Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Old Lights Yes - Old Wires I Don't Think So

One of the many fields of interests that I have explored in the junkin' world is lamps and lighting. I used to collect leaded and slag panel stained glass lamps, but they have now disappeared from the market or moved to Sotheby type prices. Just about the only leaded glass lamps that I see at auction today are Tiffany lamps (made by their daughter Tiffany in 1987) or turn of the century Chinese pieces (that would be 8 years ago when the century turned). So I have branched out into more recent table, floor and hanging lamps.

While antique or vintage lighting is often stunning, the wiring can be down right shocking. I like the old lighting, but the old wiring has to go. It is better to disassemble most lamps and rewire them with new, well insulated wiring. The photo is of a pair of interesting lavender colored boudoir lamps that I recently redid.

There is nothing more jarring than a nice old lamp fitted with a brand new shiny brass socket from the Depot. It just doesn't look right. I like to reuse the old brass parts from the lamp while fitting the newer guts from the Depot inside. I often buy lamps at auction, not for their lighting suitability, but for their wonderfully patinated brass parts. These parts look right and are much cheaper than a new light repair kit. I buy surplus power cords at the local electronic parts salvage store. They have a regular molded plug on one end and a special attachment plug on the other. I cut off the special plug, thread it through the lamp, strip the ends and connect up the lamp socket. Not only do these cords have an integrated plug, they only cost me a half buck each. (You can use a cheap new extension cord in the same manner if you can't find the surplus store nearby.)

Mr. Flannery


TERESA said...

You can write as well as you junk, Peter. Interesting, always.

Debbie said...

....this reminds me of why my DH runs when he sees me coming in from the thrift store with another lamp...LOLOL I can't repeat what he said when I told him I had a chandelier that needed rewiring!