a vintage chandelier

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What’s the main difference between vintage lights and regular, modern lighting? Well, like an old piece of jewelry, old vintage lighting gives that special note to the room, making the heads turn. So, if you need to treat your home, buy it a piece of home jewelry – the vintage lights. However, purchasing such details is not that simple. Old-style pieces can look beautiful. But don’t let the looks deceive you. As these can be pretty expensive, you want to make sure you’re buying the real deal. This guide will tell you everything to know before buying vintage lights, making your next purchase as secure as possible. 

The reason why it’s a good idea to buy vintage lights

Considering the price, many people would not be sure if buying ‘an old lamp’ is a great idea. But if you take another perspective, you will realize that vintage lights are simply superior to modern ones. Go back in time and remember how vintage pieces were made. In old times, such items were built to last longer, to survive decades, and stay classic forever. Even though some fantastic modern pieces are on the market today, the mindset is pretty different.  Interior styles and trends often change, making it easier to get rid of any item you don’t find attractive anymore. But when buying vintage lights, you invest in history, everlasting style, and class.

An appraiser can be very helpful 

Even though some think buying vintage lights is not an important detail, don’t underestimate their value. Genuine vintage lamps or chandeliers can be costly, which is why you need to have your favorite double-checked. And the best way to seek a professional opinion is consulting an appraiser. A professional, experienced appraiser can tell you more details regarding the value of the item and the period the piece comes from, the maker, materials, overall condition, etc. Finally, be sure to get the appraisal in written form – you never know when you’re going to need it. 

a lamp
Get help from an appraisal pro to help you determine the actual value of a lamp or chandelier.

Know your priorities before buying vintage lights 

Buying vintage pieces is quite different than regular shopping. Such purchases often have a particular goal, so make sure you know yours. Collectors and regular buyers go for vintage pieces with different priorities. Some look for a stylish piece, while others seek value, historical meaning, etc. So, make sure to know your preferences and why you’re buying a vintage light piece – is it for decorating your home or investment? 

Don’t assume it has been rewired

Even though serious sellers always check their items, rewire them and get them ready for sale, don’t assume everyone does it. You should inspect the lamp yourself. Make sure the wiring and circuity are in good condition – have them checked by a professional electrician. Old pieces usually don’t have the same safety standard as the new-age items, so it is essential to ensure they are safe to use. 

Check the stability

One of the main things to check when buying a vintage lamp is its stability. It is crucial if your household includes kids who love to run around. The stability of the lamp is essential to avoid damage, but also burns and getting hurt. Make sure to grip the lamp’s neck and see how stable it is by trying to wobble it around. Furthermore, see if the bottom of the lamp is not damaged, so it better sticks to the surface of your table, nightstand, etc. 

Vintage lights may require special bulbs

The evolution of bulbs is impressive – now we have a wide variety of sizes, wattages, and styles. Thus, make sure you ask an electrician about the most appropriate bulb size and wattage for your new-old piece. It can happen that your lamp doesn’t use standard bulbs you can find almost everywhere. You may have to look for a specialist supplier or even get an adapter to use the modern bulbs we have today. 

a bulb and vintage keys
Your new vintage lights may need special bulbs.

Careful storage

Renovation or moving may require you to store your items somewhere out of your house. Storage units are a great solution, as delicate pieces and antiques should be stored in a secure environment. If you get a unit that provides the right amount of space, stable temperatures, and overall safety, you will easily preserve the materials your antiques are made of. 

Ask the seller about the best cleaning techniques 

Buying vintage lamps is an investment in your home, so you need to make sure they stay in good condition for a long time. Proper cleaning and maintenance techniques are necessary to ensure the longevity of your item, so be sure to ask your dealer for some tips. Different materials require various cleaning supplies and methods, so learning what to use to ensure the finish stays beautiful is advisable. 

a lamp with crystals
Cleaning intricate details of your vintage light should be done carefully and with special supplies.

Moving vintage lights is a serious task 

If you’re buying pieces for your new home, take good care of vintage lights when moving. Experts from Zippy Shell of Greater Philadelphia suggest letting pros do the work. Packing, transporting, and delivery are risky situations for vintage pieces, so it’s best to be handled by someone experienced. Lamps with glass parts are very fragile and require special care during transport.

Take your time and browse carefully 

Buying vintage lights is a process, not an ordinary shopping experience. It’s essential to take your time making the right choice and only work with certified dealers. This purchase is truly one of a kind, so make sure you’ve got everything right. Let the new addition to your home be something your family will preserve for a long time. 


Author’s bio: Maria Murphy is an interior designer interested in all things practical. Her mission I to make homes both beautiful and comfortable for their residents. She enjoys making videos of interesting DIY projects for her blog and interacting with the viewers.

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