Wicked Nice Porch Light

IMG_6004, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Hate changing your porch lightbulbs? Hate the environment and don’t want to purchase the new environmentally friendly longer lasting bulbs? Perhaps kicking it old school would be a good choice. This house sports a gas fed porch light. It’s kind of hard to tell from the photo but it looks great. I’ve also noticed a whole block of row homes on 13th St, just north of Logan Circle has the gas fed lights out front as well. Perhaps this is becoming a trend?  I wonder how difficult they are to maintain. Personally, I think I would kill myself. I am one of few people (thankfully) who tried to change my stove hood without turning off the electricity first. Why? Because I didn’t want to reset all the clocks! And yes, I got the shock of a lifetime. I also re-lit my boiler one year with out turning off the gas all the way, so perhaps this is not the light for me… What do you guys think pretty cool or more trouble than it’s worth?

5 Comment

  • Oddly enough I passed one a row of houses with these on Irving Street last night (I’ve seen the ones you mention on 13th Street as well) and thought to myself: I wonder why PoP hasn’t blogged about these — and here you are! I like them, I wonder what the cost per year is on them? And they don’t go out… they stay on all the time which seems like a waste of natural gas.

  • They are wasteful. They were made illegal in the state of Wisconsin in the eighties, all swiftly disappeared. When I moved to DC in ’85 and saw them in Georgetown, I could tell that wealth trumped conservation. But in the big picture, when visiting WI now, they lack charming gas lights but have plenty of giant SUVs, just like here. Giant air conditioned houses and massive SUVs, and suburban neighborhood covenants banning the drying of clothes on lines outdoors do more damage than these pretty lights…think Christmas decorations and the pleasure they add to a ‘hood.

  • Our neighbors had a goofy gas lampost in their yard when I was growing up. I used to hit it with my football and break the little wick thing-a-bobs off inside it. Mr. Robicheaux is probably still lying in wait to beat my ass. Yet another offense I got away with! Wee!

  • I agree that they’re beautiful, quaint, and, sadly, environmentally unsound. However, it’s not necessarily an either-or situation. We just ordered period reproduction porch lights that use compact fluorescent bulbs from Rejuvenation.com — got ’em 30% off for choosing the CF configuration.

  • We have those gas lights out front of our townhouses in DC, and until recently no one knew how to reduce the flame or turn them off. I finally figured out the trick and most of us have now turned the flame down pretty low – one neighbor even turned his off.

    I agree they look nicer than pretty much any electric light I’ve seen, but they also seem really wasteful (since they don’t actually produce that much light and are on 24-7). We’re trying to find a middle ground between aesthetics and conservation, but it’s not easy.

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