Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Light Your Way

Afraid of the dark? Me neither. But completely dark rooms at night bother me. I feel there should be some light in all rooms during the evening hours. I love the dark and loathe bright lights. There’s a word for the lighting I prefer…dim. Light enough to see, but not so much to be garish and blinding. Dark enough to be calming, but enough light to see the entire room.

Of course if you have a household income like mine, you can’t just go through life burning all the lamps in your house during the evening hours. Wouldn’t you know I solve the dark room/bright room dilemma with candles. They’re the perfect solution. During the winter months of Minnesota it gets dark around 5:00 p.m. We do a lot of moving around the house during the evening hours, but spend most of our time on one level of the house. Not only that, the rumpus room and kitchen are located toward the back of the house, leaving the front of the house, the rooms that face the street, fairly unoccupied. These rooms don’t deserve full lighting, but as they’re seen from the street they should be illuminated somewhat. Ta da! Candles. Not only will keeping the electric lights off save some money, the rooms are surprisingly illuminated. Bathrooms are also good places to keep a candle burning during the darker hours of the day. The flame is bright enough (for me, at least) to take care of business without having to flip the light switch. A small pillar burning in the kitchen will not only make it cozy, it will also stave off the odors produced by cooking the evening meal.

I don’t recommend using candles as night lights while you’re asleep, of course. You should never leave candles unattended. But during the dark winter evenings, between your busy work day and slumber, warm up your house with a grouping of votives in that little nook or a taper or two on the dining room table. My favorite place for a candle is on the landing of our stairway. It lights the way up the stairs to the bedroom much more pleasantly than the hallway overhead light. I light it when I come home from work in the afternoon and blow it out on my way to bed. Of course there are electric lights on in my house, but for those dark corners and unoccupied rooms, there’s nothing better than a little flicker of a candle to light your way. Try it sometime.

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