Craftsman Outdoor Lighting

"Craftsman" style lighting is supposed to look like something you made yourself. That doesn't mean it should look amateurish. But it doesn't involve complicated ornamental effects, whether in the metal or glass portions of the lamp.

The basic craftsman style lamp is a mission lamp. This lamp is basically a box that's about twice as tall as it is wide. Each of its four panels are generally the same size. Each panel, in turn, is divided by metal bands into smaller panes. These metal bands are always either vertical or horizontal, at right angles to the framing of the lamp.

Arranging these bands can involve some artistry without violating the simplicity of the craftsman look. The standard arrangement calls for one horizontal and one vertical band on each panel. The horizontal band cuts across the panel anywhere from one half to one quarter of the way up. This divides the panel into a top and bottom pane. The vertical band then divides the top pane into two smaller panes of equal size.

However, this arrangement can be varied. Two bands that form a cross is a standard variation. Two horizontal bands bisected by a single vertical is another. Other designs involving more and thinner bands are also easy to find. They don't even have to be straight lines. A simple, elegant effect can be achieved by letting a couple of thin metal bands or wires sag in a slight curve across each panel.

The lamp can be surmounted by a simple flat top. Or more usually it comes with a peaked roof formed as a shallow pyramid of triangles rising from each panel. For a little flair, this roof can overhang the edges dramatically, reflecting the light downwards.

Variations on the shape of the lamp are also possible. Squashing the whole design so that it's twice as wide as it is tall can make for a good effect, especially if the lamp is meant to be flush mounted overhead.

Another simple craftsman lamp can make use of a cylindrical glass globe. The mission style can easily be adapted to the cylinder with a horizontal band going around the middle or higher and three or four vertical bands creating the "panels" and the pattern.

The glass in craftsman style lamps is usually translucent rather than clear. An opalescent honey or an amber look is appropriate to the style.

Craftsman style lamps can be mounted flush against the wall. They can be hung on simple chains. Or they can be mounted on simple pine posts.

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