Frequently Asked Questions
1. What period are your fixtures and shades from?
Our fixtures and shades represent styles and designs dating from the turn of the century through the late 1940s. All of our shades are hand-blown, one by one, in authentic antique moulds using the same methods that have been in effect for over 150 years. Our solid brass fixtures are designed and handcrafted to reflect the historical accuracy of the original styles and can be mixed and matched with our shades to create a unique look that complements the character of your home or building. If you are curious about what fixture and shade combinations are most accurate for the year of your house, feel free to call us—we would love to help.
2. How do I order the correct size fixture?
First, determine the overall length that you need for your space (C). Then, subract the height of the shade that you'd like to use (B). This will give you the fixture length for your order (A).
3. What is the standard ceiling height?
believe it or not, there isn’t one. Most residential ceilings are between 8 and 10 feet high. Knowing your ceiling height is very important in deciding what scale fixture will look best in your space. We encourage customers to measure their ceiling height before placing an order. If you have 8-foot ceilings, pay extra attention to the Overall Length of the fixture you choose (Fixture Length + Shade Height = Overall Length) to make sure it does not hang too low in your space. Conversely, if you have 10-foot or higher ceilings, you may want a larger scale or longer fixture that will bring the fixture and light down into the space.
4. How low should my dining room fixture, including shade(s), hang over my table?
This can be subjective according to how you use your dining room (i.e., formally or informally) and your aesthetic. More formal, traditional dining rooms often have lower hanging fixtures. Some rules of thumb we recommend are hanging the fixture 36 inches (3 feet) above your table or 72 inches (6 feet) off your floor. Many people consider these lengths too low for casual entertaining and prefer to have their fixtures hang 78 inches (6 ½ feet) or 84 inches (7 feet) off the floor. Since any pan and pendant fixture built to a specified length is considered a custom order, we strongly encourage customers to actually hang a string with a balloon or cardboard from the ceiling to help determine the overall desired length of the fixture with shades.
5. How low should my pendant hang over my kitchen island?
This can be subjective depending upon your style and lighting needs. Are your pendants accents or will they be providing general overall light in the kitchen? The Overall Fixture Length also greatly depends upon how tall the people in your household are. Ideally the bottom of the shade will not hang lower than the tallest person in your household. We recommend hanging a balloon attached to a string from your ceiling to help you determine what Overall Fixture Length will look best above your island.
6. Can I adjust the fixture length once I receive it?
Not typically. Disassembling a fixture and shortening it with a hacksaw or by some other method may seriously compromise the construction quality and safety of your fixture. We cannot guarantee any fixture that is altered in any way once it leaves our factory. We strongly encourage customers to measure their ceiling height and confirm how long the fixture should be before placing an order. If you need assistance, please give us a call so we can help you through the process of determining the proper fixture length.
7. Do your fixtures work outdoors?
Yes. Many pendant and surface mount fixtures make wonderful porch lights, and several of our sconces are appropriate as well! Many of our fixtures can be upgraded to a “UL Damp Rating” for use in covered locations where they are protected from rain and snow.
8. How much light do I need in my kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/etc.?
Determining the appropriate light level for your space is very subjective. Some of our customers believe that very bright light is better, while others feel more comfortable in rooms with less light. The level of light you need in a room depends upon the size of the room, what other light sources you use in the room, how you use the space, the room’s décor and your aesthetic. Typically kitchens, bathrooms, closets, offices and laundry rooms need more light than other rooms. Some fixtures and shade combinations are better suited for applications where you want more light and need to use high-wattage bulbs. Please give us a call if you need help determining what fixtures and glass shades will work best for your lighting level needs.
9. Can I use a compact fluorescent bulb in your fixtures?
Yes. Compact fluorescent bulbs are readily available these days. They last longer, conserve energy, and save money. Fluorescent light typically has dramatic spikes in the green and yellow sections of the color spectrum, which can distort the appearance of colors in an undesirable way. In order to avoid a yellow-green glare we recommend looking for compact fluorescent bulbs with high color rendering to ensure that they will illuminate your Schoolhouse glass shade(s) with the warm quality of an incandescent bulb. Please note that most compact fluorescent bulbs do not work with dimmers. If you are interested in saving energy and extending the life of your incandescent bulbs, we highly recommend using dimmers and premium long-life incandescent bulbs with your fixtures. Dimmers maximize your lighting level flexibility and provide energy savings. (When lights are turned down with dimmers, they use less energy and extend the life of your incandescent bulbs.) The soft, warm glow of dimmed incandescent light also gives our fixtures added charm and beauty.
10. Do your lights carry the CSA approval for the Canadian market?
Yes, our UL listing covers the Canadian market. More information, such as wattage restrictions, is available on individual fixture pages.
11. Will your lights work for International applications?
Our fixtures are not EU (European Union) listed, but they will work with the 220 volt systems. However, the bulbs we sell are not compatible with the higher voltage. We use E-26 sockets, which have slightly less depth inside compared to the E-27 variety used in Europe. This means that the threaded base of bulbs intended for E-27 sockets will extend slightly beyond the edge of our sockets.
12. How green is your company?
Our Portland factory is a non-discharge facility. We operate a water recycling, closed-loop ion exchange system, similar to that of a microchip processing plant, for our patina line. There is absolutely no process discharge into the local sewer system. All heavy metals and other toxins are removed from the water, which is recycled back to the line for reuse. All hazardous wastes generated are shipped to an EPA-approved facility for disposal.
We use electrostatic nickel plating instead of chrome plating. The chrome plating process generates large amounts of hazardous waste materials that pollute our air, water and soil.
Nearly all of our metal, glass and porcelain component parts and shades are made in America, which reduces fuel consumption and greenhouse gases. We practice company-wide recycling and use recycled-content packaging materials. Our stores and factory are located near mass transit, enabling many of our employees to commute by bus, train or bike.
Most importantly, our fixtures are built to last a lifetime, which means they will not need to be replaced and will not quickly end up in landfills.