Vintage or Reclaimed Lighting: What You Need to Know


Everyone today would love the idea of having colorful and distinctive lights in their homes or offices.  As a matter of fact, although powered lights have evolved over the years to be more functional and tend to enhance the overall look of a place, almost all lights today have the same similar characteristics.  If you would like a unique aged look and feel in your home or office or want a light source that is softer and more radiant whose illumination completely changes the look and feel of a room, you need to try reclaimed or vintage lighting.

Vintage lights are among the most popular lighting sources preferred by designers and architects.  Not only do vintage lights fit the budgets and meet the needs of every home or office building, these lights are products of past innovative technology which make them not only unique but also sophisticated.  Despite the years, these lights are still flexible and versatile, decades later.  One of the most sought after lights, vintage barn lights, is a favorite type of vintage lightingting for professional and experienced interior and exterior designers because of its versatility and functionality.  As a matter of fact, a lighting source such as reclaimed barn lights are made from solid durable materials which will ultimately protect its parts from outdoor elements and different climatic adversities.

What is vintage when it comes to lighting?

The exact definition of vintage is debatable, and the age of a vintage artifact can vary greatly.  This makes it very difficult to establish the specific styles, looks, colors and designs of ‘vintage’ lighting.  However, it is generally accepted that the definition of vintage is any item, lighting fixture or otherwise, determined to be a minimum of 20 years old.  If a lighting fixture is younger than 20 years, then it is just dated not vintage.  If you are planning to build a home or office and would like to install vintage reclaimed lighting or have a ‘retro’ theme, then you should know that the best lighting equipment to go for should be aged above 20 years.

Vintage lighting fixtures vary widely in style.  It is not uncommon to see different looks and designs in lighting fixtures marketed as vintage including 1950s mid-century modern, art deco, 1970s styles, mission and Tiffany style among others.  This said, different vintage lighting lamps and fixtures can be re-purposed to make a unique one-of-a-kind lighting fixture including vintage bird cages and old mason jars.

Note that almost every ceiling light in existence today is most likely to have a vintage version.  You may have seen some lighting fixtures marketed as ‘vintage’ even when they are clearly brand new.  In such a case, the ‘vintage’ refers to the style rather than the age of the item.  Some marketers refer to an item as vintage even when it is not a reproduction of a vintage style item.  When buying vintage lighting, be sure to read all the information on the packaging and if possible source the assistance of a designer or architect who has experience in vintage lighting.


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