Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lighting Design

I'm a big fan of low light, as many of you fellow migrainistas are. I've designed the lighting in our apartment to fit my migraine eyes, with low wattage and indirect focus. Over the past year or so I've watched all 4 seasons of the Showtime program The Tudors. It a semi historical drama that follows the life of England's King Henry VIII and his many wives. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. I was enthrawled with the ambiance of the series. The action all takes place before electricity so the lighting is all candles and giant fireplaces. Huge candleapra and chandelier were present in every room creating such a romantic, warm, cozy and inviting environment. Watching it just made me want to be there, with fire lighting all my evening activities. For a while I tried using candle light at night instead of the usual lamps and Christmas lights I use. All I had available were tea lights and a couple big jar lights. I put several on a small plate and really enjoyed the soft light but found that it just wasn't bright enough, especially when the TV was on. Generally I need the environmental light to be bright enough to prevent the high contrast of light and dark in the glow of the bright TV from prompting a migraine.
We definately don't have room in this apartment for big candleapra or chandelier so I began wondering if using a couple oil lamps would be a better solution. My concern with an oil lamp would be that it would create a black smoke that would coat the furniture, walls, my lungs, etc. I don't know if that is a valid concern or not. Do any of you know if modern lamp oils produce black smoke?

I bet I could find some cool antique oil lamps to keep around the house that would spread more light than the tea lights and be aesthetic.


  1. I have some "candlelight" enhancing hurricanes I use for ambient lighting, but have also used old fashioned lamps when our electricity is out. The trick with any kerosene or oil lamp is to keep the wick trimmed correctly. Too much wick = too much fuel = too much smoke. I use a lot of electric lamps...

  2. That's great info about the wick. I'll also have to look into these electric lamps. Thanks Winny!