I really liked my old front door lights, but they were disintegrating. They were probably 30-40 years old, which isn’t such a bad run for something electrical and outdoors. The electric part still worked fine, but the brass plate finish had all gone (and it was copper and zinc underneath — impossible to polish) and the decorative bottom finial (this possibly has a real name) on one had come off and couldn’t be re-attached.
One of the best/worst things about the Internet is how many choices there are. I went over to Home Depot and some local lighting places to see what they had in the outdoor lighting department, and really any number of those lights would have been just fine. But seeing as the Internet exists and I have access to it, I spent days (okay, weeks) frequently (okay, obsessively) searching for just the right light. The perfect is the enemy of the good enough, (next search is to have that translated into Latin and created as a family crest), so I finally got disgusted with myself and settled on these:
They are Hinkley Trafalgar lights in Museum Finish. They are good enough. They’re not cast iron, just some sort of aluminum, but from afar they look iron-ish. Changing the bulbs may be a bit fiddly, because there is a little screw cap to remove, but it should be okay. If I had seen them in a store rather than on the Internet, I might not have gotten them, but they’re there now. Also, a piece on the top of one was broken, but I wanted them up, so I just said basta.
The light looks yellow in the photo, but that’s the photo — I’m using ugly spiral bulbs in them, and think I’ll switch to either flickering gas-like bulbs or low watt yellows.
I was disappointed to see no gas line where the electricity came out — I had thought it had once been gas, but it seems not. Alas and alack.
So this is step one (step two if you count the planters with anti-theft mechanism installed) on stoop renovation. Step two (or three) is going before the Historical Commission to get my paint colors approved. A big palaver, but there we are.