Before mason jar glasses, before old-time fonts creeped onto menus, before the heady early days of reclaimed wood, our forefathers in nostalgic design lit the way, like a mustachieod Prometheus peering out into the dark depths of a "moody" restaurant interior, with the flicker of an Edison Bulb.
It's easy to look back at the beginning of the trend from the safe distance of 2015, when the concept of exposed, raw materials and similarly raw, exposed filaments, seemed to be more than a novelty or a hop onto the bulb bandwagon, but a genuine return to authenticity and a rejection of artifice (side note: remember the first time you went into a speakeasy-style cocktail bar, had an old fashioned Old Fashioned, and thought, yeah, this is pretty damn cool).
Well, those days are long gone, friend. Home Depot now sells strings of Edison Bulb outdoor lights that, come springtime, sell out at a prodigious rate (I know thanks to a friend ...). A victim of its own success—as well as an energy hog that can burn 5 to 10 times more power than the other bulbs on the market—the bulb has become a instant symbol of "atmosphere" so ubiquitous that, much like those pop songs that seem to find there way into every movie soundtrack, it may, in many cases, stand more for safety than style. It leads us to ask: have you had your fill of the filament?
Like any object used in interior design, the Edison Bulb by itself doesn't mean much; context and placement can turn a stylish touch into an annoying flourish. With that in mind, here are some examples of when Edison Bulb use can seem over-the-top.
Steampunk Fixtures: When Real Nostalgia Isn't Enough
Hanging Tough: Time to Cut the Cord?
Bulb & Block: A Lamp So Simple, It's Just a Block of Wood
A Cluster of Edison Bulbs: Since We're Not Inefficient Enough Already