Are Edison Vintage Bulbs Dimmable?

Going on our sixth year of selling those Nostalgic Bulbs there is one questions that is constantly being asked.  Are Nostalgic bulbs dimmable?   Well, yes.  All of the Nostalgic, Antique, or Vintage Edison bulbs are dimmable.  All of those bulbs are incandescent bulbs which are dimmable with any dimmer, whether you have a dimmer socket, or a wall dimmer.  The use of dimmers with those bulbs is a great idea.  The real beauty of them is the filament.  When dimmed down to really low light they look magnificent.  The filament is just bright enough so you can look at it without hurting the eyes.  Just a pleasure to look at.  I personally love the way they look when dimmed down.  I would highly recommend using dimmers if possible.  Just look at the filament in the picture below:

Nostalgic Filament

Squirrel Cage Filament – Nostalgic Bulbs

But wait, there is more!  There are also a few benefits to using Nostalgic bulbs with dimmers.

  1. Save on energy consumption.  When you dim down 50% a 60 Watt bulb, your power/electricity consumption goes down 50% for that bulb.
  2.  Less heat will be generated from a dimmed incandescent light bulb.
  3. Extend the life of the bulb.  When dimming down those Nostalgic bulbs, you’ll extend the average life of the bulb.

Vintage Edison Filament


What you should know about LED Filament Bulbs!

As LED Edison bulbs are getting more popular there are some important facts you should know about.

  • Color Temp
  • Wattage Equivalent
  • Lumens
  • Dimmable compatibility

We are not used to checking all those specifications since we never had to.  We did not have choices like we have with LED bulbs.  When you bought an incandescent bulb all you had to worry about was the wattage.

Here is the deal:

With LED Edison bulbs you have a choice of color temperature.  This means you can choose a very warm yellow color to a very cool blue color.  See chart:


Wattage equivalent which seems to be on every Edison LED box I have seen is the most misleading information you’ll get.  The problem with this is every manufacturer is comparing the wattage to a different incandescent bulb.  What I’m trying to say is that Edison incandescent bulbs and standard incandescent bulbs have a very different light output.  A 60 watt Edison bulbs are much dimmer than a 60-watt standard incandescent bulb.  So, some manufacturers compare their LED bulbs to standard incandescent bulbs and some to Edison incandescent bulbs.  That is why you should not pay attention to wattage equivalent and instead learn to use lumens to judge how much light a bulb will give you.




The first and most important one is the UL listing for those bulbs.  This is especially important for those bulbs since UL requires the bulb (glass part) to be coated with a special silicon which makes the glass shatterproof or to be made out of plastic.  No other bulb require this except the Filament LED bulbs.  This includes the standard LED Filament Bulbs and the Nostalgic LED Filament bulbs.  The reason for that is the LED filaments inside the bulb will turn on and work fine even if the glass is broken or missing. Electricity will run through the filaments and if a person touches it accidentally they will get an electric shock.  Unlike the incandescent bulb which will not turn on if the glass is broken, cracked or missing. Once air goes in, the bulb burns.  To date, only UL requires this and unfortunately, we have been seeing may online and retail stores selling Non-UL LED Filament bulbs.  Most of the time they don’t even know about this requirement.

Some of those bulbs are dimmable and some are not!  The dimmable LED Filament bulbs do require special dimmers and they will only dim to 30%.  They do cost 3 to 4 times more then what an Edison Vintage bulbs costs, but they also last 10 times longer and consume about 10% of what the incandescent nostalgic bulb will consume for the same amount of light.  Overall, they are a smart buy if you in the market for those Vintage Edison bulbs.  Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Update 7/11/17

Now available LED filament Edison bulbs which are fully dimmable with all types of dimmers.  Those new bulbs don’t require the silicon coating on it since they will not work if the glass is cracked or broken.

Carbon Filament vs Tungsten filament

Old fashioned incandescent filament light bulbs are developing a following of determined folks who simply enjoy the magical quality of vintage incandescent light and the beauty of the softly glowing internal filament.

The first incandescent light bulbs were made with platinum filaments. After experimentation with a variety of materials, Thomas Edison developed the first filament light bulbs to be used commercially, which utilized carbon filaments.

As time passed, tungsten became the material of choice for filaments because they produced twice as much light and lasted much longer. With further exploration, the Edison-era tungsten-filament light bulb was further developed and was filled with inert gas instead of being encased in a vacuum. This greatly reduced a dark residue that would develop on the inside of the glass globe due to its vacuum construction.

Edison-era vintage tungsten bulbs may not burn as brightly as the most recent versions, but they are enjoyed because of their romantic warm glow, the classic shape of the bulbs, and most of all, they are appreciated for the beauty of their softly glowing filament.

Vintage light bulbs are used for setting a relaxing atmosphere. They can still be found with both carbon and tungsten filaments, but vintage tungsten bulbs are more cost efficient to buy and are more cost effective in their use of electrical energy. They also remain clear much longer than carbon filament bulbs.

Vintage incandescent bulbs with carbon or tungsten filaments can be dimmed to various intensities of luminosity, which adds to the versatility of the bulb and its uses. However, it should be kept in mind that filament bulbs are capable of only one-half of the output of lumens as a modern incandescent filament bulb. Thus, while a modern 60-watt bulb produces 800 lumens, the 60-watt filament bulb will produce 400 lumens.

For this reason, many people choose to use vintage filament bulbs in special lamps and special lighting situations for atmospheric applications only, and they use modern bulbs for practical everyday use.

Many have noticed that crystal chandeliers take on a particularly nostalgic, magical, and elegant appearance when lighted by tungsten filament bulbs, and softly glowing table lamps can add a special romantic touch around and over the dining table or in the bedroom. Lamps that showcase the bulb with its warmly glowing filament are by far the favorite.

The historic Edison-era circa 1912 designed Steampunk bulb is adored for its unique “squirrel cage” shape and its glowing cage-shaped filament that surrounds the central glass supporting stem. It is a favorite bulb for exposed sockets, chandeliers, sconces, and can be used for both commercial and residential lighting situations.

So why not join the filament movement and designate a lamp or two to create the classic, warm, and magical atmosphere that only vintage light bulbs can bring to a home environment.


How much light do these Vintage Edison bulbs really give out?

As the popularity of those vintage bulbs grows, some people are literally being left in the dark. Will a 60 watt vintage bulb give out the same amount of light as regular 60 watt incandescent bulb? Probably not. To understand this better we rally need to talk about lumens. Lumens is the measurement of light output. So regular 60 watt incandescent bulb gives out around 800 lumens. Now, the average 60 watt vintage bulb gives out only 400 lumen. Exactly half the light output. So why are those bulbs so popular? Well, those bulbs produce a nostalgic ambiance! They are not supposed to light up light up a room. The whole beauty of those bulbs is the filament and the fact that you can actually look at it. If the bulb is too bright it will look like a regular incandescent bulb.


Houzz aritical on Industrail & Retro Lighting

Old Fashion Light Bulbs

Old-fashioned light bulbs are back in fashion. There is defiantly something magical about Antique items. From clocks to cars, some things are just not made the way they used to. The nostalgic atmosphere those Edison light bulbs give is now sought after by many of the upscale restaurants, bars, hotels, and retail stores around the world. Lighting manufacturers are adding new styles of these old fashioned bulbs on a monthly basis. At we try our best to keep up with all the new bulb shapes and sizes. Globe and chandelier bulbs with the old tungsten filament are now being made in shapes that weren’t even made before. Visit our online store to view the latest old fashioned light bulbs.

Edison Bulbs in my new kitchen

Edison Bulbs in my new kitchen

Vintage Light Bulbs

Hi Nostalgic Bulb fans,
I’m Julie, and I blog over at
I love to decorate our home & cook yummy food for my family.
Thank you, Nostalgic Bulbs, for inviting me to blog on your blog 🙂
I absolutely love your products.
Especially, these babies…
Vintage light bulbs are very hot these days.
No pun intended, but really they are.
Especially at my house.
I use them throughout our home.
Nostalgic Bulbs are the most beautiful bulbs I have ever used.
Not only are they nice to look at,
they are reasonably priced.
They also are delivered quickly to your front door all nicely packaged.
Let me show you a few examples throughout our home.In our kitchen, we use the “beacon” style.
You can see they really bring out the crystals in our pendant lights.
If we had used a regular bulb, it would take away from the light fixture.
You can find more information on our DIY kitchen makeover here: Kitchen Makeover
I also used vintage light bulbs in our light fixture over our table.
These are the Nostalgic chandelier version.
These are beautiful lit, dimmed, or even off.
When we have company I usually dim them and they really set the mood.
When it’s homework time, back up they go.
Here’s another example of the vintage chandelier bulbs
in our master bedroom and master bathroom.
You can find more information on these makeovers here: Bedroom Makeover
Bathroom Makeover
I also happen to use the vintage bulbs in our halls.
They are best for light fixtures you can see through.
Not only is there less glare, but they are gorgeous.
Thank you Nostalgic Bulbs.
You make decorators like me light up!