“They just don’t make them like they used to.”
Guess what, people. Yes, they do. “They” are out there.
They’re just hidden amongst the millions and millions of products being imported. They’re buried under all the results we see first when we do a google search. And corporations have us trained to buy things produced outside of the USA.
And so we end up with lots of cheaply made stuff, and then we wonder, “Does quality craftsmanship exist anymore?” I think we’re going to see a shift real soon in how we buy things because buying everything overseas just isn’t sustainable. And we clearly appreciate the well-made pieces. Salvaged antiques, architectural elements, and reclaimed materials are so hot right now; we’re clearly obsessed with these timeless pieces that are solid, well-made, and rich with character. It’s how the whole “rustic/industrial” style came about (which ironically is being mass-produced now). But then the question becomes, what will people be salvaging from 2016?
Good question. Well I have good news everyone. There are quality products still out there. Manufactured right here in the U.S. of A. by skilled artisans and craftsmen.
So who are THEY? I wanted to know too. Owning heirloom quality pieces is really important to me so I had been doing some research this past weekend and found products that are proudly made here in the USA. Manufactured piece-by-piece, one-by-one, by the hands of real people. This is a blog post series I have been thinking about doing for a long time, because I know I’m not the only one wondering what is still being made on US soil.
This is the first post of the Made in the USA series, and today I’m showcasing lighting. I have spent hours searching the internet to bring you what I think are the best, most beautiful light fixtures out there—and they are all proudly American-made.
This is your ultimate guide to legacy-leaving lighting. There’s a little of everything here, from ornate reproduction period lighting to sleek, modern fixtures, and at all price-points.
So happy scrolling. 78 unique, carefully crafted pieces are just below.
1. Chestnut Copper Stem Mount Pendant | 2. Intermediate Schoolhouse Semi-Flush Mount Light | 3. Atomic Topless Industrial Guard Double Vanity Light | 4. Wheeler™ Wilcox Wall Sconce | 5. Assembly 3 Light Chandelier | 6. Clear Schoolhouse Copper Cord Hung Light
Florida couple, Bryan and Donna Scott started Barn Light Electric out of their passion for quality vintage lighting. Just 4 years ago, they launched their own porcelain enamel manufacturing process—somewhat of a lost art as it hadn’t been done in America for over 50 years (even though it was a key feature of light fixtures back in the day and results in a piece that will last a lifetime). I love the fresh take they took on barn lights: their fun colors in a high-gloss enamel are like candy. Watch their story here.
1. Oak Park Four Light Chandelier | 2. Victorian Style Wall Sconce with Gas Shade | 3. Ornate Sheraton™ One Light Straight Arm Sconce | 4. Traditional Oval Linen Fold Sconce | 5. Glass Panel Pendants | 6. Saint Tropez Four Light Petite Chandelier
Oh man, is brass ever popular today. Well, here is a company that KNOWS brass. Brass Light Gallery makes all their fixtures in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is the best source for quality lighting made out of solid brass. Looking for Victorian, Arts & Crafts, English Tudor, Prairie, Greek Revival, Neo-classic, Georgian, Regency, Italianate, Mediterranean Revival, or Modern? They make ’em, since 1974. Read more about their Made in the USA commitment.
Cedar & Moss is a young company, founded by Michelle Steinback (she used to work for Schoolhouse Electric, which is featured below). In the beginning, the pieces were made by her in her basement, but the business has grown and now operates out of a studio in the forest near Portland, Oregon. I love these simple, modern fixtures, and I bought this sconce from them for my new bathroom.
Love spindles? I do! And they are killer in these glossy colors. So happy I found these made-with-love objects by Dunes and Duchess.
Here are some great exterior light fixtures made in the USA since 1967. Handcrafted with hand-tools in New Jersey and Arizona, Genie House uses old time blacksmithing techniques and is dedicated to making each piece one-of-a-kind. Proof that you don’t have to get your hands dirty hunting through old structures in New England in order to find beautiful, enduring objects.
1. Earth Collection – Blown Glass & Wood Tear Drop Pendant | 2. Clay Collection – Porcelain Ombre Ceramic Black & Brass Clay Pendant Light | 3. Schoolhouse Collection – Schoolhouse Opal Glass Pendant | 4. Clay Collection – Matte Porcelain Brass Ombre Globe Clay Stagger 2-11 Pendant Light Chandelier | 5. Luce Collection – Matte White Porcelain Globe Clay & Hand Clear Glass Chandelier | 6. Geode Collection – LED Geode Copper Leafed Gem & Porcelain Mini Clay Pendant
Woman-operated Hammers and Heels brings us furniture, lighting, and home decor objects that are committed to quality and environmental stability. I love the name as it is a tribute to strong women. Check out their Making of the Clay Collection video and their blog post Top 5 Reasons to Buy American Made.
1. Primitive Colonial 5 Light Chandelier With Textured Black Finish | 2. Baroness 5 Light Crystal Chandelier With Polished Silver Finish | 3. Large Punched Tin Wall Lantern With Blackened Tin Finish | 4. Empire Double Sconce In French Brass | 5. Ruskin 4 Light Flush Mount Fixture | 6. Charleston Flush Mount Ceiling Light
This is a great mission statement and I copied it from their site:
“At House of Antique Hardware we believe period homes were designed and built with a rare integrity. For those of us compelled to restore that integrity, we share a responsibility: to stay true to the original design, materials and workmanship. At House of Antique Hardware, there are no short cuts to reproducing the past. We have one of the largest selections of original and authentic reproduction hardware on the web, and sales staff dedicated to matching the most faithful restoration project.”
Again, no need to say “They just don’t make them like this anymore” the next time you are touring a 1904-built house. Note that not every item on their website is manufactured in the US, but the 6 I featured above are. For light fixtures made in the USA, click here.
You want gorgeous glass pendants? No, I mean, like really ridiculously gorgeous. Check out Niche right now and I’m telling you, you will want to click on everything. Every piece is designed and handmade in New York. “Made, not manufactured, is the mantra behind Niche.” See how a “Helio” pendant light is made with this video.
People passionate about the past. That’s what Rejuvenation is all about. They make all sorts of quality things to outfit your home. Note that not everything on their site is made in the US (it will say in the product description), but they do try to use as many American parts as they can and most of their hard-wired lighting is made in Portland, Oregon. Take a peek at how Rejuvenation makes its authentic reproduction lighting in their Portland factory with this video. This Factory tour video is also interesting.
I had to include Roll & Hill because their modern light fixtures are exquisite and striking. Expensive, yes. But they are totally unique, made with interesting materials like leather, bronze, and hand-knotted rope in Brooklyn. I thought this article “Roll & Hill Wants to Make American Design Accessible” was interesting.
Oh, Schoolhouse Electric, you’re so rad. Oh, your factory is in Portland? Of course it is. Their aim is to create the next generation of heirlooms and who doesn’t love vintage-inspired lighting? That’s how it started, but now they offer all sorts of great products for your modern home. Watch the Behind-the-scenes look at their factory with this video. Also check out the Schoolhouse Home styled by Emily Henderson. Note that not every product they offer is made in the USA so check the description.
I slipped this artisan in for good measure because she makes some really stunning ceiling fixtures. The glass is handblown using traditional Italian techniques in her Pawtucket, RI studio. Here’s a look at the process.
So, if you are in the market for lighting, you have a lot of options out there. But consider buying a fixture that is made here in the US. You’ll be supporting the local economy, minimizing pollution, encouraging fair labor standards, and more than anything, you’ll be getting a high-quality piece that you pass down. These were my favorite producers of lighting made in America. If you know of other great ones, comment below! Stay tuned for more posts in the future featuring Kitchen & Bath Fixtures and Hardware, all made in the USA.