also nice is that the bottom is open, so you don’t need to disassemble anything to replace the bulb.

You can read more about these outdoor light fixtures, check the price, and see what others had to say about it – in black, in tannery bronze.

 

The second sconce we picked out is known as an onion lantern. Onion lanterns get their name from having glass globes which are onion-shaped. This one has a “seedy glass” globe, which really adds to the rustic vintage look. onion lanternIt also has the appearance of being a lantern hanging on a bracket, although the light is fixed and not actually hanging. The manufacturer, Designers Fountain, calls the finish “rustique”. As you would expect, it’s a rusty-antiqued look. The globe is surrounded by a metal cage, which could also tie it in to nautical themes such as a boathouse light. We think it would look great anywhere.

There are 2 sizes available, one with a 7 inch globe and one with a 10 inch globe. The smaller one is 14.5” tall and extends 9” from the wall. The larger one is 17.5” tall and extends 12” from the wall. Both take a single medium base bulb, up to 100 watts.

You can read more about this fixture, check the price, and see what others had to say about it – the smaller version, and the larger version.

 

Dark Sky Lighting Fixtures

Dark Sky is an initiative around the world to preserve the night sky. In short, if you’ve ever compared looking at the stars from the city to looking at the stars while camping in the middle of nowhere, then you know what the dark sky initiative is about. You can learn more about dark sky initiatives at http://darksky.org/. In some places, dark sky lighting is required by ordinance. In other places, people do it because they want to. The idea behind dark sky lighting fixtures is that they direct the light downward, and block it from going upward.

In addition to being dark sky friendly, these two light fixtures just plain look good. Both are from a manufacturer called Design House, made from formed steel, and come in an oil rubbed bronze finish. They each take one medium base bulb up to 60 watts.

dark sky lighting fixture

The first is the larger of the two. It is 12” in diameter, 10.25” high, and extends 12.25” from the wall.

The second has a simpler look to it, resembling barn lighting or farmhouse lighting. It’s 11” high, 8 3/8” wide, and extends 10.5” from the wall.

dark sky lighting fixture

Both of these lights are reasonably priced and get positive customer feedback. You can read more about these dark sky outdoor light fixtures here – the larger one (upper), and the smaller one (lower).

 

Pendant Outdoor Light Fixture

We wanted to include one pendant in the group. Pendant are good to use over the back patio or front porch if you have the height for it. This outdoor light fixture is actually a pendant version of the first pendant outdoor light fixturesconce covered above, from Kichler. It has the same hexagonal shape topped by a glass paneled dome. The finial attaches to a chain from which to hand the pendant. It measures 13.5” high and 8” in diameter. It uses a single medium base bulb up to 100 watts. It’s available in the same finishes, black and tannery bronze. If you’re looking for an outdoor pendant, it’s a great choice. If you’re looking for outdoor sconces and pendants, then it makes sense to get both version of this great looking light and keep everything matched.

You can read more about these outdoor light fixtures and check the current price here – the black version, and the tannery bronze version.

 

Streetlight Style Patio Light

One type of outdoor light fixture we ran across in our research was a floor standing ligOutdoor light fixturesht similar to a park light or old street light. We thought this would be a great option for the backyard. As we researched them, though, we discovered these types of replica lights still have some issues. Most of the issues are around quality. Since they need to be lightweight for shipping and inexpensive to make (and buy) they are made mostly from molded plastic parts, using metal only where structurally necessary. We didn’t think we were going to find one we could recommend. After some digging we found one which people seem to be generally happy with. If you’re looking for this type of outdoor light fixture, then this is the one we suggest.

The light stands at around 7 feet tall (85 inches actually). It has a 10 foot cord with a 3-prong plug to power it. It doesn’t need to be mounted anywhere, but the base is meant to be filled with sand so that it won’t blow over in a storm or be easily tipped over by pets, kids, adults, …whoever. Playground sand is readily available at your local home improvement store.

The lamp takes 4 medium base bulbs, up to 40 watts each. There is a 2-level dimming switch to adjust the brightness.

You can read all of the customer reviews and check the price on this outdoor light fixture here.

That wraps up our first take at finding reasonably priced outdoor light fixtures with a vintage or rustic look. We hope you found at least one which works for your needs.

Outdoor String Lights for Summer Fun

Outdoor String Lights

Outdoor string lights
Outdoor string lights are a great way to spruce up your backyard patio for some quality outdoor time this Summer. You’ve probably seen the outdoor light strings of simple bulbs hanging from a wire at restaurants and shopping centers. They add a great atmosphere to outdoor space. In some cases it’s soft and romantic, in some cases it looks like a party, depending on the rest of the décor. Whatever impact you’re after, adding some outdoor light strings will really make a difference.

Along the Patio Roof

You can string the lights up in a variety of ways. If you have a backyard patio with a roof over it you can simply string them along the perimeter of the roof. You can put them up in a straight line around the eave for a clean, more formal look. You can also decide to allow some sag between mounting points for a relaxed informal look. For this type of mounting, I suggest using wire clips. You can get them in black or white, nail-in or screw-in, and even adhesive-backed if you believe that will stay stuck in your environment. I don’t recommend simply using a staple gun to staple around the wire. I’ve pierced many light strings doing this, which creates shorts.

Radiating From a Central Point

Another hanging option for outdoor string lights is to pick a center point and string them from that point out and down. Your center point could be simply the center of the patio ceiling, or a pole in the yard if you can come up with one. This ends up looking like the roof of a carousel or gazebo. In this case, you’ll want multiple outdoor light strings. Each string can go from the bottom, through the center point, and down the other side. You’ll need half as many light strings as you want to have total strings. You’ll probably want at least 4 sets outdoor string lights for this, from overhead they would be arranged in an octagonal shape.

Hanging Outdoor String Lights Between Buildings

If you have a separate garage, an outdoor shed, or other structure, you can string lights from building to building. This creates overhead lighting for a great get-together area underneath, perfect over a table or even just a couple of chairs. If the distance is relatively short, you can simply attach the outdoor string lights from one building to another. If the distance is about 20 feet or longer, I suggest stringing a wire cable from building to building, and then hanging the light string from the cable with zip ties. At longer distances there’s more weight on the light string which means it’s being pulled from each end. This can stretch and damage the light string. It’s better to have the cable take the stress and let the light string hang. Hanging the cable is pretty straightforward. Just screw a cable eye into each endpoint, run some small gauge wire cable through each eye, looping it back about a foot on each end. Attach cable tie connectors at each end, pulling the cable tight for the second end. Your outdoor string lights will last a lot longer this way.

 Shopping for Outdoor String Lights

You have a lot of options when it comes to outdoor string lights, here’s what to consider.

  • Length – Obviously you need the string to be long enough. Some strings allow you to connect multiple strings end-to-end for more length, and some don’t, so that’s something to look for.
  • Outdoor Rated – Make sure you use outdoor light strings outdoors. If they don’t say they are for outdoors, they are probably rated for indoor use only. They won’t stand up to the weather, and they may short out in the rain. On the topic of safety, use a UL listed product, and plug them into a GFI outlet. All of your outdoor outlets should already be on a GFI circuit.
  • Number of Sockets/Bulbs – The spacing of the lights on the string differs from string to string. You’ll probably want a bulb at least every 2 feet on shorter strings, 3 feet on long strings.
  • Type of Bulbs – Some strings come with bulbs, some don’t. Those that do offer a variety of bulbs. You can get clear glass bulbs in many shapes, and you can get novelty lights like reindeer or shotgun shells. It’s completely a matter of taste.

I recommend this outdoor light string on Amazon. It’s 48 feet long, and there are 2 bulb options, or you can order with no bulb. It does allow you to connect up to 4 in a row. It’s UL listed and outdoor rated.

Whatever you decide, you’ll be happy with the result. Invite some friends over, or keep it to someone special, and enjoy the evening under your new outdoor string lights.

Pendant Light – 3 Options Under $50 With a Vintage Feel

Pendant Light 3 Under 50

A new pendant light can do a lot to change the look of a room. If you’re not ready for a full design overhaul a new pendant light is a good place to start. It’s simple to do, it should take less than an hour. And it can be an inexpensive way to start “trying on” a larger décor change.

Here are 3 pendant light options for under $50 which you can be using in your home this week.

Pendant Light 1
Pendant light

This is by far the easiest option to install. If you have recessed (also known as “can”) lighting in your kitchen or office/den, this is a good option. This pendant light actually screws into your existing recessed light. Simply remove your existing bulb and the cord for this light screws right in its place. It comes with a canopy which covers the existing fixture to complete the look. This should take you literally 10 minutes to install, no tools needed. Very clever.

The drop height is adjustable from 8 inches to 4 feet from the ceiling. The light simply hangs from a cord, which you can wrap up under the canopy on a supplied bracket to get the right height for you.

The shade is a hammered copper finish. Antiqued copper is good because it’s a little bit “soft” and a little bit “industrial”. It goes well with concrete, granite, and wood. The interior of the shade is white to help reflect the maximum amount of light downward.

The light supports up to a 75 watt bulb. There are 2 in the picture above, they are sold individually.

You can check the price or buy the light here. For this option, the shipping will likely put you just over the $50 mark, but it’s such a substantial light, and a great solution for updating recessed lighting, I wanted to include it. If you try it, send us some pictures so we can share.

Pendant Light 2
pendant light

If you’re looking for something simple and mid-sized, this large mason jar pendant light is for you.

This pendant light requires no electrical installation. It has a plug and an on/off switch so you can use it anywhere.

One feature I really like is that has a cloth covered cord. Nothing mars the impact of an attempt at vintage like using a modern plastic-sheathed cord.  The cord is 15½ feet long. If you have 8 foot ceilings that gives you a lot of leeway in mounting locations. If you have 10 or 12 foot ceilings, or vaulted ceilings, plugging it into a wall outlet might mean you need to plan ahead. You could use a socket-to-outlet adapter which converts an existing ceiling light socket into an outlet. They’re cheap and handy.

Another feature I like is that this isn’t your typical mason jar pendant light. First, it’s not a quart jar, as are most. It’s a half-gallon mason jar.  It’s 11¼ inches tall (nearly a foot), and 4½ inches in diameter. The jar has raised lettering, and is clear to help show off the bulb.

One last feature of this light is that it is well-ventilated. I know that’s not a design consideration and is often overlooked, but heat can be a real hazard. The bottom of the mason jar is open, cleanly cut, which is difficult to do yourself. Also, the top of the fixture has ventilation holes to allow heat to escape.

At current prices when this was posted, you can buy a great Edison bulb to showcase in this light and still stay under the $50 limit. Here’s a 40 watt option with a Squirrel Cage filamentedison bulb which  produces 135 lumens.
edison bulb

And here’s a 60 watt option with a quad-loop filament design which produces a brighter 200 lumens.
edison bulbedison bulb

Both options allow you to stay under the $50 limit. You can check the current price or buy the Half Gallon Open Bottom Mason Jar Pendant Lamp heremason jar pendant light

 Pendant Light 3

pendant lightpendant light

This pendant light option provides 3 lights over a space of about 2 feet. The canopy itself is actually 23½ inches long. It’s a great option over an island, breakfast bar, or a work surface.

This light does mount to a standard junction box, it doesn’t screw into an existing fixture or plug into a wall. We have an article on replacing an existing light fixture, it’s easy to do and we’ll walk you through it. You can have this mounted in less than hour.

The lights hang by the cords rather than rods, so the length is adjustable. The longest they can be adjusted to is 50 inches, or just over 4 feet. That should be sufficient for most locations.

The 3 sockets accept standard base bulbs, so you have lots of options.  You can stay under the $50 limit with 3 of these 40 watt Edison bulbs with squirrel cage filamentedison bulb.
Edison bulb with squirrel cage filamentpendant light edison bulb

The sockets also have mounting rings for standard 2¼ inch fitter glass shadespendant glass shades if you would like to add shades. We couldn’t find any which would stay under the $50 for 3 of them, but they’re not much more if you want them.

You can check the price and buy the 3-Light bronze mini pendant light herependant light.

There you have it, 3 pendant light options that fit into a vintage decor for under fifty dollars. All of which you can have and be using in your house within days or a week. Hopefully you found one which appeals to you. Send us a picture of one of these pendant light options in your home, we would be happy to share it with others to provide some inspiration.