Overhead lighting fixtures for kids bedrooms in old house

crl_November 11, 2012

The kids bedrooms have sconces that are almost certainly orginal to our 1920s house. I generally like to keep orginal fixtures but (1) these are ugly, (2) I don't like have sconces in the kids' bedrooms because I want the fixtures as high up as possible to prevent accidents, etc and (3) these are ugly.

I am trying to find something plain, not ugly, appropriate to an old house (not necessarily period perfect, just not jarring in an old house) and under $100 per fixture. I like the drum shape fixtures and did see some when I googled for images of lighting from the period. But I don't want fabric shades, I'd rather have glass for durability and ease of cleaning. I think an ORB or antiqued finish of some sort is more appropriate than shiny silver.

I found the ones linked below, what do you think?

Here is a link that might be useful: Ceiling fixture

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I really like that and you can't beat the price. The look is something that can work in just about any setting - it is smart looking but not design specific. The fact that it takes 3 60 watt bulbs surprises me as there does not appear to be a lot of *breathing room* between the top of the shade and the ceiling. Incandescent bulbs generate a lot of heat and that would concern me. It does have a UL certification but I'd still watch that built up heat issue by using smaller wattage bulbs if it gets very hot.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:11PM
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They read modern to me. Maybe schoolhouse style instead?

Just to be clear, you are redoing the rooms and so removing sconces and putting in overheads? You have already done that or costed it out?

And what kind of accidents are you worried about with sconces? Are they glass?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:14PM
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I am not sure what you mean by redoing the rooms? We will hire an electrician to remove the sconces properly, drop new wiring in through the attic to the ceiling and install the ceiling fixtures. Then we patch the walls and touch up the paint. (Place was recently reprinted for the sale and I have the brand, finish and color of the paint so touch up should go okay, at worst we will have to repaint one wall in each room). So I guess I am not seeing what issue you are raising?

Not really a huge fan of the school house fixtures for some reason. Do you think all drum shapes read modern or just these? There were some shapes like these in the 1920s fixture images I found online by googling.

As far as accidents with sconces, parts are glass and they stick out so I can just see one of my kids thinking its a nice hand hold for trying to scale the wall. Dh is actually in favor of trying to find something with a metal cage around it because his brother bounced a ball into a ceiling fixture and shattered it and sliced his head open. I think that might be a bit extreme but getting the light fixtures up to the ceiling does seem like a good idea.

Thanks for the comments!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:08PM
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Oh the reason I was asking was that removing sconces, patching walls and then running the overhead wiring seems not inexpensive. So the focus on spending $100 seemed a little puzzling since I think the rest of it is pretty costly. In our old house the kids rooms had no overhead lighting and I forget the details but I do recall it was costly/difficult to change. We had plaster walls so that too may have been a factor. ANd it sounds like painting, etc, may not be an issue. You've already spoken to an electrician?

I don't like school house either, frankly, but it's harmless, reasonable and popular! I think the tapered and fluted nature of this reads modern, to me.
Plus it is glass...

Why not the barnlight metal shades? Of course it depends on whether your old home leans formal or informal.

I never thought about sconce climbing .... One of my daughters has brass reading sconces, and my son has nickel ones. They seem to use them as intended! : )

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:20PM
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Ah, well, once I take into account the expense of having the work done, it becomes important to keep the cost of the fixtures down so that the whole project is within reach cost wise. Plus, once they are done, I don't imagine anyone will notice them really so it seems foolish to spend a lot on the actual fixtures.

I am sure most kids would be fine with sconces. We tend to have climbers though and I have seen my then eighteen month old nephew climb onto the kitchen table and reach for a chandelier to swing from. So perhaps we are more paranoid than most about such things.

At any rate these sconces are ugly and poorly placed for both lighting and decorating purposes.

Thanks for the thoughts!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 3:09PM
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Oh goodness!

I would also take a stroll through Home Depot and Lowe's. I don't know about the quality, but whenever I am there I find myself thinking their stuff looks pretty au courant ...

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Fori is not pleased

Don't trash the old sconces--some 1920s fixtures are quite sought after.

I always liked ceiling fans in old house bedrooms since the HVAC is often not very good. They can really make a room more comfortable.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:15PM
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I like the one you posted but it looks like an accident waiting to happen. I had boys and girls and the ceiling is not off limits to kids lol. How about the one below? It looks like it belongs in a kids room.

Here is a link that might be useful: ceiling light

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 7:30PM
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I really like the look of the ones you linked and think they would look great in your kid's rooms. They are inexpensive enough that if someday you decide to change them out, it won't be a big expense. They will give a good amount of light without being blinding.

Most houses and bedrooms with overhead lights have glass fixtures and it's not really a problem that you hear about with kids (except the rare freak accidents). I don't think you need to put metal cages around them unless they are allowed to throw baseballs in their rooms :-)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 7:45PM
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Thank you for all the feedback!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:19AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

If you're really concerned and want something unobtrusive and unbreakable, how about an unbreakable light. You can get the 27" square and they are energy efficient and bright. Not a show stopper for design, but certainly practical...and they can always be swapped out for something more attractive once the kids are past the lamp swinging and sconce climbing stage....

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:37AM
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We put ones like these in bedrooms. They supply plenty of light and are unobtrusive but can go with a variety of styles. They are at the edge of your under $100 price range, but my DH was able to get them for much less by checking the Lamps Plus Open Box deals each day and ordering them as they become available. It didn't take long - maybe a few weeks.

Here is a link that might be useful: ceiling fixture at Lamps Plus

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 1:19PM
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Please consider saving the old lights in the attic or garage so future owners can use them.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 1:35PM
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my bedrooms all have original overhead lighting and sconces and I feel your choice really seems modern. My original flush mount lights are brass with two exposed bulbs. These might be as ugly as your current sconces and might not be at all to your liking but I have linked a site that sells working 1920 fixtures similar to my overhead lighting for just over $100.
Here is a picture of my lighting, all the bedrooms are the same and below is a link of similar lights for sale. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: 1920s ceiling mount lights

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:23PM
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I think your choice looks appropriately not too modern. I have a boob light in the hall of my 1919 house and have considered switching out to the fixture you are considering. But I seldom notice it, so it hasn't risen to the top of my to-do list yet.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:10AM
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From my experience replacing four bedroom fixtures:

1) "UL approved" doesn't mean a d... thing. Any Chinese manufacturer will print that on a box, and practically all lights are made in China now, even expensive ones. Examine the wires carefully - watch out for aluminum. Your lighting department clerk may tell you that copper is legally required and the silver color is because the copper wires have been dipped in solder. No, they haven't been, unless the silvery part is limited to a little unstranded cap at the end. Silvery strands = aluminum wire = fire hazard when connected to copper house wire. Examine all the fixtures - one out of three otherwise identical fixtures from HD had the aluminum wires. We removed a light fixture that had aluminum wires - some nasty charring going on there.

2) A fixture open at the top collects more insects, unless it is open at the bottom too.

3) Children will stand on the bed with a baseball bat/ ninja stick in hand so that they can see themselves in the mirror, and they will leap off to see themselves flying with the stick held high...get fixtures with standard measurement replaceable shades.

4) If you use compact fluorescent bulbs, be aware that the "brighter" bulbs are longer (longer twist for more light, but not more intense light) and that the longer bulbs may not fit in your shade.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 4:28PM
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