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“Working on the Railroad” – Log Cabin Homes November 2014




Things We Love… For Your Log or Timber Home

While some of us might dismiss abandoned glass insulators,traffic light lenses, and other vintage railroad products as junk, Tim Leefeldt saw the potential in these items and gave them a new life in a unique and creative way. His insulatorlights™ by Railroadware™ are made in an old barn in Chico,CA. The process begins with a 100 year old insulator – they come in a variety of colors and styles from clear to deep aqua. Some are left to shine by themselves while others are embellished with rusted metal hoods. All fixtures are wired to modern standards. These upcycled and repurposed items would make a stunning statement in any style of decor. We can picture several of them hanging over a kitchen island.

Shop our LED pendant lights today!

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Railroadware: Light Fixtures from Upcycling Track – San Francisco Chronicle


Upcycling has such a hold on the decor world these days that we wonder if there’s anything that can’t be re-envisioned as a home accessory.

In Chico, for example, architect Tim Leefeldt has turned a fixation on relics of western expansion and the early telecommunications industry into a second career creating decorative fixtures.

Glass insulators, railroad castoffs and old traffic light lenses are transformed into colorful pendant lights, candle holders, rustic hooks, cabinet pulls and racks for his Railroadware line.

Once ubiquitous, glass insulators were originally designed in the 1850s to protect wires on telegraph lines, and later on telephone and power lines. Leefeldt, 52, used them as target practice during his summers in Nevada in the late 1970s, but it wasn’t until he came across a Hemingray glass insulator at an Oroville antiques store four years ago that inspiration struck.

“I wanted to explore its use as a light,” he says. But it took a lot of drilling to make it work. He had to try different drill bits to find one that would penetrate the thick glass without shattering it…

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