October 19, 2014 2 min read

Old fashioned incandescent filament light bulbs are developing a following of determined folks who simply enjoy the magical quality of vintage incandescent light and the beauty of the softly glowing internal filament.

The first incandescent light bulbs were made with platinum filaments. After experimentation with a variety of materials, Thomas Edison developed the first filament light bulbs to be used commercially, which utilized carbon filaments.

As time passed, tungsten became the material of choice for filaments because they produced twice as much light and lasted much longer. With further exploration, the Edison-era tungsten-filament light bulb was further developed and was filled with inert gas instead of being encased in a vacuum. This greatly reduced a dark residue that would develop on the inside of the glass globe due to its vacuum construction.

Edison-era vintage tungsten bulbs may not burn as brightly as the most recent versions, but they are enjoyed because of their romantic warm glow, the classic shape of the bulbs, and most of all, they are appreciated for the beauty of their softly glowing filament.

Vintage light bulbs are used for setting a relaxing atmosphere. They can still be found with both carbon and tungsten filaments, but vintage tungsten bulbs are more cost efficient to buy and are more cost effective in their use of electrical energy. They also remain clear much longer than carbon filament bulbs.

Vintage incandescent bulbs with carbon or tungsten filaments can be dimmed to various intensities of luminosity, which adds to the versatility of the bulb and its uses. However, it should be kept in mind that filament bulbs are capable of only one-half of the output of lumens as a modern incandescent filament bulb. Thus, while a modern 60-watt bulb produces 800 lumens, the 60-watt filament bulb will produce 400 lumens.

For this reason, many people choose to use vintage filament bulbs in special lamps and special lighting situations for atmospheric applications only, and they use modern bulbs for practical everyday use.

Many have noticed that crystal chandeliers take on a particularly nostalgic, magical, and elegant appearance when lighted by tungsten filament bulbs, and softly glowing table lamps can add a special romantic touch around and over the dining table or in the bedroom. Lamps that showcase the bulb with its warmly glowing filament are by far the favorite.

The historic Edison-era circa 1912 designed Steampunk bulb is adored for its unique “squirrel cage” shape and its glowing cage-shaped filament that surrounds the central glass supporting stem. It is a favorite bulb for exposed sockets, chandeliers, sconces, and can be used for both commercial and residential lighting situations.

So why not join the filament movement and designate a lamp or two to create the classic, warm, and magical atmosphere that only vintage light bulbs can bring to a home environment.


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