Like a Candle in the Den • Cathy Best
Candlelight has a pure form of light that makes a room or garden warm and inviting. Although it isn’t practical for daily lighting needs I was reminded of a fundamental lighting lesson at a recent wedding; well placed lighting, appropriate for the event or room, makes all the difference. The wedding, garden reception and driveway leading to the home was illuminated by candlelight, a full “super” moon and strings of incandescent low wattage bulbs all casting a memorable glow that will not be soon forgotten. How can we evoke the same lighting quality in our homes without the glimmer of candlelight?
The challenge is easily resolved with incandescent lamp-light. Since 1879, when Thomas Edison’s incandescent electric lamps burned on to the mercantile shop shelf, home lighting had remained basically the same until the advent of fluorescent, halogen and LED bulbs. They may be brighter and more efficient but can’t compare to the emanating glow cast upon a front porch from incandescent lighting.
When using incandescent lamps here are some basic guidelines to assist you in planning:
•Standard lamp height is 26–34 inches tall, shade included, for an end table.
•William Miller Design suggests that if your nightstand stands 24-30 inches tall, choose a bedside lamp at least 27-32 inches tall. Nightstands around 18-20 inches require a taller lamp to compensate.
•The bottom of the lampshade should be at eye level when sitting in a chair, sofa or propped up in bed and should be smaller in diameter than the perimeter of the table.
•To select the correct size lampshade measure the largest part of the lamp base and add 2 inches for the minimum width. The correct height should be 2/3 the height of the base.
•A reading lamp requires at least a 60 watt bulb and a 3-way bulb is advantageous.
•To determine the amount of wattage a room requires for general illumination multiply room length x room width, in feet, and multiply that number by 1.5. Determine the number of fixtures needed and place approximately every 10 feet.
•Consider wiring lamp wall outlets to switch on the wall where you enter the room.
Best of the Best
Local Lamp Resources:
• Belles Beaux & Gifts, 115 North Main, Madison
• Harris Furniture, 1590 Eatonton Rd, Madison
• In High Cotton, 158 W. Jefferson St, Madison
• South’ tiques, 132 W. Jefferson St, Madison
Lamp Shade Replacement:
• Jennifer Hendrix and Pat Hawkins have a new booth, at Madison Markets; 144 Academy St, Madison, specializing in lampshades. Drop by and see the great selection.
Lamp Repair and Custom Made Lamps:
• Lamp Arts Inc.; 1465 Howell Mill Rd NW # A, Atlanta, GA Website: How to rewire a lamp; www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-rewire-a-lamp
Next Week: Grill to Chill
Cathy Best discovers new things daily.
Contact her to share local resources, books, blogs, Web sites and apps you’ve discovered: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Printed in the June 7, 2012 edition