Big light on in the living room?

(335 Posts)
ViviPru Mon 20-Jan-14 21:17:07

I've just had one of those peculiar moments whereby something that you thought you knew to be a universal truth is turned on its head.

I was commenting to some friends about how irksome and peculiar I find it that another friend only has one light source in their living room, the main ceiling light, which they have on all evening. It's really bright, not on a dimmer and I find it really hard to relax there. My two friends were baffled saying that's what they do too (never been to their houses in the evening so I wouldn't know) and made out like I was the peculiar one as we rarely use our main overhead ceiling light.

Now all these years I've never questioned it, as far as I was concerned, in the evenings one would have a couple of table lamps on, enough light to read by, that's how it was at home growing up, that's what my parents do and what DH's parents do. Obviously I know some people have the overhead light on as you can see through windows at dusk but I slways just assumed these folk were the peculiar minority.", or they'd just stuck it on to clean/find something/perform a task.

Another friend has impaired eyesight so she likes a lot of light at all times, which is completely understandable. But those whose eyesight is fine, I can't understand why anyone would want to sit in glaring bright light all evening... But according to my friends I'm the minority...

I don't care what anyone does in the comfort if their own home, I'm not saying no one should use the main light but that I genuinely thought that barely anyone did... According to my friends this is completely at odds with reality.... What say you??

Pickles79 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:25:55

I only ever switch the big light on when I'm turning off the lamps to go to bed.

MargotLovedTom Mon 20-Jan-14 21:26:27

Inhate the big light being on with a passion. We have three table lamps in the living room and a small one in the (adjoining) dining room and it looks so much softer and cosier with them on.

MIL occasionally babysits, and when we come home she's sat there with the big light blazing. No matter how pissedtipsy I am I will charge around putting the small lights on and turning the big fecker off.

harticus Mon 20-Jan-14 21:27:01

I hate the big light on. Glares off my specs and gives me a headache.

I have a friend that only has big light on with a naked bulb - it is like sitting in my grandma's 1970s council house.

BonaDea Mon 20-Jan-14 21:27:58

I'm with you OP. Hate the big light on.

DH is baffled about why we had to spend £££ on light shades for our big lights when we don't use them. Not the point though, really, is it?

ViviPru Mon 20-Jan-14 21:28:34

This is truly fascinating. And interesting that people and their loved ones come down pretty hard on one side or the other....

This MUST have been debated on MN before, surely something so polarising can't be a new topic...

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 20-Jan-14 21:28:38

Just the standing lamp on here. The TV also gives out light. I agree, the big light is too harsh for relaxing.

PavlovtheCat Mon 20-Jan-14 21:29:28

In our bedroom, we the bulbs have gone in the spotlights. Went ages ago. We have a lamp by each side of the bed, one is adjustable to provide direct bright light when needed (like when I am trying to learn some goddam fucking knitting and it keeps going wrong <breathe>) but even then it's chilled. We also have red fairy lights entwined around the black wrought iron headboard as I love a bit of twinkly. And in the hallway, I have some solar lamps. Main light goes on when we are looking for stuff/getting ready for the morning, but for general relaxing, they go on too.

KareKare Mon 20-Jan-14 21:30:09

We have no ceiling or wall lights, just lamps.

My parents have a ceiling light - I hate it.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 20-Jan-14 21:31:25

I never use "The Big Light".

MadsMikkelsensCheekbones Mon 20-Jan-14 21:31:49

I detest the main lights on in any room of my house and go round after the kids tutting and turning them off and putting a lamp on instead! A bit OCD! Why would any reasonably-sighted person want to sit in such horrible lighting is beyond me.

MadBusLady Mon 20-Jan-14 21:31:50

YANBU! At all! This drives me nuts at other people's houses. With people I know well I have been known to ask if I can sort their lighting the fuck out "help" them by lighting some candles.

There's a reason why restaurants/bars/pubs generally aren't lit like that.

Crazeeladee Mon 20-Jan-14 21:32:09

I have to have my lamps on, no big light, and some little fairy lit twig things! I have to have it nice and cosy in the evening!

strawberrie Mon 20-Jan-14 21:32:24

The big light is only for finding minuscule bits of playmobil and lego on the carpet.

It makes me feel all stressed and uncomfortable!

headlesslambrini Mon 20-Jan-14 21:32:28

Soft lighting for me, DH looks alot better in soft light grin

Nottalotta Mon 20-Jan-14 21:32:42

No big light here, two lamps to read by, big light for ironing after dark.

Our dining room only has the big light atm. And wires coming out of the wall for a wall light which i can't wait to get up.

ViviPru Mon 20-Jan-14 21:32:43

I'm thoroughly enjoying visualising everyone's softly lit homes accented with twinkly fairy lights and candles.

My SIL has a fancy grand designs house of beauty, and they have a lighting 'scheme', so the overhead lights are used often, but this is all very well considered and pitched for certain times of day, rather than the standard uk living room I'm generalising about...

iwouldgoouttonight Mon 20-Jan-14 21:33:26

We tend to have the big light on when the DCs are playing and then I switch to two lamps once they're in bed. DP would probably leave the big light on, I don't think he has a preference.

My grandparents used to have a florescent strip light in theirliving room for reasons I could never fathom. It was like sitting in a bus station.

GinOnTwoWheels Mon 20-Jan-14 21:33:44

We only have a big light and that's the way we like it. We had a lamp and I threw it away when I realised we never used it.

I hate houses with lamps that are too dark to see anything. I don't like hotel rooms either as you can never light them properly and then when you want to turn all the lamps off to sleep or leave the room you can't work out which switches to press without half them coming back on again grin.

Ragwort Mon 20-Jan-14 21:33:57

It is also a huge area of disagreement in our house, I love the 'big' light on, can't stand only having side wall lights or table lamps. DH can't stand the big light. It has got to the stage where we can barely be in the same room together grin. As we have two main lights (long, thin room) it got to the stage where he took the bulb out of the light at 'his' end of the room grin grin. I still search out 100 watt bulbs.

We have similar problems regarding open windows in the bedroom so now we sleep apart. grin

ThistleLickerIsGoingToBeAMummy Mon 20-Jan-14 21:34:41

I hate it!!!! Eh has it on as he has bad eyesight

wonkylegs Mon 20-Jan-14 21:35:12

Our central ceiling light is very soft (it looks like a glowing cloud), and on it's own doesn't light the very large room very well just very softly it's nicely gentle.

If we want it bright and more visible for reading/games/lots of people etc we also have wall lights.

If we want it cosy, we light the fire and the millions of candles on the fireplace and turn the lights off.

Ragwort Mon 20-Jan-14 21:35:12

At one point I was seriously considering getting one of those head torch lights so that I could read properly when sitting in semi darkness. grin.

Weelady77 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:35:18

My mum always used 2 lamps and I'm the same only use ceiling light if I'm ironing at night but my best friend only uses her ceiling light so does her mum and sisters it's just not homely I don't think

RhondaJean Mon 20-Jan-14 21:35:25

I have two "big lights" in my living room and usually have them both on AND a floor lamp and sometimes a table lamp. And usually a few candles too.

I loathe and detest the dark with a passion. My mother in law practically sits in the dark and I am sure thats not healthy for you. I hate visiting her on a winters night because it's so gloomy.

I am not completely averse to the occasional bit of ahem mood lighting but only for specific purposes!

MrsRogerSterling Mon 20-Jan-14 21:35:38

Lamps here, like others have said the big light only gets used when I am turning the lamps off to go to bed.

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