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Fake the look of gas lanterns and lamps with LED or magnet-moved bulbs


There are a thousand things to love about New Orleans, but something that always sticks with us — and something we daydream about even more around the holidays: old gas lamps lining NOLA streets, flickering and dancing along to the energy of the city.

Lighting can really bring magic, and while we can’t credit those old lanterns for all of New Orleans’ charm, they certainly don’t hurt.

If you wanted to, sure, you could install gas lanterns or sconces on your Nashville home. But it’s a commitment and a cost, running gas lines and maintaining the fixtures.

Easier (if admittedly not quite as charming) suggestion: Fake it.

We’ve seen a few faux-fire bulbs on the market over the past few years that are surprisingly effective at mimicking the look and vibe of a wriggling flame. And swapping them in is as easy as… you know.

Caveat: Faking it is best done in a fixture that doesn’t leave the bulb totally exposed — close up and naked to the eye, even good faux flames look pretty cheesy. But if you have sconces or pendants with a shade or even smoky/frosted glass, this can be a trick that delivers.

A few of the faux-flame options we like:


Balefire Flicker Carbon Filament bulb

This one’s old school, with an oscillating filament that swings from side to side inside the bulb, via magnet power. If you have more open fixtures but still want to try the fakery, these can stand up to a little eyeballing. (Though, as you can see from the video above, not too much eyeballing.) One catch: If you have a fixture that requires the bulb to be placed upside down, the flicker won’t work.



Flame Bulb
$55 – $99

High-tech fakery: These are made with almost 400 little LEDs weaving and wandering like a flame. They’re super energy efficient, offering 40 lumens with one watt, rated for 30,000 hours, and come in a candelabra base (with an adapter that’ll convert them to standard/medium base).



Flicker Flame bulb
about $2

These’d probably do better with Christmas decorations, but small entryway fixtures could work too. As you can see in the video above, they’re surprisingly effective at fooling the eye — especially for the price.


There’s nothing like the real thing, when it comes to fire-related fixtures. But to add cozy, festive mood to your Nashville home for a few bucks in a few seconds, these are pretty fun.

Need to find a new Nashville-area home before you worry about little mood touches like these? We’d love to help — reach ACRE here, or for an easy way to get your Middle Tennessee househunting process started, fill out this quick form.

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