Monday, November 12, 2012

Iron Lamp Parts

Iron lamps are often ornamental.

Iron lamps have the same basic parts as most lamps--a base, body, bulb fixture, shade and ornamentation. The big difference between iron lamps and the competition is that iron lamps are forged from molten metal. This means that they can be fashioned into a number of shapes and designs without weakening the material or breaking the unit into multiple parts. Does this Spark an idea?


Iron lamp bases come in a number of styles. The base of a lamp is the portion that touches the floor. Base weight and design serve to balance and anchor lamps. The two most prominent base styles for iron lamps are solid or footed. Solid bases are single pieces that are either circular or square. They are weighted to balance the lamp. Footed bases are divided into three or four legs that extend from the bottom of a lamp shaft to the floor. Lamp feet can be straight or curled and serve to distribute the lamp's weight over a wide area for increased balance and decreased stress. Some lamps with solid bases are designed to turn on and off when the base is touched.


A lamp's body is the portion between the base and the top of the lamp. While porcelain, plastic, steel and other lamp types often have ornate, decorated, wide bodies, iron lamps generally have nothing more than a single shaft for a body. Tall iron lamps designed to sit on the floor often have thin shafts. These shafts can be plain or wreathed in decoration. Some iron lamps make an aesthetic statement by using a number of curved shafts to form a hollow body. Other iron lamps have shafts that curve at the top so that the bulb hangs forward from the rest of the lamp.

Bulb Fixture

Bulb fixtures are the part of lamp into which the bulb is fitted. They are not particularly pleasing aesthetically and are more often than not covered by the shade. However, they provide one important function for iron lamps, which is brightness modification. The design of bulb fixtures on iron lamps determines whether the lamp is capable of producing light of varying degrees of brightness. Furthermore, the design of a bulb fixture impacts the maximum level of brightness a lamp is capable of producing. Each bulb fixture is designed for specific bulb wattage and will not faithfully reproduce the light of bulbs with higher wattage.


The manner in which iron is produced, and the strength of the material, allows for greater diversity of ornamentation than many competing lamp materials afford. Ornamentation begins at the base, where footed lamps bear designs such as intricately curved legs or floral patterns engraved into feet. Iron lamp bodies can be adorned with ornamentation both ostentatious and restrained. Restrained ornamentation includes fine rivulets carved into the body of a lamp so that it resembles a classical column and slight, stylized thickening and thinning of the shaft at various points. Ostentatious ornamentation runs the gamut from branches and pine cones fashioned around a body so that it resembles a tree to complexly bent shafts of iron wreathing the central shaft of the lamp.

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