Frequently Asked Questions
What is Schoolhouse?
Schoolhouse Electric and Supply Co. is a lighting and lifestyle company that combines the rich heritage of American craft and manufacturing. The majority of our products are manufactured in our Portland, OR factory, where you can also visit our flagship store. If you’re on the east coast you can visit our showroom in New York City. You can learn more about our beginnings here and our factory here.
How did Schoolhouse Electric get started?
In 2002, owner and founder, Brian Faherty discovered a collection of original cast-iron glass shade molds in an upstate New York warehouse. They had been all but forgotten for more than a half century.
“We were literally searching through this huge old warehouse with flashlights, running our hands around the inside of these massive cast-iron molds to feel the shape they made...These are the old original molds that make our shades today.” Once covered with layers of rust and dirt, these molds have been restored and returned to production. This collection represents some of the best examples of true American lighting design and is the inspiration behind Schoolhouse Electric Co.
Read the full story behind the History of Schoolhouse Electric’s lighting.
Do you wholesale your products to other retailers?
We have chosen not to wholesale our products in order to keep our pricing as low as possible while offering the best support for our customers.
Can I get a catalog?
Yes! Please share your details here and we will mail a free catalog to you. Our catalog is intended to both inspire and express our inspiration behind our products.
All the nitty-gritty product details can be found on our website.
How do I unsubscribe from Emails?
Please click here and follow the instructions
What is a canopy?
A canopy is the part of the light fixture that attaches to the ceiling or wall and covers the electrical junction box.
What is a fitter?
A fitter is the lip-shaped part of the shade that slips into the fixture’s shade holder and is held in place by fitter screws. Common fitter diameters are 2.25", 4" and 6". The size of the fitter and shade holder are the determining factors when pairing fixtures with shades.
What is Damp Rating?
A lot of our fixtures are perfect for porches and other sheltered areas. Some building codes require that a fixture have a UL Damp Rating when used outside or in a high humidity location such as a bathroom or kitchen. Damp-rated fixtures should not be used in areas that are directly exposed to water whether it be rain, snow, or shower spray. Products that are damp-rated say “Suitable for Damp Locations” on their product page under Product Details.
What is a GU24 Fluorescent Socket?
This option replaces the standard screw mount socket with a permeant 2-pin socket. This will satisfy most energy-efficient lighting codes and/or tax-incentive requirements, such as California's Title 24.
Please note that incandescent or specialty light bulbs cannot be used with this option.
Can I install my fixtures outside?
That depends on the fixture.
Some of our fixtures (like the Factory Modern No. 6 Outdoor Sconce) are perfect for being mounted directly exposed to the elements.
Many others are “damp rated” for use in covered locations as long as they are protected from rain and snow. Lights that are damp-rated say “Suitable for Damp Locations” on their product page under Product Details.
Can I order a fixture with custom measurements?
At this time, we do not offer custom made lengths. However, since our our lights are made-to-order many of our pendants and chandeliers allow you to choose from a broad range of lengths.
Do you offer specialty switch options on your fixtures?
We can install a rotary or pull switch to most of our fixtures for an additional $15. Contact us to discuss switch placement options.
Can your fixtures accommodate vaulted ceilings?
Yes! Many of our pendants can be adapted with double loops to accommodate a sloped or vaulted ceiling. This option is available on the product pages.
How do I install my fixture?
Unless you’re already a licensed electrician, we recommend that you hire one to install your light fixture. This will ensure the safety of your home and a long life for your Schoolhouse fixture. It’s always worth pointing out that an improperly installed light fixture could create a fire hazard. All of our fixtures are designed for use in a 120-volt fused circuit and are intended for interior use (unless specially built and labeled for damp locations). Schoolhouse Electric Co. cannot be held accountable for improperly installed fixtures or fixtures paired with the wrong size or wattage of light bulb. For a tutorial on Installing Pendants and Chandeliers check out Schoolhouse 101 on our blog.
How do I care for my fixture?
Your fixture should only need a light dusting on occasion to stay beautiful. If it does need to be cleaned, be sure to use only the mildest soaps, softest cloths and gentle pressure. Nickel finishes may develop a whitish patina over time that is easily removed with ammonia, or an approved metal polishing cleaner such as Never Dull. Like our fixtures, glass shades should only require an occasional dusting. Opal, Crystal Etched, and Opal Etched glass shades can be washed with warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft cloth. Please take extra care when washing art glass, hand-painted, and decorated shades since abrasive cleaners could damage the finish.
Will your fixtures work with my antique shades?
They might but since antique shades were typically hand blown, variation in size could be an issue. Please give us a call or stop into one of our stores to chat with our sales team about your specific fixture.
Can I use compact fluorescent bulbs or LED bulbs in Schoolhouse fixtures?
Definitely. We love high efficiency bulbs. They last longer, conserve energy, and save money.
Do your lights carry the CSA approval for the Canadian market?
Yes, they do. Our damp rating listings also cover the Canadian market. More information, such as wattage restrictions, can be found on each light’s product page.
Do your lights work internationally?
Though not European Union (EU) listed, our lights are compatible with both the US 120-volt and the EU 220-volt systems.
However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.We use E-26 sockets, which are slightly shorter than the E-27 socket used in Europe. This means that the threaded base of bulbs intended for E-27 sockets will extend slightly beyond the edge of our sockets. Our plug-in fixtures are manufactured with Type A plugs and cannot be modified to meet non-compatible electrical outlets. The bulbs we sell are not compatible with the 220-volt system.
SIZING YOUR LIGHT
When ordering a pendant or chandelier, how do I choose the length?
First, you’ll need to determine the overall length that you need for your space (C). To do this we recommend hanging a balloon with a string from your ceiling. This will allow you to step back and assess the height from multiple angles.
Once you know the overall length you’d like your light to be then you need to determine if the pendant or chandelier you’ve chosen comes with a shade or if you need to purchase one separately.
If the shade is included, then you can simply enter your desired overall length on the lights product page before you order.
If, however, the shade is not included you can figure out the length you need for the fixture by subtracting the height of the shade (B) you’ve chosen from your overall length. This will give you the length (A) you need to enter when you order your fixture.
How high should my light fixture hang above my dining table?
That depends. Your aesthetic and the formality of your dining room all come in to play. Traditionally, more formal dining rooms have lower hanging light fixtures. A general rule of thumb is to hang the fixture 3 feet (36 inches) above your table or 6 feet (72 inches) off the floor. Some people consider this too low for casual entertaining and prefer their fixtures to hang 6 ½ feet to 7 feet (78 to 84 inches) from the floor. To determine your preference, we encourage you to string a balloon from the ceiling to get a sense for the overall desired length of the fixture.
What about my kitchen island? How low should the fixtures hang?
This also depends upon your style and lighting needs. Will your pendants serve as accent lights or will they provide the general light in the kitchen? How tall are the people in your household? Ideally, the bottom of the shade won’t hang lower than the tallest person in your household. We recommend hanging a balloon from the ceiling to help you determine the overall fixture length that will work best above your island.
Can I adjust the length of my fixture once I get it?
Our pendants and chandeliers are built to the length you specify when you place your order. They are not adjustable and we cannot guarantee any fixture that is altered once it leaves our factory
In some cases, if you are unhappy with the length you selected, you may be able to send your fixture back to us to be reworked. However, you will be responsible for all shipping, parts, and labor. Please reach out to our Customer Support Team with all Rework inquiries.
Due to the substantial costs associated with Reworking a fixture, we strongly encourage you to measure your ceiling height and be sure of the length you’d like before placing an order. If you need help, please give us a call or send us an email. We’re happy to walk you through the process.
Can you make me a piece of furniture with my fabric?
As much as we’d like to, we are unable to offer alternative upholstery options. We do make sure to choose fabrics that will complement a wide range of interiors.
Is your furniture treated with fire retardant or any other flame resistant materials?
Several of our products are made in California, where State law mandates the cushions be treated with a flame retardant. Please call or email our Customer Support Team for more details.
Do you sell gift cards?
Yes! You can purchase gift cards here. You can also purchase physical gift cards at all of our store locations.
How do I use my gift card?
If redeeming online, just enter the number on your gift card at checkout. If you’re in a Schoolhouse store, you can present your card to one of our sales associates at checkout.
Can I have my purchase gift-wrapped?
Gift wrapping is available for smaller, eligible products. You can if your gift is wrap-eligible under the “Gift Options” during the checkout process.
Due to size restrictions, not all products are eligible.
Do you have a registry?
Yes, and congratulations! You can create a registry here.
PAYMENTS & ORDERS
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept PayPal, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and Schoolhouse Electric Gift Cards. For orders made through our Customer Support Team we can also accept checks and wire transfers. And of course, cash on purchases made in one of our stores.
When is my credit card charged?
We charge your credit card as soon as you submit your order.
Do you charge sales tax?
Not unless you live in New York (sorry New Yorkers!). We charge sales tax on the merchandise and shipping total for items shipped to New York state addresses. All other states ship sales tax-free.
Can I change my order?
Orders go into production the day after we receive them. If you need to make any changes to your order, please make them before the end of the business day. If you missed the boat, please contact one of our Customer Support Team Members to talk about your options. While we’re always happy to accommodate, we may need to charge a fee to cover labor and/or unusable parts.
Do you offer online promotions?
Every now and again. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest from Schoolhouse.
Do you offer discounts?
As a factory direct company, we offer discounts to industry professionals. Click here for more info.
Will I receive all the items in my order at the same time?
We do what we can to make sure you get your orders as soon as we can ship them, so orders containing products with different lead times will ship as they become available. If you wish to have all products shipped together please call our Customer Support Team.
However, there are some exceptions for your convenience, including:
Light bulbs without fixtures (because you should have the whole thing at one time) Shades without fixtures or fixtures without shades International orders Partial fulfillment of an order for multiples of a single product (we will not send you three when you ordered four)
How can I check the status of my order?
Do you ship internationally?
We do offer international shipping. For your convenience, we include all customs fees, import duties, and taxes up front so there are no surprises later. Simply input your address upon checkout and we’ll calculate the total cost for getting your order from our door to yours.
If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Support Team and we will be happy to assist you. Please note: International Orders are non-returnable and subject to our Order Changes & Cancellation Policy found here.
Do I qualify for the “Trade” program?
Our trade program is intended for professionals in the interior design and construction fields. This includes licensed designers, architects, contractors and developers.
Do you offer a trade discount? How do I get it?
We offer a 10% discount on orders placed though a trade account. If you’d like to apply, check out our trade application (here) for details.