Tuesday, November 25, 2008

into the light

Let's talk for a moment about light.

I don't have a lot of weird hang-ups (or so I'd like to think), but one that I am aware of is a sensitivity to light. Not in that vampire way, or like in that xeroderma pigmentosum Nicole-Kidman-in-"The Others" way, but just to the quantity and quality of light in my living space. Namely, I like a lot of light, and it has to be warm light. If it were up to me and I had no conscience or safety reservations or knowledge of our electricity bill whatsoever, I would outfit our entire house with 150 watt bulbs and keep them blazing all day long.

There are some lights in our new house that I hate, though. This is one of them.

It is a single bulb over the sink that Joe got to replace one that blew. He maintains that he got the same kind of power-saver bulb as the other bulbs are, and at the same wattage, but for some reason, while the other bulbs give off a vaguely yellowish warm light, this one bulb gives off a light that is to my eye a greyish blue. I hate it. I hate this light bulb. I mean, in as much as anyone can hate a light bulb. If I ever see it on, I flick it off instantly. It makes me jittery and anxious. It makes everything look cold and depressing. It makes the sink look like it's haunted.

There's another light in the living room that bothers me too, though to a somewhat lesser degree. It provides a fair amount of light, I suppose, but it is kind of a sickly yellowish green and when you listen closely, you can hear sort of a faint buzzing the the background whenever it is on, which leads me to believe that the bulb is flourescent. Once I started noticing the buzz, I could not tune it out. Also, there is, at some of the dimmer settings, a flicker. I cannot deal with a light that both buzzes and flickers and makes you look like you have some sort of liver disease. So I try to avoid using this light too.

I am all for saving money on electricity and "going green" and using energy efficient appliances as the next person. But I draw the line at light bulbs. And so I figure that the fact that I take mass transit to work every day buys me the right to use incandescent bulbs in my living room, so long as I turn them off when I leave the room.

(And on a related note, I tried to convince Joe last January to keep the Christmas tree up year-round, not as some sort of signifier of extreme sloth or mental illness, but as an additional source of ambient light. He said no. Let's hope he's too distracted this year with the baby and all that to notice and we can keep the tree up at least through March.)


  1. I need to live on the sun. Never bright/light enough for me.