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Retro Outdoor Lighting

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ADVICE & INFO
Ideas for choosing the right retro outdoor lighting for your unique style
Retro outdoor lighting is perfect for illuminating your patio, deck, walkway, porch, driveway, and more. You want to find the right fixture that will both light a particular area appropriately and fit within the style of your home. Vintage outdoor lighting is versatile in its ability to work for a variety of exterior styles. From brick to clapboard to shingle to modern wood sheathing, the beauty of architecture is how well things blend with one another. 1950s light fixtures, an outdoor barn light, nautical inspired fixtures, vintage industrial lighting fixtures, and more all work well with vintage fixtures. The pared down decorative elements makes these a versatile choice for many home styles.

What makes retro outdoor lighting "retro"
Retro designed fixtures are considered present day items that are created in the style of a bygone era. It has the modern safety features you want to rely on for your home, but has a distinct profile and look that speaks to the aesthetic that works for your home. Much of the retro style fixtures are inspired by the Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern styles, where the function is celebrated, and ornament is reduced to small details. From pendants to sconces to decorative string lighting, the galvanized metal, matte black finishes, and weathered copper gives a distinct age to the surface of the fixture.

What to look for in the best retro outdoor lighting
For the best in retro outdoor lighting look for vintage industrial details. You might incorporate a swan-necked wall sconce that is reminiscent of an outdoor barn light fixture from the 1950s, over your garage. You may also find an excellent way to bring an industrial pendant in galvanized metal with a wire guard over the bulb, into your exterior lighting plans. For a little sparkle and ambiance, a beautiful string of black antique outdoor lighting fixture will illuminate backyard parties and nighttime conversations. Look for finishes that work well with the exterior of your home, and fixtures that appeal to your personal style.


 

FAQs
Q: Why are swan neck features popular in retro lighting?

A: Swan neck features are popular in retro lighting because it allows wall mounted fixtures to provide a downlight that pool away from the side of a building. In the past, it provided more light, especially as the transition to electric bulbs became standard. It also gives the fixture a distinctive profile.
Q: Why is warehouse lighting synonymous with retro lighting?

A: Warehouse lighting has a certain art deco or Mid-Century Modern feel to it and epitomizes what we see as retro without being too antique. There is little ornament to it, and it is a lighting style that you will still find today in older factories and industrial buildings. It brings an exterior space back to a particular time period and style.
Q: Why are distressed finishes popular?

A: Distressed finishes are popular because they give a sense of age and a weathered look to the surface of a fixture. A satin, chrome, or high polished surface would have a sleek and new feel rather than an antiqued look. When designing a space the overall look of a fixture is all about the materials, the design, and the finishes.
Q: Why is retro lighting so popular right now?

A: With the increase in popularity of industrial modern, steampunk, and rustic modern styles there is a growth in popularity for lighting that will fit within these design types. Retro lighting is a great way to incorporate fixtures that fit within any of these styles.
Q: Can retro and contemporary lighting mix?

A: Absolutely, there are a few styles that celebrate the mixing of design types, and this works beautifully with incorporating both retro and contemporary lighting into a space. From Mid Century Modern, to Eclectic, to Rustic Modern there are many styles that would embrace both lighting types. If you love the look of an exposed Edison bulb in a light fixture, there are many lighting choices that bridge both the retro and contemporary that embrace these decorative bulbs.

 








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