Shades in white opaline glass were already in use in petroleum lamps in the 19th century, and were quickly adopted also in the production of electrical lights. Their function is double. On the one hand, they act as a reflector, directing the light were it is most useful. On the other hand they act as diffusers, reducing the glare of the light and increasing its ergonomy.
In the early 20th century, several Belgian glass factories were producing opaline shades. These productions adapted to the existing electrical hardware, and the 5,5 cm collar neck opening became a widespread standard. Even though some of these shades are marked “Belge” or “Belgium”, it is almost impossible to identify the manufacturer of a given shade as these productions have neven been documented. The characteristic concentric circles on the surface do help to distinguish the early 20th century models from recent re-editions. While the first were mouth blown in wooden molds, contemporary productions are produced automatically by machines. The white colour is now often sprayed on clear glass, resulting in a less profound white that is more matt.
Lighting technology has much evolved in the past century, and the sockets that were historically used with these shades are not compatible with todays standards. Our workshop changes the fittings on all of these lights, making them fit for another 100 year of service. Off course, we also make sure they are compatible with todays energy efficient LED bulbs.
These lights are ideal for hanging above a table, a kitchen island, or for toned down lighting in restaurants and bars. They can be hung individually, several aligned, or at different heights for a more contemporary look. Our standard colours of cable are red, blue and white (canvas), but we can customise the colour for orders of more than 10 pieces. New ceiling caps for easy and safe installation are included with each light.