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A few years ago, the main argument when it came to the return of traditional style lighting was whether the old-school charm they offered could justify the weak, faint light of their iridescent bulbs.
In this review on LumReview, the author states he loves the candle-style light offered by vintage bulbs ‘as much as the next guy’, but the poor lighting they offered made them a relic that should remain in the past.
This traditional vs LED lighting argument raged as interior decorators continued to favour the stylish decadence of traditional lighting: the swinging pendants, the classy metal cages - they all remained in demand from consumers.
Furious LED advocates were adamant that there was no questioning the advantages of LED lighting. LEDs had a longer-lasting lifespan, better energy efficiency, improved safety, superior colour rendering - the list goes on.
Can we not have the best of both worlds?
You may have noticed the resurgence in vintage-style lamps, that actually contain LED lights which accurately resemble the old-school filaments of iridescent bulbs.
SparksDirect offers a plethora of these so-called ‘traditional style’ lamps, for instance, the Bronte range of lights.
These include models such as the Bronte Rectangular Outdoor Ceiling Flush Light, which boasts a clear glass case to showcase a vintage E27 light, which can in fact take a GLS energy-saving clear light bulb.
LED fans can protest as much as they wish, but vintage-style lighting is simply not going anywhere.
They undeniably provide a certain tranquil atmosphere and are absolutely perfect for restaurants, pubs and various traditional eating spots for an extra sprinkling of ambience.
Huge names in retailing such as GE, Phillips, IKEA and Cree have all leapt in on the ‘vintage style’ trend, giving them their own legitimate categories.
A typical LED bulb, which cost only a few pounds, can now last for decades potentially, meaning that people will have to switch out their light bulbs less and less often.
Huge manufacturers, such as IKEA, have jumped onto the vintage train as they know it means people who don’t need to purchase a new bulb will do so if they want a new light for their new vintage pendant light.
What it really boils down to is aesthetics: the traditional style for a light fitting have a distinctive design, well known to frequenters of any trendy bar or restaurant - or even some older and more traditional houses, such as a manor house, traditional homes, etc.
This design gives a crystal clear view of the bulb, and LED bulbs have got increasingly competent at producing fancy-looking fake filaments.
For instance, the Felt vintage line twist filaments around each other in artful double helices that really espouse a certain class.
There are inevitable problems that arise with vintage-style LED bulbs with fake filaments; for instance they rarely combine with the dimmer switches in smooth fashion.
The illusion of a ‘candle like’ light is definitely squashed when the LED bulb starts buzzing sporadically as you try to dim it.
Issues like this can be caused by electromagnetic interference from the dimmer switch, which standard LEDs aren't susceptible to, but decorative LEDs are.
Whatever the arguments against the resurgence of vintage-style LEDs, they undeniably add a polished touch of class to your home.
For instance, on the Sparks Direct website, you can purchase a Richmond Black Lantern to be hung in your garden to create a retro-chic ambience with warm white light, which can all be powered by a simple E27 vintage LED lamp.
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