Schoolhouse How-To: Decorative LED Lighting

 Luna Pendant Cord with 16" Shade includes a 100W equivalent LED bulb

As LED technology continues to blaze bright new trails in lighting, form has finally caught up to function in the shape of thoughtfully-designed integrated and decorative LED bulbs. Now you can easily enjoy the long-lasting, environmentally-friendly benefits that LED’s are known for without having to sacrifice style. 

Last month, Architectural Digest tapped Schoolhouse’s Director of Product Development Sarah Kirk to give her take on the decorative bulb trend. A strong advocate for LED-led innovation in home decor lighting, Kirk shared her thoughts on the array of design advantages now available in LED bulbs.

"This technology has advanced to be applied across a variety of bulb shapes and styles — including simple frosted bulbs in decorative shapes and Edison bulb-inspired LED filament bulbs. LED decorative bulbs allow the same experimentation with scale, glass color (frosted, clear, amber), and even filament shape, but they have a much longer lifespan and require much less energy to achieve the same brightness as their incandescent predecessors."  


S14 Filament LED Bulb inside an Ellerbe Wall Sconce

There are numerous reasons to consider LED lighting for your home and the longterm benefits are significant. That said, when upgrading to any new technology there are always some learnings to be had so you don't feel in the dark when it comes time to make a final decision.

Here are a few of our key recommendations to help lead you to long-lasting LED happiness: 


  • Experiment with long-lasting decorative LED bulbs, particularly in fixtures where changing the light bulb is inconvenient (surface mount fixtures, especially on a high ceiling). The technology advancements make the light quality sometimes indistinguishable from the incandescent sources to which we’ve become accustomed.

    • LED options when used in bedside sconces and other adjustable light fixtures likely to be touched may result in a fixture that’s more cool to the touch because these bulbs emit less heat than their incandescent counterparts.

    • Rely on Lumens (brightness) rather than Wattage (energy usage) when selecting bulbs. The wattage equivalent is often listed in the bulb specs for LED bulbs to help us re-train ourselves to think and talk about bulbs in this new way.

    • Filament LED Bulbs are a good option in turn-of-the-century inspired fixtures — either bare bulb fixtures (like our Defiance surface mount) or shaded fixtures paired with clear glass shades (like the Princeton wall sconce).

    • Simple, small bulbs (like our G16 LED Bulbs) are best for fixtures with tight clearance inside the shade (like our Isaac collection).