When we renovated 498 Main Street to accommodate the shop, I was thrilled about everything except the lighting. When selling items for their colour they need to be seen in a proper light, a simulated daylight to be exact, for matching to paint chips or specific references. Fluorescent fixtures were the only way to go with a full spectrum light tubes. Not very attractive but highly functional.
My decorator eye was appalled at row on row of tubular bulbs lining the ceiling, clashing with all the antiques, Chinese lattice, antique newel post and railing, hardwood floors and authentic hall runner from Turkey. Everything from eye level down is tasteful and pleasing, and then a glance upward you'd think you were in some futuristic, space action flick. Boring, white metal and glass, so utilitarian and modern looking, a far cry from all the traditional ambiance staged for the shop!
The electrician tried to soften my scowl by suggesting plastic covers but I explained that I 'm allergic to plastic, and although it was meant for a joke, plastic and I did part ways years ago during my bout of Environmental sickness when man made products did me in. Besides, a tacky plastic cover would have cut down on the light being cast and also be a haven for dead houseflies, a sight every store owner wants on display. To practical me, that just meant constant maintenance on a ladder to scoop out the carcasses and no thank you to that. So I opted for the bulbs to show in all their blaring, ugly splendour.
I spent a lot of time looking up at the ceiling the first couple of weeks after the installation and sighing. I hold a grudge and will never totally be over the fact that I have to share my space with them, but I no longer stress over it, and it hardly seems worth the angst now. (I'm anal about certain things) Thankfully, there’s enough pretty stuff in the shop to keep anyone from looking up. And happily, no one asks if they can take a piece of wool outside to see its true colour, a testimony for the lighting's efficiency. Inanimate objects don't have feelings but every now and then one of them will find a voice and hum, maybe a protest of neglect and unappreciation, but I reach for the broom and give it a light tap so it's continues to be unseen and not heard.
At home lighting was selected for the mood they offered. Lamps and the occasional ceiling fixture were all about a warm glow cast over the nest. Mood lighting is pretty of course, but not conducive to working on crafts or reading. For that I purchased an antique style Ottlite back in the day when I sold them in my shop. It was an expensive floor lamp, very close to $400 although I only paid the wholesale price, ownership should have its perks right? The bulb is extremely long life, I’ve had it for about 12 years and not changed it once, but now that I mentioned it.....
Because of the plastic allergy, I bought a lamp with an antique feel, made of brushed metal with a marbleized glass shade. It’s nice and blends with our decor so I don’t have to hide it out of sight when not in use. You can come over to my house and search long and hard and you won't find a plastic mug or plate or a craft of any kind. Even my leftover containers are glass although some have plastic tops but that doesn't touch my food....you can't avoid it totally, and of course, there's my toothbrush, an unavoidable plastic item! I won't go into the angst I've had over the ugliness of a fridge or the TV....!
I do have a couple of portable Ottlite fixtures at the house. One is a banker's lamp style all metal with a glass shade but then there are three of the, hide when not in use, plastic ones that I bring out when friends come over for a evening of hooking although I can’t remember the last time that happened so I guess it’s been too long. I think I should arrange something.....
So if you struggle at home with incandescent lamps that cast a yellow glow over your work, look into buying an Ottlite. The bulbs allow for true colours to shine, show clear details and reduce glare and eyestrain, all with a low heat, energy efficient bulb. Back when I started the business the lights were expensive but now Walmart and Costco bring them to you for less than $30.00 so you can have the full spectrum lighting, specially engineered with a precise balance of contrast and brightness. It’s like natural daylight indoors. And an added thought, you don't have to illuminate the back of your head, so a floor fixture isn't necessary. One that sits on a side table that just shines on your hooking frame is all that is necessary. It is so important to have proper lighting while reading, hooking or doing any craft, making life more comfortable and less stressful on the eyes.