Lights serve a very important function but are usually taken for granted. We use them daily and they influence our perception whether we’re aware of it or not. This article explores five types of the best lights everyone should have to assist in their daily life.
Push Battery Powered Lights
Push battery lights are usually forgotten about until they are needed. I always forget a portable light when I visit my aunt and uncle’s cabin in Utah. It is always inevitable that there is no electricity there. Their vintage appliances like the mid-century fridge and stove run on gas. We only turn on the generator-powered lights when we are playing a game of Stosh or Rummy after dinner. Then it’s Lights Out to conserve the generator. The darkness allows the vibrant stars to shimmer in the deep sky, but we’re left stumbling about the cabin, bumping our knees and shins on Coleman coolers and outdated furniture.
Powerless cabins like my family’s are the perfect reason to own push battery-powered lights. They are also effective for areas in your home, like closets, basements, and sheds which may not have electrical hookups. For small nooks and crannies, consider a velcro attachable light switch. Battery-powered light switches can cost as little as $4. The small switches give you that little boost of sight so you can navigate dark hallways in the middle of the night or move through your RV without disrupting others. Similar to the switches, there are brighter battery powered lights that are easy to mount.
One of the most frustrating items I always forget to bring to the cabin is a reading light. Today, the amber clip-on lights are widely available. The temperature of the light does not interfere with your sleep schedule and is more comfortable on your eyes. Battery-powered reading lights are also great for couples when one goes to sleep while the other reads. They are also a better option than a side table lamp, which can often be too bright for sleeping.
I used to live in Nevada, and the outside of my home was teeming with poisonous scorpions. Sometimes I would find them in my bathtub or scuttling across the kitchen floor like a free-range bovine. It was horrifying. I learned that their exoskeletons glow like a 1970s velvet poster under a blacklight. So I would use a handheld UV flashlight to find and destroy the scorpions. I called it scorpion hunting.
I realize that this is an unconventional use of a flashlight. There are many more practical functions for one of humankind’s most important inventions, like an emergency, for instance. Flashlights have many other uses, including night hiking, everyday carry, finding missing keys under the couch, and making shadow puppets. If you need to know the reasons for using a flashlight, you probably have bigger problems than darkness. However, not all flashlights are created equal. Rechargeable lights are great for outdoor use, like camping, so you don’t have to worry about running out of batteries and LED flashlights are incredibly bright. Some throw up to 12,000 Lumens, lighting over a whopping 700 yards.
These little lamps are mostly used by little kids who may have separation anxiety or are scared of the dark. Trust me, I know. My brave crescent moon nightlight protected me countless times from evil shadowy figures during my childhood. But nightlights aren’t just for chickens. These low-powered lamps provide just the right amount of light to allow someone to navigate a room without disrupting their sleep. You can go to the restroom or tend to a new baby in the middle of the night without blinding yourself. There are also many artistic nightlights for adults that add ambient lighting and look pretty, too.
Outside lights have many functions, both practical and fashionable. Floodlights, for example, are often used for home security purposes. But a floodlight can also illuminate the ninth hole next to your suburban townhome, like one did during my adolescence. Not only did the powerful light deter home invaders, but it also lit up the putting green so well that my sister and I could run barefoot on the fresh-trimmed grass and play dodgeball in the sprinklers.
Most people, however, have real backyards and don’t have to break into golf courses for free entertainment. Instead, they can host BBQs and parties, and there are many outdoor light designs available to spruce up the space. Lanterns, colorful fiesta lights, dazzling fairy lights, jar, or LED lights are just a few examples. If you want your outdoor space to look like an artisanal restaurant patio, just add Edison bulb string lights. Other outdoor lights to consider are pathway lights to guide people on a walkway or outline a deck. There are dozens of lighting innovations to enhance your backyard.
Low Light Lamps
An old friend of mine was fixated on lighting. Any time he came to my house, he’d immediately turn off the abrasive fluorescent overhead lamp in the kitchen, and then go about dimming the others until they reached the perfect levels to his taste. I thought this was strange at the time but now have the same lighting philosophy. I can’t stand sterile brightness inside a home; Bright white light will transform what should be a comfy living room into a gynecologist’s office.
My friend taught me that lighting plays an influential role in the atmosphere of a space. While bright, sharp light at a desk can enhance focus, low light lamps create a relaxing mood. Just think of any time you’ve been to a quiet bar or sat by a fireplace. That cozy feeling comes from the often warm amber color. Low light lamps are suitable for a bedside table, where you often need a calming light to help you transition to sleep. Low lights also add to a TV room where other lights can compete with your movie or show.