Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Please Dim that Light!

Something is just a little off in this photo...might it be the lighting...??? 
A bit harsh, and the blemishes of everything stick out like a sore thumb!

veryone has pet peeves....things that drive them crazy.  ♠I have many!  One of which is overhead and harsh lighting.  I HATE lights that are harsh, preferring lamps to overhead lights any day of the week.  It drives me crazy when people flip on overhead lights, when they have perfectly nice lamps around.  I am known to have lamps on in the middle of the day (which my husband hates!), I know, I know energy savings and all:) Our upstairs is actually kind of dark at the moment, for lack of lamp lighting.... During the renovation, I deleted overhead lights (my husband wanted fans, what is with the fans? something about air circulation....ugh) and the compromise was to get fans, in certain rooms, WITHOUT lights!!!   Of course there are areas of your home, the dining room for instance, and in the kitchen that overhead lighting is normal and essential.  The only thing that they need are DIMMERS!

Ahhh, much better!
(Now, if I was a better photographer, I could have probably done a better job at translating
the difference, but I hope you get the picture!)
Well, I wanted dimmers, but the electrician for some reason didn't put them in, and at that point I just wanted to be IN the house, so I said, fine... Mr. O can do that later. (thinking it would be a month later).... 8 months later, we finally got DIMMERS!  What a difference it makes.  I walked around all evening last night, adjusting the dimmers....this will be perfect for dinner, this will be perfect for after dinner, this illuminates the artwork nicely, you get the picture:):) Dimmers on, lamps on, oh that is vera nice:) What IS for dinner???

Dimmers are actually fairly easy to install yourself (or so it seemed, Mr. O did 3 in about 30 minutes).  They range in price from $15 to $35 at the local hardware store.  And they are a must have in my opinion.  Especially in areas where you entertain.  There is just something about soothing, soft light that makes you want to linger over dinner....converse a little more....whose skin doesn't glow in the dim light, blemishes just melt away!   And they (dimmers) aren't just for overhead lights, you can add them to lamps as well.  

Oh, and the bulbs make a huge difference too, Use 40 – 60 watt soft white incandescent bulbs (get them while you can, because they are being banned by 2014, you know for efficiency) for a cozy, nice, warm light.  I also love the Edison bulbs from Rejuvenation .  We chose those for our pendants over the sink (which I need to order more). BTW: I LOVE Rejuvenation as a lighting source.  Beautiful period lighting.

I am all for being green, but please don't take my beautiful lighting away....and don't tell me to just use candles!!  I really didn't mean to "make a statement" in this post, and call me "old fashioned" but I love my old bulbs.  I contribute to the green movement in other ways, I recycle furniture for goodness sake!!!, I am sure there is some sort of carbon footprint analysis that says a piece of furniture is = to a certain # of incandescent bulbs !!)  I know there might be some alternatives, like the Philips AmbientLED has a a bulb that can replace incandescent bulbs...but, still, not the same.  

As far as I know, there isn't a ban on dimmers so if you have to have green bulbs you can get DIMMABLE BULBS...something I didn't know, is that you must buy a bulb that's specifically made to work with dimmers (check the package). GE makes some dimming compact fluorescent light bulbs (called the Energy Smart Dimming Spirals) that are specially designed for use with dimming switches.

So go out and get yourself some dimmers (if you don't already have them) I promise your guests will thank you!

Anyway, I am so happy to have my dimmers, especially since it has been dreary outside...dim lights, rainy days, a nice ambiance in the happy!  One project down, 100 more to go!



YOU are correct...dimmers make all the difference in the world!!! I have been in 2 million dollar homes with no dimmers and I am perplexed! Thanks for the comment about the mart! Yes...those rugs are fab...a little out of my price range but I would love to do a room with one!!!

My Interior Life said...

Ok, Gretchen, we are definitely birds of a feather. I have almost the identical pagoda chandelier over my breakfast area table (with a dimmer, of course). Love it! And, luckily, our strangely built house actually had a bunch of overhead lighting on dimmer switches when we moved in. Even our powder room, which I thought was a little odd, but whatever. Definitely agree with you on the light bulbs. I've tried to be "green" but I can't stand that harsh fluorescent light. Oh well, better start hoarding incandescent light bulbs now!

The Buzz said...

Sadly, you can't see my very wide smile, Gretchen - when we moved into our new house, I made the hubby change all of the switches to dimmers, even the kitchen and bathrooms. I'd rather wake up to a warm glow than the harsh light of day!

Meredith Jewell said...

Actually, your second picture shoes off your cool lamp shades in the background (and their accent color), so you did do a good job emphasizing those lamps in your second photo! ;)

But I have to say, I completely agree. I hate overhead lighting execept in the kitchen and even then I don't have on all of my overhead lights very often b/c I like the relaxing sensation that dimmer lights put out in a room or the environment of a house. But your post almost gave me a gag reflex in the beginning because I once had a roommate (not a good roommate to say the least) that would come into the living room in the evenings while I was watching tv (and where I already had on lamps) and would turn on the bright overhead light to sit down on the couch and watch tv, too! Or, I'd come home to find her snuggled up on the couch in the evenings watching tv...with OVERHEAD LIGHTING ON!!! I'm sorry, can you tell it frustrated me? Needless to say, when I bought my own home, I felt "right at home" when I pulled in the driveway each day...always so pleasant to go into your own "peace and calm"...

Bright Overhead Lighting in calm, relaxing settings = YUCK!

la maison LaFortune said...

I also have dimmers on the outside spotlights. They illuminate the grill area, but when it's time to sit and relax, I can turn them down.

Rene said...

I am with you Gretchen. My friend even unscrews overhead lights when she goes on vacation so that no one turns them on. Love the fixture.


LiveLikeYou said...

That's so funny. I've been known to leave restaurants because their lights are too bright. It's soo annoying! Having just the right amount of light is just as important in design as anything. love the chandelier!

Amy R. said...

We seriously have dimmers all over the house. My husband installed some of them. He says it is pretty easy.

Amy R.

quintessence said...

Like everyone else, I am also a fan of dimmers. Can't tell you how much we dislike what is soon to be the required bulbs - and we HAVE been hoarding!! Obviously it won't help in the long run, but for now we will still be able to have some lovely soft lighting!!

pretty pink tulips said...

Preaching to the choir here. Dimmers are a must. They take a room for just right!