The clocks have gone back, Halloween has been and gone, Bonfire Night is over and the nights are getting dark and cold… a lightbulb moment!
The lack of natural light outside means it’s even more important to have good lighting inside. There are three kinds of lighting: background lighting, lighting for specific tasks and and lighting to highlight the particularly lovely things in your home. It’s important to have good shades for all of them to look good and do their job.
After the lightbulb moment, a moment about lightbulbs. For background lighting, there is a place for the exposed bulb look but it can be quite industrial and not the cosiest on winter evenings. Plus, a gentler light can be kinder, if you know what we’re saying. You don’t need help from good lighting, but we’ll take it happily! Have you noticed how most restaurants use ceiling lights with some kind of diffuser shade? That’s because the softer light makes everyone look better. Really. If your dining companion looks at their best, and they think that you are looking at your best (because you are so happy to be with them) and everything is lit with a warm glow, the scene is set for a great evening.
And here’s another reason for using diffuser shades. If your ambient lighting involves ceiling lights the bulb is likely to be in your sightline when you sit down. There was something quite attractive about the the old-style incandescent bulbs, but they are being phased out (they are already banned in some countries, like Mexico) and replaced with more energy-efficient but frankly unattractive ones, like this fluorescent one:
So a diffuser shade gives a softer light and hides the bulb. Here are some examples. This is the classic diffuser – a disc at the bottom of the shade so that light shines through. This one fits flush to the ceiling with the bulbs at an angle inside so that the light is directed through the sides:
This one is suspended from the ceiling and uses pleated fabric to create the diffused effect:
And this has a smaller fabric diffuser but obscures the bulb with crystal drops to give soft lighting and a bit of sparkle:
So – no need to look at those bulbs anymore. They can just go about their job making us look fabulous in secret!