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Commercial Lighting Restoration Study: Ancaster Town Hall

09 December, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment



ancaster town hall chandelier

 

Ancaster Old Town Hall is a landmark historic building located on Wilson Ave East in the heart of Ancaster. Managed by the City of Hamilton, the 1870s edifice is a popular, versatile venue that hosts weddings, celebrations and community events. The objective was to restore the existing chandeliers, compliment them with custom designed lighting made by us, retrofit the lighting for LEDs and make it bright!

 

Consultation:

 

First we had to conduct a site visit to examine the existing lights and make recommendations for new lighting in surrounding areas. The 2 chandeliers dated from 1910 and have presided over the community for over 100 years.

 

before lighting restoration in ancaster town hall

 

Hanging 15' up in the air, detailed photos were taken and analyzed for restoration. We used our experience to determine the construction of the lights, the condition of the finish and prospective ways to increase light output through the discreet use of LED lighting. Lumen requirements for LED's were measured by calculating the total square footage which gave us parameters on which bulbs to choose.

 

Behind the Victorian arch on the main stage, there were 4 book matched locations for lighting. 2 of the locations were ideal for smaller chandeliers to provide general lighting for intimate events. The other 2 acted as spotlights meant to be used for plays concerts and presentations. Butting up against original plaster crown molding, the spot lights would be a fun challenge to design while the other 2 chandeliers had to be complimentary to to the main chandeliers. Everything was to be in made of solid brass for quality and finish.

 

 

Proposal and Quote

 

Once we complied and analyzed all of the information from the site visit, we condensed all of the information into core requirements. They were:

  1. Historic sensitivity

  2. Light output

  3. Longevity

  4. Environmental and energy requirements/savings

  5. Quality, pride and budget

 

LED filament bulb available in TorontoMultiple options were presented to the City detailing lumen requirements, restoration options and lighting fixture choices accompanied by photos and renderings. Because it's an expansive public space and the chandeliers are hard to access, LED lighting was recommended on all of the lights. They provided:

  • 70% greater brightness

  • 10x longer life from light bulbs (30,000 hours over 3000 hours)

  • 90% energy savings

  • Labour savings (do not have to change bulbs as often)

  • Warm colour temperature quality from LED filament bulbs

The City of Hamilton choose one option that incorporated high intensity COB LED's discretely placed in the chandelier along with decorative LED bulbs on the perimeter. Complimentary bespoke lighting was chosen for over the stage including LED spot lights handmade out of brass and finished to match all of the other lights.

 

 

 

Pick up and temporary replacements

 

Chandelier rentals torontoGiven that the hall was in constant use during wedding season, we supplied period reproduction lighting from our Custom Collection. They were altered to suit the hall and illuminated with the same LED filament bulbs specified in the proposal. The original chandeliers were cataloged and brought to the shop to visit the restoration doctor.

 

Restoration and Manufacture

 

Restoring lights is full of surprises. These were no different. Garland, garland.......lots of garland. It was Christmas in July with ancient remnants of decorations past.

 

Disassembling was straightforward and there were no areas of concern with dents, damages, breaks or splits. Where required, we do all necessary repairs including soldering, brazing and small sand casting to replace parts. High quality in their day, these chandeliers were commercial grade and wonderful to work on.

 

metal finishing and restoration torontoOur master finisher handled the 36” spinning's on the high speed polishing wheels where 35 years of experience was put to the test. The result was an incredible antique brass finish replicating a period finish from the era the lights were made.

brass finishing and polishing toronto

custom brass spotlights

 

Insetting the LED's was a little more challenging as we had to discreetly hide the lights, hardware, and driver in the core of the chandelier. Attention to detail, balance and functionality were key. The end result was utilizing the existing structure to mount the LEDs and accompanying heat sinks.

Custom spotlights were created from the drawings in the proposal. They were to match the finishes of the chandeliers, use high powered PAR 30 LED bulbs, be adjustable and fit in a confined space.

COB leds on antique light restoration

 

For over the stage, our Custom 5 Light Wakefield was an ideal match for the 2 chandeliers and spot lights. Handcrafted out of brass, everything was of the same finish and quality.

 

Delivery and Installation

 

Taking something down is easier than putting it up.

 

We like to make things easy to put up.

 

Instead of being 1 unit, the chandeliers were separated so they could be installed in 2 pieces. Easier for electricians to handle and less room for error or damage.

restored heritage chandelier toronto

When installed and illuminated, they were pure magic. The center light LED's illuminated the room and having the 2 sets on separate switches meant the light levels could be adjusted to suit any mood.

ancaster town hall installation

 

 

Conclusion

 

Large scale restoration projects are a detailed process but so very rewarding. The City of Hamilton was ecstatic with the restoration, placement of LEDs and functionality of the lights. From start to finish we worked with the City to update them on the status, coordinate with the electricians and deliver on time and budget.

 

The end result was nothing short of awesome. We do a lot of retail client rewires and restorations but it's challenging commercial lighting projects like this that we love. Thank you Carolyn Samko and everyone at the City of Hamilton for giving us the opportunity to be apart of the history of Ancaster Old Town Hall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August Updates

26 August, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

It's been an exciting August for us here and although we've been quiet on the blog front we've been busy in the shop!

 

Here's a teaser as to what's going on with more posts to follow soon.

 

Restoration Destination

 

Currently we have 2 large scale restorations taking place right now. The first is a commercial project in Ancaster for the lighting at Old Town Hall. A local landmark and architectural gem, the City of Hamilton contacted us to restore the existing chandeliers, add more lighting in to the hall via LEDs and design complimentary lighting for the stage area. Due to the size and historic nature of the chandeliers, we have been dutifully working away at bringing them back to life while updating them for LED lighting as part of our green initiative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second project is kind of a love affair as it involves beautiful historic chandeliers in a beautiful historic Toronto home. We were contacted to remove many period and original chandeliers from the clients home for restoration. In most cases clients will bring the lighting fixtures to us but in this case, due to fragility of the crystal chandeliers, we went on site to remove them. This included taking them down from the ceiling, taking apart and labeling and packing them onsite. Stunning to begin with, we can't wait to see the chandeliers restored and the reaction the homeowners have to seeing back in in situ.

 

Along with these, we are also working on some great client goods ranging from Art Deco floor lamps to a set of original European wall sconces from a Toronto house.

 

 

 

 

LEDs and Vintage Lighting

 

Our LED filament lightbulbs are a hit and we've had to up our supply to keep with the demand. And why wouldn't they be a hit? Same light quality as an incandescent, greater brightness, 90% energy savings and 10 times the longevity.

 

As our ongoing commitment to energy savings, we've been steadily retrofitting our 2300 sq ft showroom with LED bulbs. The difference is striking when you walk in. Greater light, sharper highlights and less of an environmental impact. Loving it all around!

 

New arrivals

 

New Stock abounds and we've got some great lighting in from different eras. An amazing 1870s gasolier is one of the highlights and one we have't seen for a long time. Restored with its French Bronze finish and antique shades, its a showstopper in the front of the showroom. Victorian gas lighting and Mid Century modern lighting seem to be the most popular this summer which is great. 2 distinct eras and styles all under one roof. Our new arrivals page is always updated and there's going to be a lot coming up in September!

 

 

 

New Designs

 

We've been hard at work letting our collective imaginations run wild and have some new designs to show for it!

 

 

There's more to come on that front and we're excited to debut them in the fall. All made in house, by hand, they'll add to our expansive line of custom lighting.

 

 

A Wall Sconce named Audrey

23 July, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Our handcrafted custom items at Turn of the Century Lighting are exciting, wonderfully designed fixtures that show off our metal working skill and finishing ability. We have created many items over the years from Silver Teapot Chandeliers to overscaled Modern Mica and Brass Fixtures. We enjoy restoring antiques, but we love to design and create.

Our first custom wall sconce was created the mid-1990s. It was called the Audrey, named after a wonderful employee at the shop who worked here in the 1980s and 1990s. This sconce was sold for many years before it was eventually discontinued.

http://www.tocl.ca/products/audrey-candle-single-light

brass wall sconce lighting Torontobrass wall sconce lighting Toronto

About a year ago, we rediscovered the beauty of the original Audrey design. Not as ornate or detailed as many of our elaborate fixtures, traditional yet clean and beautifully finished. We decided once again recreate this fixture. In a short time period, our Audrey family of wall sconces has become one of our most popular.
lighting detail Toronto


 

The Audrey Wall Sconce was created as an affordable, yet beautiful wall sconce. Traditional in nature yet clean enough to work in any interior, this sconce can be custom made in any of our finishes. Complimentary to any existing light fixtures in a home, and a work horse with each socket giving a minimum of 60watts of light.

handmade brass finish lighting

 

 

With the renewed interest in this sconce, we decided to create two additional sconces. First an Audrey that incorporates a glass shade instead of the candle. This sconce is very versatile, gives great light, and looks as good going up, as it does going down.

http://www.tocl.ca/products/copy-of-elmwood-single-light

brass lighting Toronto tradtional lighting TorontoLighting Toronto brass

 

 

The other sconce we just recently introduced is a double light version of the Audrey. With two sockets instead of one it gives up to 120watts of light, and only a 4-1/2” projection. This makes it ideal in dark, narrow hallways, or any room requiring good light.

http://www.tocl.ca/products/copy-of-audrey-candle-single-light

Lighting Traditional TorontoTraditional Lighting Toronto lighting detail Toronto

 

All three of these Audrey Sconces are available in all of our custom finishes, and in any quantity.

http://www.tocl.ca/search?q=audrey

Currently we are once again looking into the past for more inspiration with new designs in the fall. Keep checking our website for new additions!

Exceptional Antique Lighting From Our Past

19 June, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

At Turn of the Century Lighting we pride ourselves on quality, but also variety with antique fixtures spanning time periods ranging from 1850-1970, with a strong emphasis on pre-world war two lighting.

We are always looking to round out our collection of lights to provide choice over many styles. With so many fixtures that can fit into so many homes, we often encounter special fixtures that stand out, and leave a lasting impression in our minds. Some of the fixtures were exceptionally beautiful, and some exceptionally unique, but the common thread is that they were all exceptional.

Below are a small sample of some of the wonderful fixtures that have found great homes over the years.

Art Deco Lighting:
Art Deco Lighting can be a difficult style for us to source and maintain in our showroom. There always seems to be more demand than supply. With their geometric, and linear nature, Art Deco fixtures work wonderfully in modern and traditional spaces. It can breath new life into traditional spaces, and give personality and uniqueness to new spaces.

Antique Art Deco Lighting Table Lamp

 

Arts and Crafts Lighting:
Arts and Crafts Lighting has a timeless quality. It's always a favourite in exterior, cottage, and even modern spaces. The simple lines, beautiful craftmanship, and empasis on useable light make this style amongst some of the most versatile.

Arts and Crafts Mission Antique Lighting

 

Victorian Lighting:
Victorian Lighting can take your breath away. This type of lighting often has a grander scale to suite larger spaces with higher ceiling heights but also exquisite refined detailing.

Victorian Gas Antique Lighting

 

Art Nouveau Lighting:
Art Nouveau lighting when done well argueably has no equal with a strong empasis on line, organic yet exquisite detail, colour, and perfect asymetric balance. It can mimic nature in It's most beautiful forms.

Art Nouveau Antique Lighting

We have many amazing Art Deco, Arts and Crafts, Victorian, and Art Nouveau fixtures currently in our showroom, and online as well as lots of Tudor, Industrial, Mid Century Modern, Gothic, and Colonial Revival Fixtures.

Check out: http://www.tocl.ca/collections/new-arrivals for our newest arrivals.

R.F. Wilton Electric Co 1929: Bit of Toronto's Lighting History

26 May, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Featured in this post is the 1929 R.F.Wilton Electric Co. Catalogue from Toronto, Ontario. Located at 124-128 Richmond Street West in what is now an awe inspiring parking bay for the Sheraton Hotel, the R.F. Wilton Company was a prominent retailer and distributor of electric lighting in Toronto. They occupied 3 addresses of prime retail space in Toronto’s downtown core and directly competed with large companies such as Simpson’s and Eaton’s located a bit further east along Yonge St.

 

Wilton offered a wide variety of lighting as seen in the 1920s pan lights, Tudor revival lighting and modern Art Deco designs. Strictly a retailer, they would have ordered their lighting from factories in Canada and the US to sell locally. We’ve seen many of the same fixtures from other company catalogues as wide spread as Philadelphia to Los Angeles. Inside the catalogue is an order form as well which would allow consumers to select the finish, quantity and length of the fixture they desired. With prices ranging from $3.00 for a hallway fixture to $15.00 dollars for a dining room fixture, the lighting carried appealed to a mass market and middle class. We make joke about the prices then, but $15.00 was the equivalent of $300 now.

 

Over the years many of these lights from the R.F.Wilton Co come into our showroom from old homes all around the city. They’re usually covered in white house paint or worse, and are in definite need of a refresh. We love working on them as they provide instant links to a homes past and homeowners are really pleased to see what would have been in the house in 1929.

 

In my mind, the most interesting part of this catalogue is not necessarily the lighting inside but the link to Toronto’s past. The catalogue was printed in 1929; the tail end of the roaring twenties and the birth of the great depression. Electric lighting was a huge technological innovation that everyone scrambled to acquire and the twenties were the true age of electricity and innovation. From lighting fixtures to light sockets, its fascinating to see what was modern at the time and the selecting of lighting people had before them. When I’m walking around the city and see a nice cast iron porch light that’s been there for 90 years, it doesn’t look tired or dated. Instead it looks proud and stoic. A small but illuminated link to both the home and Toronto’s past.

Future Antiques: Lighting Made Here

19 May, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

We believe in quality.

  

Both past and present.

 

That's why we make our own lighting. Or at least one of the many reasons.

 

When picking or restoring old lighting, you always get a sense of the quality paid to the design and manufacture of them. From the smallest embossing to the tiny floral buttons used on the thumbscrews, the level of detail is unmatched. Unfortunately, many of the old lights existing today have been filtered through time and often stand as singular examples where hundreds were once made. Although it would be nice to have a time machine and raid lighting warehouses of the past but we have to be realistic and get our head out of the DeLorean.

 

So that's another reason we make our own lighting.


And selection, don't forget that too.

 

With 12 unique brass finishes available, finishes on our lights can be mixed and matched and each fixture has 12 distinct possibilities as well as available quantities. Our custom selection of ceiling lighting and pendant lighting tops over 150 and our wall sconce selection is at 180. That's a lot of selection and unique designs that can be modified to suit your space.

 

Lastly, there is nothing like making something in the same way it was made 100 years ago. I know it echoes back to quality, but there is a pride in making an antique of the future in the style of today. We're one of the last Canadian manufacturers of fine quality brass lighting and having personally made a number of our lights as well as commissioned lighting for clients, there is no better feeling than seeing your work being loved in someones home. It's doesn't top new papa pride but is pretty darn satisfying in itself.

 

Hallway, Bedroom, and Bathroom Lighting for 8'-0” Ceilings

15 May, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment


One of the most common things we hear when people see our lighting is that they would need a lot of ceiling height to have most of them in their home.

While this is often the case with many Victorian era fixtures as they were created for 10'-0” ceiling heights, at the start of the 20th Century, many fixtures were created for electricity and lightbulbs.

Ceiling heights were commonly not as high, and fixtures were created to fit in Edwardian, Georgian, Tudor, Arts and Crafts, and Colonial Homes with 8'-0” to 9'-0” heights.

The start of the journey is to know your ceiling height. 8'-0” is commonly accepted as the shortest “normal” ceiling height but measuring is always good idea. We recommend 7'-0” of clearance when walking under a fixture. Areas such as dining rooms, kitchen islands, and vaulted ceilings often have fixtures that can hang lower than this. With 12” or 1'-0” of total height being the goal for an 8'-0” ceiling, below are some options for different spaces.
 Edwardian Brass Pan Lighting FixtureArt Deco Porcelain LightAntique Brass Milk Glass Lighting


Many antique lighting fixtures were created as plain, or embossed plates out of brass that replicated the decorative elaborate ceiling medallions of the previous era. These type of fixtures are fantastic as they give a lot of light with multiple sockets, but also create a visual focal point. Below are examples.
Antique Arts Crafts Flush Mount Lighting Fixture Antique Brass Edwardian Flush Mount LightRestored Antique Close Mount Fixture Nickel

The beauty of our Handcrafted Custom Close Mount Fixtures is the versatility. Below, a three light Lambton fixture in our Brown Patina and Wax could work well in a hallway, while the same Lambton fixture in Bright Nickel could look work in a bathroom in the same home.

Handmade Brown Patina Flush Mount Lighting Handmade Lighting Bright Nickel

Sometimes a Fixture that gives great light, but is a bit smaller is neccessary. A single light close mount fixture can work well in these situations. A small fixture with a beautiful shade can give great light, and work with other lighting in the space.

Antique Hallway Light Etched ShadeHandmade Brass Hallway LightWhite Porcelain Art Deco LightHandmade Brass Light

If you are looking for a light that is unique, fun, and stands out even though your ceiling height is lower, there are many fantastic fixtures that can fit the bill. We are always sourcing these type of fixtures, and below is a small taste of the different fixtures that work well with an 8'-0” ceiling.

Antique Crystal Nickel Hallway LightIndustrial Antique LightCrystal Hallway Light

Many options are available for spaces with lower ceiling heights whether the space is small, or large, simple or decorative.

Below are two sections of our website dedicated to both our custom close mount lighting fixtures that we create, and antique close mounts that have been restored by us. As always keep checking our new additions for our newest items in the new arrivals section of our website.

http://www.tocl.ca/collections/custom-collection-flush-mounts

http://www.tocl.ca/collections/antique-flush-mounts

http://www.tocl.ca/collections/new-arrivals

Custom Lampshades from Turn of the Century Lighting

08 May, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

We have all had a lamp that we know would look great if only it had the right shade. It seems simple, but it can be difficult to find the right size in the right material. The perfect lampshade can make a lamp. A poorly sized lampshade can make it look like an after thought though.


Custom Lampshades from Turn of the Century LightingAt Turn of the Century Lighting we have over 100 different materials, and can create traditional slanted, drum, and more exotic shade shades such as oval, pyramid, and mid century double shades. 

 

The most important part of the process that helps us to design the perfect shade, is bringing in your table or floor lamp. Whether your lamp is modern or antique, it’s very difficult to size a lampshade without the lamp present. Lampshade sizing is similar to sizing up clothing without a person being there.

It’s easy for a shade to look too big or too small if the sizing is off by even an inch or two.  Having the lamp present will allow us to see how a shade will attach to the lamp, so the correct type of fitting can be chosen.

We will experiment with different shapes of the same size as well, as some lamps can look good with several different shapes. It’s incredible how trying a few different options can lead you to a size and shape that isn't what you thought would look the best.

 

Table Lamp Floor Lamp and Chandelier Lighting MaterialsOnce we have a shape, we get to choose from our extensive collection of materials, including parchment papers, linens on styrene, kraft papers, and a full range of paint colours from Benjamin Moore.  The options in creating a shade with unique contrasting, or complimentary borders and colour options is endless. 

 

Custom Handmade Lampshades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We create shades as small as clip on shade size which is great for chandeliers and wall sconces to compliment and update a classic style, or provide a more diffused light than a bare bulb can provide.  For these types of shades, sizing is standard and we do not need the sconce or chandelier brought in, but a photo always helps for style and material considerations. 

We create many larger shades for floor lamps too, and all sizes inbetween.  

custom wall sconce lighting traditional clip on shade

We look forward to seeing you, and your lamp in the shop.

 

 

 

  P.S.  If your lamp needs to be rewired, we happily provide that service as well.  This can be done as the shades are being created, so your lamps are ready to use right away!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating 40 years of being green......

05 May, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

 

 

Restored antique and vintage lighting is recycling in its purest form. In the age of disposable DIY furniture, lighting and home decor, most things are not made to last. Heirloom quality lighting does not originate from China in 2015 but instead from Europe or North America in 1915.

 

We've always prided ourselves on our commitment to the environment by reusing, re adapting and restoring lighting from a bygone era. Saved from the trash heap, we've preserved some outstanding fixtures and given them a new home for another 100 years.

 

When they come into us they are in various states of disrepair and require TLC specific to each one. Nothing goes to waste in the process as all old wire is scrapped and recycled, vintage sockets saved for historic purposes and broken parts are repaired by our restoration team. In many cases, original finishes are maintained by cleaning them with soap and water and preserved with an eco friendly water based lacquer. When a light is in need of a major overhaul and covered in too many layers of pink house paint, we bring it back to the base metal using non toxic methods. From there a hand applied patina or brass based finish is matched to the fixture and preserved with either wax or water based lacquer.

 

The cool thing with all old lighting and new lighting that we make here is that they are made of 100% recyclable materials. Brass, copper, steel, cast iron and aluminum are valuable commodities on the scrap market with many of the parts having even more value for future restorations. In our workshop in an extensive collection of old parts reserved for stock and client restorations. That's one of the many reasons that makes us the go-to vintage and antique lighting company.

 

One of the most common questions we hear is if we buy back custom lighting we sold years ago.

 

The short answer is no.

 

Not because we don't want to give it a good home or because it's not valuable any more. It's just that we are still making the same lighting models and are not equipped to buy more of it back.

 

But we will recycle it for you.

 

If you have a custom wall sconce, chandelier or lamp that was made by us, and have no further use for it we would be more than happy to break it down, take it to the scrap yard and save it from the land fill.

 

That's just one of commitments we have to the environment and our clientele.

 

 

Do you need a Desk Lamp?

07 April, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Desk Lamps are a very special type of lighting.  Desk lamps function and act as task lighting, but they really can pull a space together and create a beautiful focal point.  Desk Lamps often travel with you from home to home, and the right one can last a lifetime.  We currently have many desk lamps in our showroom.  Here is just a small sample;

All of these lamps and more can be seen on our website;

http://www.tocl.ca/collections/antique-table-lamps