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Lighting Forms

Updated on September 21, 2008

I saw the light & the errors of my ways, of setting them up...!

I swear it was the day I turned 40 that my perfect 20 / 20 became an optical illusion of the past, to which there would be an easy fix if only I could grow an extra twenty inches onto my arms. I'm off on a tangent again.

Having some handy-work project or other on the go at all times and becoming farsighted made me realize I need good light and at the right spot. With other words, finding out about all the different types of light was a must.

So little time & so many lamps to chose from
So little time & so many lamps to chose from

Surrounding or Ambient Lighting

The definition of surrounding or ambient lighting is obvious. It's the lighting source that produces uniform illumination throughout an area. Most commonly this is the centrally located overhead lighting. Ceiling lights (for short) are the surround light source that resembles the spread of natural lighting.

Tip: It's easy to install a dimmer switch which lets you adjust the lighting need according to time of day or even season and also will conserve energy.

The drawback with surround lighting is that if you work or read with the light source at your back your body can create shadows in front of you.

.....that problem would lead us to

Point source or directional lighting

This doesn't need too much explanation either. Directional lighting emphasizes on a particular object or draws attention to a particular field of view. Some obvious choices of point source lighting would be the ones directed at art work or such, exterior spotlights focusing on the pond or home front entrance etc.

Tip: For a very dramatic dinner-party, set-up just one spot light focused on the floral center piece or even the beautifully roasted turkey.

Task or spot lighting

The name says it all, this type of lighting would be intended to illuminate or light up your immediate work or read area. For instance a desk or table lamp focuses the light into one spot. The general rule of thumb (my Dad used to say) is for an at least 18-20 inch wide beam spread for needlework, reading and writing.

Tip: When you're planning on doing a lot of needlework wear white or light clothes as this will reflect the light back to your work.

Task lighting is also a way to conserve energy by lighting only work areas at any given time.

Ambience lighting

Note the difference between ambient and ambience. I would include into the Ambience lighting category the flickering and dancing lights from the flames of a fireplace, or candle light, and who could forget a flash from the past, the 70's disco balls etc.

Tip: Every type room can become a cozy retreat when using candle lighting, but remember for obvious safety reasons never ever leave a candlelit room unattended not even for just a minute or two.

Re-evaluate your lighting set-up

If you've ever accidentally bunched a black sox with a navy one or paired brown sox with black pants, gotten headaches from long time reading or needlework, or just plain as day (even with your glasses on) couldn't cheat from the solution pages of the crossword puzzle book, you need to re-evaluate your lighting set-up.

In conclusion the right watt-age of light bulbs in properly placed lamps will not only save energy but also on eyestrain.

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    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
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      Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Thank you Shaz123 for taking a look and for commenting.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Shaz123 profile image

      Shaz123 7 years ago

      I enjoyed ur imformative hub ...

      Its totally amazing and i really like the work and looking forward for more work

      And u asking me the name of that artist His name Is "Artist Julian Beever ! -" he is a legend in Street painting.

      Thanks

      Regards

      Shaz

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      SweetiePie! Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Great tips for anyone Zsuszy Bee! I think good lighting is helpful for people of all ages, so thanks for the informative hub.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Karen! Glad you stopped by. You know, you expressed my sentiment exactly. The sounds of the old bones creaking always make me look behind me, wondering who...then I realize I'm the rusty one.

      thanks for commenting regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Howdy Drummer boy! Haven't talked to you in a while. Thanks for coming by and commenting. I have a phobia with pointy or sharp things coming towards my eyes so I'm not a good candidate for eye surgery...They would have to knock me out and they don't do that around here they just freeze the eyes etc...gives me the willies.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 9 years ago from Central Oregon

      Isn't it the truth for all of us. I often wonder why, no matter how old I get, I still feel 30 in my head, but much older body wise.

    • drummer boy profile image

      drummer boy 9 years ago from Kirksville,MO

      I had glasses until I turned 31 and then had PRK surgery. It was one of the best investments that I could have ever made. I have 20 20 now without any glasses. nice hub.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      MrM! How are you? So nice that you came for a visit. Thanks for your comment.

      Greetings to you and your family, regards Zsuzsy

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      Like your hub about the lights. Son three's school is doing everything to get us to change to all the good lights.

      You are telling me it all the fault of my arms.

      I can only say it is my fingers. they are refusing to do what the brain and the eyes are telling them.

      Thank you

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      rmr! I gave up on the bifocals. I can't afford to buy new shoes all the time. (ones that fit over the broken toes) I also had to invest in extra pairs of glasses. Even having 5 pair floating around, I find that where ever I'm at my glasses are no where near.

      Thanks for taking a look. regards Zsuzsy

    • rmr profile image

      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Another good one, Zsuzsy! I have also noticed a certain decline in eyesight, over the years. I seem to have flashlights in every room, for tasks that require up-close attention. I got my first bifocals a couple of years ago and, as you say, I stubbed my toes repeatedly.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Sixtyorso! The short arm syndrome must be an epidemic of our generation.

      Thanks for commenting.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Violetsun! Thanks for taking a look. Have you checked on the new high watt 'LED' light bulbs? Supposedly they come in high wattage yet use little energy, create very little heat ( you can touch them even after being on for hours) and last up to ten years. They're (from the sounds of things) not cheep but maybe worth looking into. I'm going to check them out next week.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 9 years ago from South Africa

      I also sufferred from middle aged short arms and the colour thing in poor lights (black and red menus as an example). I enjoyed your informative hub

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      I had my partner put in high watt bulbs in the ceiling lamp over my desk as I was having trouble reading at times. I can control the intensity of the light in my office where my computer is as it has a dimmer.  The rest of the house, I dim the lights at night and light candles over most of the house and burn incense; creates a nice ambiance.

      Thumbs up to your hub! :)

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Just something to look forward to Michelle. In my younger days I was able to read and sew etc. half way through the night with just a small light on. Now even with the glasses I still need the good bright task light especially if I'm sewing black.

      Thanks for commenting, greeting from Canada regards Zsuzsy

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      It's funny but I like working in rooms that are not so bright. My partner in school would often complain about it Hehehe But boy am I glad, my eyes are still 20/20. :)

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Isabella! Glad you came by. Thanks for commenting.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 9 years ago

      Ambience! Yes! Good for the bedroom, especially. ;)

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Jerilee Wei! That's too funny. Thanks for your comment...I love people that can share their sense of humor.

      Thanks for the visit. regards Zsuzsy

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 9 years ago from United States

      Good lighting definitely matters. You learn that first hand when you load up on grated cheese over your macaroni at a buffet and then realize with the first mouthful, you are eating grated carrots! LOL with tri-focals.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Funnebonne! How about I go to your hub and do the same for you and then you can stay at the top...just because I'm that kind of Gal...glad you came by

      regards Zsuzsy

    • funnebone profile image

      funnebone 9 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

      right now at 3:37 My hub is number 1 on the hot list with this one right on my tail. I am leaving a comment and giving a thumbs up knowing that it may propell you past mine, but I am that kind of guy!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      seohowto! Thanks for taking a look. regards Zsuzsy

    • seohowto profile image

      seohowto 9 years ago from Bay Area, CA

      Very interesting hub...and comments too:) thanx!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Constant Walker! I'm in the midst of researching all the "how-to's" about creating/constructing/pouring a concrete counter top. I hope it to be a fall project and I'll share pics. If it were to turn out the way I hope it will have to be show-cased everywhich way possible. The Led lighting could work quite well.

      talk to you soon Suz

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Hi Bob! I like that '...when I ran out of arm...' This shortness of arm seems to be a common problem. thanks for stopping by.regards Zsuzsy

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Actually, it works in any kitchen.  I've always liked to decorate, and set-up, my kitchens like that of a restaurant.  Functional and very cozy looking. Inviting...

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      I got my glasses when I ran pout of arm, the correct lights matter. I am not fond of bright lights and enjoy the soft glow except when I am reading or writing then a direct source on the keyboard or book makes all the difference.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Constant Walker! I can see that it would work great in a nice slick Kitchen...would make it look nice and warm and cozy...

      Thanks for commenting, talk to you soon Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Creativita! The worst I found when they gave me bifocals was that I kept bumping my toes im what ever was in my way...Remember not to sit in the dark when working on the computer (as I'm doing right now).

      Thanks for taking a look regards Zsuzsy

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      I had a set of white ones strung under a counter in my kitchen once. Looked great, got lots of raves.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      CGull! Glad you came for a visit. I love light and am forever looking at reorganizing my lamps to make them the most task efficient.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Constant Walker! How nice of you to drop in. Thank you for the link. Those string lights would make great Christmas lights...and energy efficient too. The one place I've seen them used before was the one and only time I got to ride in a Limo...

      thanks for your comment regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      C.S. I would like to get myself an Ott light for when I embroider, eventually. Glad you came for a visit. regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      CJ! It's not a pretty picture when I think of myself walking while my knuckels are dragging in the dirt. I guess I'll stick to the old glasses. The turkey does look great lite-up. My daughter tested it out at a dinner party she threw a couple of years back. Thanks for taking a look. regards Zsuzsy

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

      I agree lighting is very important, I use CFL it is ok for now but I am looking forward to LEDs.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Fun stuff, ZsuZsy. My favorite kind of lighting is indirect. This is easy to do by using rope lights, like these: http://www.noveltylights.com/super_bright_led_rope... and hanging them(cup hooks are easiest) under a counter, a shelf, a coffee table, wherever. They're fun to experiment with and give a room a whole new "ambience."

    • C.S.Alexis profile image

      C.S.Alexis 9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Hey Zsuzsy, You sure are up on the light situation here. This was a great share and a job well done. Thank-You. C.S.

    • CJStone profile image

      CJStone 9 years ago from Whitstable, UK

      I know what you mean about the legnth of your arms. Mine would have to be about five foot long to read a newspaper without glasses these days. Ilke the idea of lighting up your turkey with a spot-light too. That would be really dramatic!

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