Vintage and Antique Industrial Lighting

For those who wish they lived in a warehouse loft but are stuck in the suburbs or a ho-hum apartment, industrial lighting is a great way to give ordinary spaces an edge. Lamps reclaimed from a factory can light up a kitchen island, while also serving as a focal point for the room. Metal stage lights mounted on wooden tripods or secured by clamps add drama to a living room. And cylindrical lamps, whose globes are protected by metal cages, can be used in hallways, bathrooms, and outside the home.

Lighting designed for the home is usually described in terms of its function; there are table lamps, wall sconces, hanging lamps, and, prior to the advent of flat-screens, lamps made to be placed on top of TVs. But industrial lighting is usually described in terms of its ability to stand up to adverse environments. Lights are specified as being rated for "hazardous conditions" (oil refineries and armories come to mind) or designated as "explosion proof." Many of these lamps were designed to light up factory floors, the insides and outsides of barns (gooseneck lamps with enameled metal shades are particularly hot right now), and city streets, which means they were exposed to the elements 24/7.

Names to look for include French lamp manufacturer Jieldé, Hollywood lighting supplier Mole-Richardson, desk-lamp innovator O.C. White, Luxo (whose adjustable task lamps have been the subject of a Pixar cartoon), Appleton, Wheeler, Benjamin, and Crouse-Hinds, which was, and remains, the main manufacturer of explosion proof lights.

In particular, the Jieldé lamp, whose name is a phonetic version of designer Jean-Louis Domecq's initials (JLD), has become a favorite of interior designers. Conceived in the late 1940s as a factory lamp, the Jieldé came into production in the early 1950s. One of its most innovative design features is the lack of wires running through the heavy ball joints that connect the metal articulating arms (some Jieldé lamps have as many as six arms). Instead, the electrical circuit is completed via a pair copper wafers, which makes the lamps safer in high-use, industrial conditions.

One tricky aspect of industrial lights is that the hardware to mount them is generally not sold in your local hardware store. Before you buy, make sure your lamp, whose thick globe and sturdy shade is much heavier than anything you'd buy at a home-decorating store, comes with the supporting brackets it will likely need to be safely secured in place.

In a class by themselves are Holophane lamps, whose prismatic lenses focus light in all directions to prevent dark spots, a particularly useful characteristic for street lights. While Holophane is a British company, they also manufacture their crack-resistant globes in the United States and license their technology to other companies.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Lampworks

The Lampworks

Lamp collector and dealer Dan Edminster has put together an incredible reference site on antique lamps and related … [read review or visit site]

Texans Incorporated: The History of a Lamp Company

Texans Incorporated: The History of a Lamp Company

Mark Stevens has created an impressive living memorial to Texans Inc., a 20th century Texas manufacturer of ceramic… [read review or visit site]

The Lamps of H. G. McFaddin

The Lamps of H. G. McFaddin

Bruce Bleier's tribute to the Emeralite and Bellova lampshades made from Czech glass and popularized and distribute… [read review or visit site]

Fairy Lamp Club

Fairy Lamp Club

This incredible site is a stunning showcase for Victorian and contemporary fairy lamps, a style of lamp with a glas… [read review or visit site]

Gas Pressure Lanterns, Lamps and Stoves

Gas Pressure Lanterns, Lamps and Stoves

Terry Marsh’s beautiful showcase of gas-pressure lanterns, lamps, stoves, irons, and heaters from the 1920s o… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Industrial Lamp - Brass & Glass Circular Wall Light - Target Cage Vintage Industrial Light - Daeyang Flame Proof Fitting With Shade & Glass TubesVintage Industrial Light-aluminium Dome Pendant Lamp-glass Lens- Factory Style Vintage Industrial Light - Brass Explosion Proof Pendant With 40w E27 Filament Vintage Industrial Light - Engine Room Ceiling Pendant With Cage Edison BulbA Beautiful Hadrill Horstmann Counterpoised Industrial Anglepoise Table LampJielde French Industrial 3 Arms Table Floor Reading Lamp Graphite 1x 47"+2x 16"Vintage Industrial Sign Light 1940's Large Art Deco Lamp Wall Mount Picture LampCrouse Hinds Embossed Traffic Light Lenses "stop, Caution & Go" Command SignalJielde French Industrial 2 Arms Table Floor Desk Reading Lamp Brushed PolishedCool Antique Industrial Machine Age Light Lamp Swing Arm Bracket SteampunkVtg Bulkhead Light Lamp Industrial 60s 70s Retro Striped Metal Garage Vintage Industrial Sign Lights 50's Wall Picture Lamps 'linolite' Job Lot RetroJielde French Industrial 2 Arms Table Floor Desk Reading Lamp Graphite PolishedAntique Industrial Steampunk O C White Cast Iron Lamp Light Swing Arm Bracket60s Dazor Magnifying Desk Lamp-m1470-industrial/machine Age-eames Era-near Mint! Industrial O C White Co. Lamp Light Knuckle And ArmJielde French Industrial 3 Arms Table Floor Reading Lamp Brushed 1x 47"+2x 16"Pixar "luxo Jr." Collectible LampAntique Vtg 1930s Green Porcelain Shade Light Barn Garage Gas Station IndustrialVintage Anglepoise Lamp Herbert Terry 1227 Lamp Industrial Art Deco Stepped BaseAntique Rare Brass & Porcelain Benjamin 4 Bulb Ceiling Light Lighting FixtureIndustrial Steampunk Articulated Light Lamp Machine AgeAntique Cobalt Blue Gas Station Lamp Shade Porcelain Barn Light Fixture EnamledVintage Industrial Sign Lights 70's Wall Picture Lamps Retro Salvaged X2 LightsVintage Industrial Light - Explosion Proof Ceiling Pendant Iron Shade E27 BulbMid Century Vtg Industrial Knuckle Joint Bench Lamp - N.r.Older Dark Green White Porcelain Industrial Multi Lighting Equipment Lamp LightVintage Dazor M209 Floating Fixture Desk Clamp On Magnifying Light Lamp AntiqueVintage Explosion Proof Cage Industrial Machine Age Light Lamp Keene StoncoVintage Mccrosky Industrial Factory Machinist Articulate Lamp Brackets, 1940'sVintage Dazor Model 1102 Industrial Articulating Shop Light Fixture OriginalVintage Industrial Crouse Hinds Explosion Proof Light Lamp Antique SteampunkVintage Small Enamel Porcelain Green 4 7/8" Metal Lamp Light Industrial Shade*Industrial Wooden Table Lamp Phone Holder Inline Dimmer Filament Edison BulbAntique Vtg 1920s Brass Ornate Gooseneck Almond Lamp Light Art Deco Industrial2 Vintage Wall Mount White Porcelain Enamel Light Fixtures Gas Station GarageExplosion Proof Benjamin LightVintage Lamp Scissor Extender Wall MountedVintage Crouse Hinds Explosion Proof Light FixtureLucasfilm - Ilm Industrial Light + Magic - Star Wars Crew 1980's Logo Sticker Vintage Industrial Light - Blast Proof Pendant - Aluminium Shade Glass Face E27 Vintage Explosion Proof Industrial Light Lamp Fixture Pair"rare" Vtg Kay-lab Stop Light Sign Display With Working Test Light Gas Station Luxo Magnifying Lamp LightVintage Industrial Porcelain Bakelite Brass Light Lamp Sockets Socket PartsBeautiful Jielde Lamp 1950 4 Arms Graphite Steel Metal French Industrial...Industrial Modern Look Vintage Hydrel Under Water Pool Light Greenish Patina Vintage Metal Trouble Light Cage Retro Industrial Machine Age SteampunkVintage Industrial Light- Brass Explosion Proof Pendant 40w Edison Filament E27Vintage Industrial Mid Century Goose Neck Tool Machine Work Light Bolt On VgcDazor 8ml-100 Magnifier Lamp With Flexible Gooseneck And Table ClampVintage Industrial Light-flame Proof Desk Lamp-solid Brass- Edison Filament BulbVintage Industrial Ceiling Mount Light Fixture Brass Hotel Light Fixture Hand With Bulb Lamp Steampunk, IndustrialVintage Revere Electric Industrial Steampunk Light Fixture Vtg Porcelain Enamel Green Industrial Light Lamp Shade Gas Station Garage TallVintage Gothic Wrought Iron Light Lamp Housing Industrial Steam Punkt Deco ArtVintage Black & Gold Scissor Style Wall Lamp Retro Mid Century AccordianAntique Vintage Cast Iron Industrial Goose Neck Task Light Desk Lamp