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??

Divinity Mon 27-Jan-14 10:11:16

I can't believe how many of you are downright weird with your little lights. Ack grin

lilacmamacat Thu 23-Jan-14 21:41:53

Hate the big light. Only have it on if I'm looking for something. Otherwise we have uplighters (hate that word!) and table lights.

aoife24 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:43:35

I saw David Sedaris at the Fringe last year and one thing he was talking about is how the world divides into 2 kinds of people: those who have overhead lights on in the sitting room and don't even think twice about it and those that can't stand that. His husband is the former and he the latter, as am I. What I grew up with I guess.

williaminajetfighter Thu 23-Jan-14 19:31:18

OP I can't believe you posted about this as it is currently the 'big issue' of contention in our household at the moment!!

I was taught that overhead lights are 'gauche' and that area lights and table lights are best for lighting a room, particularly a living room. My mom said OH lights made her feel like she was 'at a mall'.

DP on the other hand loves an OH light and I have turned into my mother, constantly going around the house and turning them off, tut-tutting while I do!!

GreenShadow Thu 23-Jan-14 19:16:10

we're always baffled at how people can sit there under their big bright lights all evening

But to me, it's just the equivalent of the bright light of day time, so just a continuation of good lighting.

Thumbwitch Wed 22-Jan-14 23:34:01

My nanna used to do loads of knitting but she had a table lamp by her side that shone onto her work. Big light was an oddity in their living room - had 3 lamps, and 2 switches, so you could either have some or all of the lamps on! Early "dimmer", I suppose. They still didn't use it that often, mostly wall lights and lamps.

alemci Wed 22-Jan-14 22:22:17

I prefer to have bright light. our lounge has side lights. I read or do crochet so I need decent light. if you just watch tv then it doesn't matter so much.

lettucelamp Wed 22-Jan-14 21:54:02

When DH and I bought our house four years ago, we put in a big light in our living room, a few spotlights and some wall lights. Four years on, the big light has never had any bulbs in! grin I like soft lighting too

Lemele Wed 22-Jan-14 21:46:42

Oh but I find it weird and annoying to have lamps when you're not relaxing, i.e. a gathering at someone's house when you're not there to prep for bed but to have a good time or (in the case of our house group) do a bible study - it's so annoying if i can't see properly across the room to the person I'm talking to, or can't see the book!

Lemele Wed 22-Jan-14 21:43:45

Our main light is pretty feeble but, even so, I find it necessary to switch to a lamp in the evening. It's so much more relaxing and cosy smile

YouCanCallMeBetty Wed 22-Jan-14 21:42:05

I'm loving this thread! Had to send the link to my mum because we're always baffled at how people can sit there under their big bright lights all evening! Table lamps all the way for me. My lovely SIL has an AWFUL big light that glares away there by itself, I'm really tempted to buy her a table lamp but she might hate it.

butteredsidedown Wed 22-Jan-14 20:20:07

Big light is just for show in my house. Or if I need to knit something tricky.

People over the road don't have any lights on at all, just the blue glow from the telly all evening with curtains open.

It's not right.

TonyThePony Wed 22-Jan-14 19:39:17

I love a big light, I hate sitting in darkness (lamps just don't cut it).

happygirl87 Wed 22-Jan-14 18:21:45

DH is a little light person. I am a big light person. Except in bed, when you're going to sleep. Little lights make me too sleepy, if we are doing stuff I need clear light! Plus little lights make me feel weirdly claustrophobic, like being at your granny's for house with the fire on when it's too hot and hearing children playing in the street outside (anyone know what I mean?!)

WaffilyVersatile Wed 22-Jan-14 17:58:07

big light is on when I have work to do, lamps are on if not and I like to watch films in the dark

FidgetPie Wed 22-Jan-14 17:51:53

This thread is a revelation - I always have the big light on as do my parents so I assumed this was normal. It appears not! The exception is if we are watching a film and want of to feel more of an 'event' or a special evening meal.

My husband and I discussed this yesterday and it turns out he has always thought we were a bit odd about out big light usage!

I'll be trying to use the big light less and see if I can understand what the attraction is. So there you go!

Thumbwitch Wed 22-Jan-14 13:19:10

Parents' house: big light almost never on. Wall lights x 2 in the alcoves either side of the chimney breast, yes; standard lamp in corner, yes; table lamp on top of tv in other corner, yes. Pretty sure they were all 60w bulbs.

My house in UK: big light = 4 bulb chandelier (4x25w) on a dimmer. On quite a lot but almost never on full blast. 2 x wall lights (also 25w), sometimes.
Table lamp (also 2 x 25w), yes.

My house in Australia: NO BIG LIGHT!!! shock 3 x corner wall lamps (40w) on dimmer, one removed at the moment because it upsets the baby; 1 standard lamp (40w).

I don't like it too bright; it hurts my eyes. I have never owned a 100w light bulb in my life and am quite happy with that. grin

Ragwort Wed 22-Jan-14 07:34:57

Thank you INeedMoreDaylight - I will have a look at your suggestion.

This thread has been brilliant wink - so amusing. Thanks OP for such a great new topic !

Another pet hate of mine is those tiny bedside lights which don't even allow the light to shine on the page of the book - how do people see to read in bed? confused.

Last night DH & I watched tv & he insisted on turning off the 'big light' - it was so dark and gloomy that I just fell asleep.

Slubberdegullion Wed 22-Jan-14 06:56:59

I think the last time I put the big light on in the sitting room was when I had casually found a lump on the dog and wanted to give it a proper good pretend-vet looking at.

Am totally with you OP. Default big-light-putter-onners make me quite unsettled. Unless a big jigsaw is out. Jigsaws = big light on. That is safe.

Uplighter here too.
Always two softer lights at home as a child except when someone wanted to read.

Mind you are big light isn't very bright, it has six little bulbs which are horrifically unreliable 4/6 is about average.

babyhinder Wed 22-Jan-14 00:27:18

I use the main light when I am on my laptop as my eye sight isn't very good I find myself squinting using my lamp but otherwise I use my lamp my little boy loves switching it on and off on a night though as the switch for it is only 3m from the floor.

ItsATIARA Tue 21-Jan-14 23:22:42

I need All The Lights, All The Time, and 100 Watt equivalent at least. I always like to be doing something - crossword or ironing or paperwork or sewing while I sit in the evening, (pathological multi-tasker), so I need real light for that. My pet hate is hotels which have no Big Light at all, just seventeen teeny tiny lamps emitting two lumens each. I go round finding all of them and turning them on and then fume about how it'sstill sodding dark. Just as well, because my DFIL needs even more light because he has macular degeneration, so when he comes to stay he gets his own table light as well. DH complains that I have the dining room light on when I'm in the adjoining sitting room, but I hate sitting looking at a dark room.

This may be because I lived in army quarters/boarding school/college rooms untl the age of 20, and none of them were big on the fancy mood lighting.

moondog Tue 21-Jan-14 23:17:11

'Our kitchen has three different levels of lighting, and woe betide the child that switches the ceiling spots on first thing in the morning. Under cupboard lights must be used.'

Oh yes. Mine risk beating with wooden spoon if they try that.
I quite like that owl gallows lamp!

EBearhug Tue 21-Jan-14 23:07:19

The idea of a candl lit bath is foul though.

I've had quite a few candlelit baths lately. But at the weekend, I did finally get the stepladder out and unscrew the light fitting so I could get to the bulb to change it at last.

(Yes, sitting in the near-dark was easier than the faff of changing the light bulb.)

ouryve Tue 21-Jan-14 23:04:32

My parents have that owl light. I doubt they ever pad that much for it. They used it as a lit ornament rather than as a light (I haven't noticed it on display, lately, but that might be because the boys are a little too fascinated by it)

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