The origins of Vintage Lighting
At the beginning, a very important message, at Retriko – we do not produce lights, we are looking for vintage lamps from a previous era and we adapt them to new standards so that they are ready to use, you can check our lights collection which is original and is over 50 years old.
In our opinion, the perfect period for vintage lights is the 1920s to 1980s. Especially in the 1950s and 1960s, in those years there was a very large and rapid development of lighting. A lot of models have been created in many different countries, companies have competed to discover best lighting and the most interesting solutions. In those years, these lights hung everywhere they needed, school, factory, street lamps. Over time, production standards have changed, so it was important that production costs were as low as possible. This was the beginning of key changes, the time has come for modern vintage lighting, which today is very different from the predecessors of the previous era.
About Vintage Style Lighting from 1920s and 1980s
Let’s look at a couple of facts about the old lighting. Most lamps were fitted with large bulbs. There were times when there was only incandescent light bulb, which meant a lot of power that consumed a lot of energy. Most often, large vintage lamps were hung in factories and other production areas, where workplaces were located in areas with huge spaces. This required the right lighting, which was the big lamps with very strong light bulbs. Today we have an era of cost-effective lighting which is several times cheaper and works much more hours. Of course, this is LED Lighting, and many countries have already banned the incandescent light bulb. In their place they were introduced saving LED bulbs.
When it comes to bulbs, this is a very good change for a lot of reasons. As for the lamp, the materials from which they were made have changed. Today the most important thing is to make the product cheap and easily accessible, which is why it is produced quickly and with the cheapest materials such as plastic.
Previously, style and design was very well thought out, thus creating models that today are amazing to us. Very good opportunity to be convinced is to look at vintage industrial lighting from many countries such as uk or all eastern and western europe. The most popular material was steel, rarely aluminum, but also made cast iron elements for lamp. The most surprising of our lamps is the fact that they were enamelled (using old methods). In this way a high quality product was created, enamel lights has wonderful colors that we can admire even today. These materials guarantee quality, remember that plastic will never equate to steel or cast iron (which is corrosion resistant). These lamps were designed to survive in places with increased risk of destruction. So all kinds of industries, mines, schools, halls productions, military.
Where and how do we find the lights?
We are looking for lamps that meet our requirements, looking for a unique style and pay attention to the details we mentioned before. Most of the lamps are obtained from places where the demolition of old buildings is conducted. From people who have kept in the “garage” in excellent condition models not used for decades. From places where old light is exchanged for newer ones, cheaper and adapted to modern economical light bulbs.
We have contacts with people who help us find this type of lights. They come from very diverse places – hospitals, theater, cinema, old magazines and many other interesting spots. After the 1970s, many places began to close, various industrial facilities were abandoned. They have become the place of URBEX lovers, who are visiting buildings that have been inactive for years. In recent years we often hear about demolishing this type of buildings. This way, vintage lamp that no one is interested in are destroyed.
That is why we are, Retriko – online vintage lights shop. We are looking for lamps that our team can save, renew and adapt to modern standards. So that they are ready to illuminate your space for decades.
For modern use available worldwide
This style is very popular among others in countries such as uk, netherlands, belgium or australia. We ship industrial lighting fixtures all over the world, if you are interested in a larger order, please contact us.
Our lamps are perfect for modern interiors as well as for old ones. Just choose a model that fits your space. Our lights are perfect in places like bars, cafes, hotels, the most popular are restaurant lighting design projects. If you are looking for something that will give your interior character, style and originality – then surely our products are ready for this. Need some ideas? You can check out our projects here and on our Instagram profile.
Looking at different countries, we can distinguish many classic brands. For Poland it will be MESKO or ZAOS. Revo and Benjamin Electric are excellent British showcases. DDR comes from Germany and many other excellent companies that have created their own unique style in the previous era. This will definitely be a good choice for you if you want to have an original product. Remember that a number of interesting lighting companies were created decades ago. Lamps were manufactured for the army, schools, for lighting streets, towns, industrial buildings, mines and many other places where light was needed. There are so many different products that we often find lamps that we have never seen before. For us it is something really great because it is our passion to find new interesting lights from the previous era.
Our lamps go through the appropriate process of renewal. This means that we only have original products, we don’t deal with reproduction based on the old style. Each lamp is different and has different parts. Our task is to replace electrical components, cables and holders. We then replace the rest of the parts that have been damaged, for example by corrosion. Remember that these lights were most often produced between 1930-1970. The companies that produced them in those days, today no longer exist. You will no longer find original parts for these lamps. This means that we need to find spare parts that will have the same or better features. The way we renew them depends on what effect we want to achieve. However, everything we do is to keep the wonderful original vintage style. Certainly these are original products with character and history. The right combination gives you really amazing effects in the interiors.
Very often it is a time-consuming process, but generally most of the lamps even after 50 years, is in good condition. We perform tasks like (often using friendly services):
- Removal of old paint, most often sandblasting or sodding.
- Polishing to give a glow to the old surface.
- Rewiring, mainly for security and adaptation to modern standards.
Depending on the type of light, we do one of the above tasks to make the product ready. Once it is technically renewed, we move on to the next step – photos. We take photos to show you what a ready-made lamp looks like. You have the opportunity to get to know lamp details, sizes, color, weight and brief description. If we have such knowledge then we also add information from where the lamp comes from. This is a very interesting fact for people who love old lighting history. The last step is when you decide to buy one of our lights. Our task then is to prepare a lamp for shipping in such a way to safely arrived at the spot. You have the right to return the product, but please be very careful about your choice. This is a very specific product and requires proper preparation for shipping.
We would like to once again discuss the definition of Vintage. For us, this is something that is older than about 50 years old. Our lamps are mostly from 1920-1970 (we rarely find interesting objects from the 1980s). That is why we are proud to say that we are owners of original vintage lighting. Our lamps are restored to life while preserving their character and history. All are adapted to modern requirements – the new cables and E27 holders adapted for economical LED bulbs.
Salvaged lighting will always be our integral part of what we do. Our job is to find the old lighting and getting to know their history. Then adapt them to today’s standards – it’s our passion. If you are looking for really original vintage lights with character then this is the place for you. Remember that these are used products, so traces of usage can be found. We invite you to send us pictures of how our lamps look in your interior.
Retriko’s store is constantly changing with new outdoor and saved lamps. We invite you to check our site more often to see new products.