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  • Incandescent Edison Bulbs: Two Most Asked Questions Answered

    3 min read 1 Comment

    Incandescent Edison Bulbs: Two Most Asked Questions Answered -
    As we approach 15 years of selling vintage Edison bulbs I can tell you the two most important and most asked questions about Edison Bulbs.  These important facts are also the main reason customers return them or unhappy with them.  

    What you must know before buying Incandescent Edison Light Bulbs:

    Understanding Brightness: How Bright Are Incandescent Edison Bulbs?

    The Basics of Brightness and Lumens

    When it comes to brightness, it’s important to understand that incandescent Edison bulbs are not as bright as standard incandescent bulbs. The term "lumens" is used to measure brightness, with a higher number indicating a brighter light. For example, a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb produces around 800 lumens. In contrast, an incandescent Edison bulb with the same wattage produces approximately 400 lumens or even less. This means that Edison bulbs generally offer about half the brightness of their traditional counterparts.

    Practical Implications

    Given their lower lumen output, these vintage bulbs are not designed to be the primary light source in a room. Instead, they excel as accent and ambiance lighting. Here are some practical tips for using them effectively:

    • Accent Lighting: Use Edison bulbs to highlight specific areas or design elements in a room. They work wonderfully in sconces, chandeliers, or pendant lights.
    • Atmospheric Mood: Their warm, amber glow is perfect for creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making them ideal for living rooms, bedrooms, and dining areas where you want a softer light.
    • Layered Lighting: Combine Edison bulbs with other types of lighting to create a balanced and functional lighting scheme. For example, pair them with recessed ceiling lights or floor lamps for sufficient overall illumination.

    Color Temperature: What Should I Know About the Color of Edison Bulbs?

    Warmth and Color Temperature

    All incandescent Edison bulbs produce a warm amber color, which is measured on the Kelvin (K) scale. The lower the Kelvin number, the warmer the color. Edison bulbs typically range from 2000K to 2700K, which translates to very warm to warm light.

    Comparison with Standard Incandescent Bulbs

    To give you a point of reference, the standard incandescent bulb available before the advent of LED bulbs typically had a color temperature of 2700K. Most incandescent Edison bulbs available today are around 2200K, making them warmer than the standard incandescent bulbs we're used to.

    Glass Options: Clear vs. Amber-Tinted

    Another common question is whether the glass color affects the light color. Incandescent Edison bulbs are available with either clear glass or amber-tinted glass. Here’s the truth:

    • Clear Glass: Produces the same warm amber light as amber-tinted glass bulbs. The clear glass doesn't mean a cool or white light; the light color remains warm.
    • Amber-Tinted Glass: Adds a visual aesthetic when the bulb is off but makes a negligible difference in the light color when the bulb is on.
    Choosing the Right Color Temperature

    When selecting Edison bulbs, consider the mood and functionality of the space:

    • 2000K to 2200K: Ideal for spaces where you want a deep, cozy, and intimate ambiance, such as reading nooks or bedrooms.
    • 2300K to 2700K: Suitable for areas where you need a balance of warmth and visibility, such as dining rooms and living rooms.
    Color Temperature Scale


    Conclusion: Making the Most of Edison Bulbs

    Incorporating incandescent Edison bulbs into your lighting design can add a touch of vintage charm and warmth to any space. However, it's crucial to remember that they serve as accent lighting rather than primary light sources due to their lower brightness. Their warm color temperature creates a cozy ambiance, making them perfect for settings where atmosphere and mood are essential.

    By understanding these key aspects—brightness and color—you can make more informed decisions and use Edison bulbs to their fullest potential. Whether you're an interior designer, a homeowner, or a vintage enthusiast, these timeless bulbs can transform your space into a welcoming and stylish haven.

    Ready to Illuminate Your Space?

    Now that you’re armed with the essential information, it’s time to enhance your interiors with the inviting glow of vintage Edison bulbs. Remember, their unique charm lies in their subtle light and warm hues, making them perfect for creating an atmosphere that’s both nostalgic and contemporary.

    For more tips and updates on lighting trends, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media. Illuminate your world with style and sophistication!


      1 Response

      Rich Lewis
      Rich Lewis

      June 13, 2023

      Thank you for the great article. Will really help me in buying lights for my rental properties. I bought lights for a rental property for in the bedrooms and they take a ST58 light bulb. The lights give off no light at all. Can I put a regular 60 watt Led light bulb in the light? They are Home Decorators Collection purchased from Home Depot. Thank you for your help.

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