Lighting appliances are a very common choice when buying antiques. These types of antiques are the most common within this field, and are usually together with a table or other antique piece of furniture. Lighting appliances have a very distinctive feature as opposed to other antiques: its short history. If we think about the fact that electricity began to be used in the 19th Century, and it was massively used as from the 20th Century, we will be aware of the difference between electric appliances and other antiques, as far as their historical development is concerned. Of course we can say there are different appliances to light up a house other than using electricity, but these are not common in the market, given the poor light they provide and the difficulties they entail -and on top of that, they are very dangerous. Among appliances working without electricity, we can mention chandeliers and kerosene lamps, both very dangerous: first, because they entail fire risk, and second because they are toxic.
Therefore, in this section we are going to deal with antique electric lighting appliances. The most popular antique lighting appliances are, needless to say, chandeliers -lamps using between 6 to 18 light bulbs. But lamps are also widely wanted. Below we will give you a guideline to buy antique lighting appliances.
- Operation: Maybe you would find this as a superfluous point, however, it is essential. You must verify if the device works before buying it. Often antique lighting appliances do not work, and their only purpose is decoration. That is way you must not forget to check if the device is working before buying it.
- Consumption: When buying an antique lighting appliance it is important to be aware about the energy consumption it entails. For instance, in the case of the chandelier, it can use up to 18 electric bulbs. That means that it is going to be 18 times as expensive as a lamp using one bulb. But the amount of electricity that the device consumes is not the only thing that will have influence over your electricity costs. Let's say you buy a desk lamp with a thick painted glass shade. This lamp will not light up the whole room as a modern lamp can do, so you will need another lamp to cover the light deficit.
- Cable condition: It is advisable to check, as far as one can, the cable condition in a device as antique as this. Remember that some of these cables have almost a hundred years, and they are not very well preserved. Bad cable condition can cause from device malfunction -or not working at all-, to electrocution, or electricity problems in the entire house. When an antique device is bought, generally it is sent to an electrician to get cables replaced.
- Spare parts: Before buying an antique electric device, you must know whether spare parts are still manufactured, or these can be replaced by modern ones. This is very important since you can end up buying a lamp that does not use any existing light bulb or tube.