Lighting intrigues me. You ever wonder why some rooms you enter just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, while others make you want to turn and run the other way? Have you ever noticed the quality of light in these rooms? I'm pretty sure the rooms lit with natural, skin complimenting incandescent light - aka yellow light - made you feel good. While the rooms lit with that ubiquitous fluorescent light - aka known as a tubelight - made everything look garish. True, one can see much better in white light, it bathes the entire room in a bright white glow...perfect for those dhabas on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, but NOT for our homes. There have been hundreds of studies to prove that fluorescent light can make people sick. It emanates a sort of hum that can drive people crazy, and the imperceptible flickering can cause migraines. It also contains more green, blue and violet light than natural daylight does, the wavelenghts of this are not natural for reading or detailed tasks and can cause eyestrain. Cases of melanoma and skin cancer have also been attributed to fluorescent light.
The best kind of lighting for rooms is incandescent. The effect is very appealing in a room. It makes our skin tones and wall colors look good. The drawback is they are fragile, use a lot of electricity, have a short lifespan and produce a lot of heat. So voila - now we have compact fluorescents (CFL's) which imitate natural or full spectrum lighting, they are a bit more expensive but last longer.
In addition to CFL's, mood lighting by way of table lamps really makes a home look warm and inviting. I have table lamps with CFL's in every room and at least one burning all day long - drives my husband crazy!!!!
Anyways, I could go on and on about lighting and lumens and wattage and footcandles, but really I want to share with you images from my friend Rajini's home, sent to me by her photographer brother Param. It shows what an incredible effect good lighting can have in a home. I have featured her home before - gorgeous rooms bathed in light, color and space, but look at these pics of her home all lit up at night. A little bit of ambient lighting, some romantic mood lighting, task lighting for reading, uplighting for plants, festive floating diyas in urlis...all combine to make one warm and cozy space, perfect for a relaxing evening, quiet solitary contemplation or prolonged conversation.