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Michael Cochran

Light fixtures of the past

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I recently re-discovered some light sockets that I got years ago and it relit my desire to build some light fixtures. I have done some looking at some of the various old books I have on my iPad as well as doing some looking online and somehow I'm not finding much in the way of period specific examples. I am not looking to make anything from any specific period but would like to say that what I make was inspired by a light from XX century. If anyone has any suggestions as to where to look please tell me. I have a headache starting in from this search and my mind has been buzzing about this all day so I doubt the headache will quit till I find something.

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What periods?

"Early Lighting in New England" or "The Viking"?

The lamp project in "Hand Forging and Wrought-Iron Ornamental Work"  Googerty copyrighted in 1911 or "Iron and Brass Implements of the English House" Lindsay?

"Cathedral Forge and Waterwheel" (medieval technology) Gies & Gies or "Decorative Antique Ironwork" D'Allemagne

I would suggest you look over the project(s) in "Hand Forging and Wrought-Iron Ornamental Work"  Googerty for a period piece that uses electricity...

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9 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

What periods?

Like I said I don't have a specific period in mind. I will look to see what I can find using your book suggestions. 

 

Scrambler, have you seen the LED "Edison bulbs". 

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Ok so I came up with a couple ideas for lighting fixtures and saw several listed online that use mica sheet as the shade. I did some looking and found a few suppliers for sheet mica between 0.015" and 0.03" thick which I guess is ideal. Has anyone ever worked with this material before that can give some guidance before I by it and destroy it? 

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I've played with it before, but it was a long time ago.  All I can recall offhand is that it is quite fragile and typically found in sheets that are made up of many thin layers of the naturally occurring material.  I think I just cut it with a heavy shears or tin snips, or even utility knife and straight edge.  Strongly recommend mounting it in a frame that holds the entire perimeter of the material.  IMHO it makes a extremely beautiful shade for a lighting fixture.

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4 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Is it straight mica sheet or "processed mica sheet"?

The places I was looking at mention either epoxy or shellac binder so I'm guessing processed. 

5 hours ago, Latticino said:

I've played with it before, but it was a long time ago.  All I can recall offhand is that it is quite fragile and typically found in sheets that are made up of many thin layers of the naturally occurring material.  I think I just cut it with a heavy shears or tin snips, or even utility knife and straight edge.  Strongly recommend mounting it in a frame that holds the entire perimeter of the material.  IMHO it makes a extremely beautiful shade for a lighting fixture.

I definitely don't plan on leaving any exposed edges. Every example I've seen using it had some kind of frame all the way around  and I assumed there was a good reason for that. I was hoping a straightedge and knive would be an adequate approach to cutting instead of having to buy something special that'll only be used for cutting mica. 

 

4 hours ago, WoodnMetalGuy said:

And I have seen it used in the window on an old wood stove..  -- Dave

One of the places I was looking had the "windows" for old stoves. I've never actually seen them in person but I'd imagine the light from the fire flickering out would be beautiful with the right color mica. I might build me a small stove just to see :) 

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Most of the mica for lampshades is flakes laminated with shellac, since they don't have to withstand the high heat one finds in a stove. One nice thing about those, though, is that if you heat them gently, you can bend them into curved shapes that are impossible with the solid mica as used in stoves.

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3 minutes ago, Scrambler82 said:

Sorry missed the posting, keep forgetting the notify me button.

Yes I have seen the LED Edison Bulbs, they use a Cobb LED, an elongated LED filament.

I like the look but they aren't available in the temperature range I want, 5000K to 5500K range, really white and the Lumen need to come up some, 2700 Lumens is ok but more,is better !

I use two LED Suppliers for my LED stuff, Ozium and  Super Bright LED, both have similar but a little different products.

What is your opinion on the Edison LED Bulbs ?

 

I don't care for the look of the led strip in it. I don't mind the incandescent ones but truth is they just don't provide enough light for anything practical. I'm thinking they're more for show than anything. 

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Early bulbs were fairly dim, 25 watts was common and so some fixtures would hold a lot of bulbs!  (My grandfather's house was old enough to have those fixtures still in place.)

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8 hours ago, Scrambler82 said:

My electrical bill in SoCal where everyone is crying about cost of electricity is always under $100 with AC, and I have all LED Lighting.  Everything in the house was converted to LEDs during the latest remodel; I believe it helps a lot on the over all cost.

Yes the color of the light output on the existing Edison Bulbs, the temperature of the light, is always too low in these bulbs around the 2200K to 2700K sort of yellow, that is why I said I like something a lot whiter in the 5000K range.

When I finally find something I have a few bulb that WILL be replaced.

i noticed Lowes, I think, got some 100 watt Edison's but I don't remember the temperature range, that's a biggy.

Dont give up on the future, LEDs are here to stay, incandescent bulbs are going away.

If I locate something that fits my light requirements I will post !

I'm not knocking LED lights, just the Edison bulbs using LED. When I was remodeling houses we would try to put LED fixtures in wherever possible. Most people like them once they see them in action so it helps to have a couple in the work truck to show off. 

 

8 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Early bulbs were fairly dim, 25 watts was common and so some fixtures would hold a lot of bulbs!  (My grandfather's house was old enough to have those fixtures still in place.)

I always wondered if some of the early chandeliers had all those bulbs because that's how they were setup when they had candles as the main source of lighting. I never researched it any just assumed it and look at me now :) 

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I once owned a 100 year old house that had one of the original fixtures in it---dual gas and electric!  Only place I'd seen another still in use was at the Vanderbilt "cottage" in Newport?  RI, The Breakers.  They said that the dual fixtures were only used for about a decade when electricity was firs starting to get used and folks were not too sure if it would catch on... (Mine was in the attic, we still used the electric light but NEVER touched the gas valve---it was holding pressure and not leaking but I would bet if opened it would never close without leaking!) 

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Feel free to call me 'Mike,' I have answered to most things I've been called but that's a different discussion :)

I am not an electrician, I used to work with a general contractor and we used to do most everything you could need done around the house. We avoided plumbing if we could but jumped for most everything else. We carried around a couple of the LED 'can lights' for a while once we saw some in use and started having people asking about them. 

As far as for the fixtures I have in mind I'm not set on the brightness yet. I won't know for sure until I pick a shade. I have a couple ideas for shades I'll be investigating them as I can and hopefully have something to show for the effort sooner or later.

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I'm hoping to have the time/energy/etc. I need to get somewhere promising on at least one fixture in the next couple weeks but there no guarantee. One possible problem I foresee if we just had a guy quit at work today and that leaves just myself and one other guy doing four men's work. Which makes for long days.

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Well I was told by my supervisor he's been looking at applications the last two days so maybe we'll get someone soon. Truth is I'm not too worried about it. The other guy and I can handle most of what they throw at us without too much trouble.  My supervisor also asked me if I wanted to be the 'lead man' on the crew when we get someone else. It means more responsibility but I think I'll manage fine. By the way, I work at a chain link manufacturing company now and I just moved to a new position less than two months ago. I'm one of the guys pulling orders of chain link and pipe and loading the trucks for shipment. I also find myself occasionally (like today and most of next week) I also pull the fittings and hardware to put the fence together.

Just wanna toot my own horn for a second here and say I'm the only person working there right now that's capable of running the weaving machine to make the chain link, pull hardware, build gates, and pull orders and load a truck. There are only a couple positions where I'm at I haven't worked or been trained for in my short year there. Yesterday actually was my one year mark here, yay!

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