Barn Light Fixtures: A Modern Take on A Classic Style

Introducing Series #12/10

Barn Lighting Revival

12-10-850-ESWAs vintage décor becomes more popular, barn light fixtures are making a come back onto the lighting scene. Whether illuminating farm-style houses, warehouse lofts, garages or even outdoor areas, barn light shades can transform any space into industrial chic. Classic, yet cool, barn lights can turn back the clock to a simpler time and create a stunning ambiance in almost any environment. If you’re looking to imbue your space with character or simply want a touch of rugged tradition to accent an existing style, adding barn lighting to any outdoor or interior area would certainly get the job done.

Barn Lights – Past to Present

The advent of barn lights began around one hundred years ago in the 1920s as electricity became widely available. Until then, farm work had been limited only to daylight hours, as the setting sun shrouded fields and barns in darkness. Cheap and accessible electricity, however, made way for the birth of the humble barn light. Wide steel shades with white polished porcelain enamel on the inside began to be hung from barn ceilings. This design-focused light downward and lit up the barns’ dark interiors, making nighttime labor not only possible but safer as well.

This innovative design was soon adopted by warehouses, factories, train stations and other industrial buildings. Barn lights were not only hung but placed on straight or gooseneck stems to allow them to illuminate outdoor areas and entryways as well. Barn lights became so widespread during that time that they are now symbolic of that era, making them a perfect addition for any space going for an edgy industrial or farmhouse look.

Barn lights continued to spread in popularity into the 1960s when they began to be replaced by more modern designs. Barn light production effectively stopped in the mid-’60s when the EPA stepped in to regulate the messy production of vintage porcelain. Barn lights began disappearing from commercial spaces as the popularity of floodlights and strip lighting increased.

Lost but not forgotten, barn lights came back into the spotlight in the 2010s as the industrial style of interior design became mainstream. Its focus on a raw and utilitarian aesthetic made the hardy and rugged barn light the perfect complement to this unique look. People began finding and restoring vintage barn light shades to use in outdoor spaces and inside homes.

Because of the skill (and cost!) required to reclaim a vintage barn light shade, many interior designers opt to use modern barn lights instead. The all-aluminum construction of modern barn lights rivals that of their antique counterparts without the need for a porcelain coating.

Modern barn light fixtures are skillfully crafted to provide the durability and vintage aesthetic of the barn light style, all while being affordable and ecologically friendly! Barn lights can even be used outdoors in areas with “dark sky” regulations, as the design of barn light fixtures focuses light downward, helping to reduce light pollution.

Barn Lights for Every Style


12/10No matter what look you’re going for in your space, Primelite’s extensive selection of barn lights has you covered. As trends and technology continue to move forward so do we, which is why we’ve developed a new line of barn light specifically designed to be used with LED lighting.

Primelite’s new Low Profile Barn Light (#12/10A) combines the efficiency of LED with the classic charm of barn lights, using the fixture itself as a heatsink! Available as a pendant or gooseneck fixture in 29 different finishes, our Low Profile Barn Light will be a perfect addition to any project.