​Why We Love Barn Lights

There is something special about walking into a barn, ranging from the way in which it is lit to the earthy aroma and the feeling of comfort. Such is beauty of this experience that it is difficult to get it out of your mind and this explains the popularity of barn lights. Most people have the ambience so firmly etched in their minds that they make it a point to try and replicate it in their homes with the intention of creating a similar atmosphere. Of course there are several factors which come into play and the onus is on you to pinpoint one that you find most appealing.

If you ask anyone, the answer to ‘why we love barn lights’ could be as varied as the individual personalities but most of them would revolve around the natural warmth and coziness that these lights emanate. While this can be easily attained through effective utilization of natural light, problem arises when such an ambience needs to be created indoor and this is where the importance of barn lights comes in.

Contrary to the popular misconception, credit for appreciating barn lights does not belong to the present generation but has been in vogue since the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The only difference is that during the era gone by these light fixtures were limited to barns but now they adorn a variety of interiors like homes, restaurants and public spots to name a few. In keeping with technological advancement, these light fixtures come in a variety of shapes and sizes which makes it possible to find a style most appropriate for a particular décor.

Some areas where barn lights make all the difference are –

Storefronts, restaurant fronts and bar fronts – Rather than use a neon sign, most store and restaurant owners nowadays prefer barn lights because these add a classic touch and can even provide a vintage feel, depending on the style chosen. Usually, it is a set of three that is preferred and in addition to illuminating the signage, they add a touch that sets the outlet apart from others.

Doorways – The advantage of fixing a barn light above the doorway is that it can be adjusted to focus the glow on the area which needs to be illuminated without lighting up the entire area. These are ideally placed just above the awning so that the storefront is well lit to the point of being visible for miles at a stretch.

Spot lighting – Mini barn lights are perfect for being placed on the patio, a shrub or a sculpture wherein their purpose is to create a pool of light without being harsh on the eyes.

Home interiors – Barn lights that are meant for home interiors could be high on the style quotient, vintage, swiveling or stationery, meaning you are bound to find perfect illumination for every corner of your house.

Architectural highlights –Gooseneck barn lights that feature an S-shaped arm are ideally suited to illuminate architectural wonders owing to their rustic style.

For barn lights to be successful in working their magic, you would need to judge how, where and which type of bulbs to use. For example, anything ancient or intricate is best lit by fitting lamps close to the ceiling whereas focus is best achieved by setting up custom brackets at specific locations and mounting the fixture on it. Courtesy of the flexibility of barn lights, you have the alternative of fixing them on a piece of furniture so as to create an intimate space blessed with its exclusive pool of light. Library is one such space wherein barn lights fixed on bookshelves would enable readers to curl with a book of their choice in a cozy corner.

Next, it is time to check the various types of bulbs that can be used as barn lights to create the desired effect and systems based on barn lights tend to replicate natural lighting as far as possible. To this effect, some of the popular choices are –

Incandescent bulbs – Although these effectively emulate the sunset illumination, the light is dominated by shades of red, thus providing very little scope to the blue and green ends of the spectrum. These also hold the lowest score in terms of efficiency and have a tendency to burn out quicker as compared to their counterparts.

CFL – An acronym for compact fluorescent lamp, these mostly emit white light and although they are more efficient as compared to incandescent bulbs, the reason they are not preferred is due to suppression of red, blue and green colors.

HPS – High pressure sodium bulbs score well in terms of efficiency, spectrum and output but produce light of high intensity which cannot be dimmed.

LED – These are most suitable as barn lights because their emission is as close to the natural lighting as possible not to mention the fact that these are as eco friendly as bulbs can be. Even though the initial cost of LED is high, much of it is soon redeemed through savings, thus proving to be economical in the long run.

When it is a question of lighting up a space, natural light is the best option and barn lights are closest to it in terms of substitution. These lights not only create a warm and cozy ambience without compromising on the quality of vision but also help to conserve energy which is the need of the hour.  

28th Mar 2016 Vinita

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