In recent years, we’ve seen a huge upswing in popularity of Edison light bulbs. You know the kind – the ones with the golden glow, antique look, and café feel. They’re popping up everywhere! They’re a great way to set the stage for events or the perfect lighting for settings around the home. But, like anything, Edison bulbs have their own benefits and drawbacks.
What are Edison Bulbs?
There’s a good reason why Edison-style lighting has become so popular recently – it’s art! Working like an incandescent, their filaments and bulbs are curved into unique and fascinating shapes. The wire inside creates a fiery glow, emitting a warm, golden light showing off their distinctive beauty.
There is a “not so bright” side to Edison bulbs, though. You’ll most often see Edison bulbs used in an area that doesn’t need as much functional light as ambiance lighting. This is because Edison lights just aren’t as bright as other standard incandescent bulbs or LEDs. If you install Edison bulbs for task lighting, such as in a bathroom vanity, you’ll be disappointed. But, install them as accent lighting over a dining table, and you’ll create a warm, inviting space.
If you opt for vintage-style Edison bulbs over standard bulbs, you can expect to lose quite a bit of luminosity. A 60-watt Edison bulb emits roughly half the lumens as an A19 incandescent. And, because Edison bulbs also have a lower/warmer color temperature than standard bulbs, their orangey-glow doesn’t fully illuminate the room, rather than emphasize their amber glass casing.
Another consideration when designing a space with Edison lighting is that the bulbs are less efficient than modern LEDs and CFLs. They give off the majority of light as heat, so they may not be ideal for people trying to keep their home temperature cooler. Edison bulbs are also notoriously easy to break, so they may not be a good match for homes with pets or kids, or in areas where they could be easily bumped. In addition, Edison bulbs are typically over twice the price as standard bulbs.
When to Use Edison Bulbs
If you want to create the perfect ambiance, Edison Bulbs might be worth the added costs. After all, they instantly add a unique, vintage ambiance to the room. Just don’t expect them to fully illuminate an area where you really need to be able to see. Simply put, they may not be the right choice for every room.
If you love the look of Edison bulbs (and let’s be honest, of course you do), but want a longer lasting bulb, you may want to consider LED filament bulbs. They bear a similar look but use LED light emitters in the bulb. LED filament bulbs offer 15,000 life hours as opposed to the 1,000 hours of incandescent Edison bulbs. (However, for comparison, a typical LED boasts a 50,000-hour life.) In some rooms, it may make sense to mix Edison bulbs with other light fixtures at higher positions (like the photo at the right) for a versatile lighting mix that meets the needs of various activities.
Tips for Adding Edison Bulbs to Your Décor
• Hang Edison bulbs at varying lengths over your dining table.
• Use Edison-style lights to add visual appeal to clean, modern designs.
• Install Edison bulbs in the living room on a dimmer switch to dial-in the perfect amount of light to set the mood.
• String outdoor-rated lights from your patio fence or along walkways to create a warm ambiance.
• Consider Edison-style LED string lights for added durability and versatility.
Make Old New Again
Edison bulbs are being used in homes, stores, and restaurants everywhere! They’re a great way to incorporate a vintage feel into minimalist design and instantly add functional art.
For more information about using lighting to create a beautiful home, contact the lighting design experts at White’s Electrical today.