Frequently Asked Questions

Do you repair or restore light fixtures?

We do repairs, rewiring, restoration, replication and custom design. We are a certified Underwriters Laboratory, UL, manufacturer.

Where are you located?

801 N. Skinker Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63130
(Link to Google maps)

What are your hours?

Factory hours are 8-4:30 pm;  showroom hours are from 9-4 pm.

Do you have a catalogue?

Yes, it reflects mostly residential designs from the 1890’s to the 1930’s.  In addition, we have a binder for specifiers of custom and architectural lighting.  It has a small (100 pages) representative sample of fixtures we have made from 39 years of project work. In our archives, we have over 3000 drawings.

How much does it cost to replicate a light fixture?

It depends on the amount of design time, size of the fixture, cost of materials, lamping, finish, tooling, labor and quantity of fixtures needed.  One way of estimating costs is to put the all of the design/tooling/engineering costs into the first fixture and then price the remaining units at their actual cost to build.  In general, replicating just one unit is cost prohibitive.

What do you need from us to price a repair/replication?

We need an image or design with dimensions, what type of material the light fixture is made of, the lamping, the finish and the quantity of lights.  For repairs, a close-up image of the damaged areas is needed. We are able to repair nearly anything in metal; glass is another story as broken shades are rarely able to be matched and replication usually requires new molds and minimum runs, an expensive process.  Flat glass or bent panel art glass is still readily available for repair work, in most cases.

Do you make or replicate glass shades or globes?

We do not manufacture glass.  However, if a custom fixture or restoration project requires custom made glass we are able to provide that service.  (See previous question.)

Do you sell light fixture parts?

No, we do not sell light fixture parts.

Are you a UL certified manufacturer?

Yes, we are a UL certified and ETL certified manufacturer for both dry and wet locations.

Do you have photometrics?

Yes, on some fixtures but not all.  We can have exact photometrics performed once the custom fixtures have been manufactured or we can give general foot candle estimates based on computer models.

Do you only do antique/historical lighting?

Although we are best known for historic lighting, we manufacture all types of custom architectural lighting, including very modern designs.

Do you do plating?

We do not do plating in our factory, but offer copper, nickel, chrome, gold and silver plating when needed.

Do you have the ability to do drawings in AutoCAD or three dimensional drawings?

We offer custom lighting designs drawn in AutoCAD (version 2012) and/or 3-D, when specified.

How do I know what style of historic fixture to use on my project?

The historic fixture style should reflect the architectural style of the building. The designs of the fixtures are thus determined by the architecture; replicas of different fixture types or period designs should look like a family of fixtures related to one another in ornamental character and finish. We have an extensive collection of historic lighting catalogs, beginning with the period right after the civil war, c. 1865, and going through the 1940’s that we use to assist in determining the proper style for both residential and commercial/institutional use. We have digitally photographed each page of the historic lighting catalogs in the collection at the US Library of Congress.

How do I determine scale?

A rule of thumb from residential lighting is that one adds the length and width of a room in feet, convert it to inches and the total is equal to the diameter of the fixture in inches. However, rooms filled with furniture, especially vertical furniture, should have a fixture with a smaller diameter. Rooms with high ceilings should have a larger diameter and conversely rooms with low ceilings should have a smaller diameter.

What kind of lamps should I use?

Incandescent lamps are most commonly used for historic replicas. Historic lamp reproductions are available but light levels are low. Many of our customers prefer long life (1,500-3,000 hours) 15-25 watt candelabra base decorative “B” lamps for use in their replica “gas” fixtures and 25-40 watt standard base “torpedo” shaped lamps for their electric sockets.

What type of energy efficient lamping options are there?

Compact fluorescent and LED lamps in the 2700-3000 K color temperature range are the most commonly used replacements for incandescent lamps. Although the initial lamp cost is higher, the energy savings is substantial; between 4-10 more lumens per watt than incandescent. In addition, the lamp life of the energy efficient lamps is considerably longer. Compact fluorescent lamps are normally rated for 6,000 to 10,000 hours and LEDs can go up to 50,000 hours or more. The cost of the energy efficient lamps has come down considerably and will continue to become cheaper as they gain more acceptance in the marketplace.

What type of finishes do you have?

We do all of our own finishing, except plating (brass, chrome, copper, silver and gold) which we outsource. This includes all of the common historically used “antique” patinas used on bronze and brass. We also do custom painting, including “bronze powder” coatings to match historic finishes. Typically, our historic metal finishes are clear coated with Incralac, an architecturally specified acrylic lacquer with a U.V. inhibitor.

How do I determine overall length, O.A.L?

For historic purposes, residential fixtures hung in rooms with 10 foot ceilings were commonly hung about 7’ AFF (above finished floor); with 12” ceilings, they were generally hung at 8’ AFF. Lower ceiling require shorter over all lengths.

Fixtures hung in commercial buildings are generally hung at 8’ AFF or higher, depending on ceiling height and whether there is any indirect lighting system used. Knowing how much light is needed at specified measuring points in the space will play a role in lamping and in mounting height.

How much light do I need?

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA; often shortened to IES) publishes standards for light levels for all applications, from public corridors to parking lots.

Do you do custom work?

Most of our work is custom, though many of our historic replicas have been made often enough that they have become like a standard line. We have over 3,000 drawings of custom work that we have produced.

Can you replicate fixtures from photos or drawings?

Yes, most of our historic replication work has been done from photos or archival drawings.

Because we have a complete metal shop we occasionally are asked to repair, restore, replicate or manufacture items that are not lighting related. One example is the bronze clock which we made for the Illinois State Senate Chamber; another is the hand carved translucent alabaster diffusers we replicated for the St. Louis Public Library. We have also restored bronze doors, exterior statuary, ornate mahogany light fixtures, theater and Post Office signage, brass and bronze hardware and marble torchieres.