What is a Barn Light?

barn light gooseneck light LED barn light

Barn Lights are a commonly used and highly versatile style of light fixture used in both residential and commercial lighting applications, both indoors and outdoors.

A Barn Light is basically a downward facing light fixture with a wide, round simple shade and an arm or pendant. They may be wall, ceiling or pendant mounted. The most common barn light is known also as a gooseneck light, because of the shape of the mounting arm.

Gooseneck Barn Light

Why are they called Barn Lights? In the early 20th century Barn Lights were widely used on farms across North America, providing a simple, utilitarian light to light up their barn doors. The shape was also commonly found in factories and warehouse and other commercial and industrial settings. Even though the application quickly went beyond the farm, the name “Barn Light” stuck.

Today, Barn Lights are used for everything from commercial sign lighting, to patios, porches, lofts, kitchens, garages, restaurants and a lot of other applications. While historically, barn lights relied on incandescent or HID lamps, today they are available with a standard E26 socket, so any lamp can be used. They also now come with integrated LEDs so there is no need to replace the lamp.

Historically Barn Lights were manufactured from either steel or aluminum and then coated in porcelain or painted. Today they come in a wide variety of finishes, with the highest quality, made from aluminum and then powder coated. 

Given their down facing light direction and shade light, most barn lights comply with Dark Sky lighting requirements, limiting light pollution, so they are highly suitable for both residential and commercial lighting applications.


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