In attending the International Lighting show in Dallas this June we noticed a dramatic shift in the lighting styles which manufactures were displaying. It was as if styles and materials had dramatically changed overnight. Even in a down housing market manufacturers were rapidly turning out new fashions.
We quickly came to learn that these rapid design changes were not just to keep up with the ever changing fashions but were due to material shortages especially with glass production. China has seen many changes to its manufacturers in terms of labor and environmental standards forcing plants to close over night. Many glass suppliers closed down or moved into production of different categories, forcing lighting brands to scramble for alternative material sources.
Instead of glass around the light bulbs we are seeing something entirely different. The drum shade has re-emerged completely surrounding the entire fixture and entirely eliminating glass from the fixture. These are known as drum lights or drum shades. Another big movement is the use of metal cages to portray design patterns known as cage lights or cage lighting. In many cases we even see the doubled up effect of a fabric drum shade surrounded by a metal cage. See the Murray Feiss chandelier up top. This is a good example of a layered effect with elaborate patterns in the metal.