Friday, October 7, 2011

The Quality of Light (continued)

Any fine art painter will tell you there is only one source of light and because there's only one, it only comes from one direction. Any Plein Air painter will tell you that depending on what time of day it is dictates the color of the ambient light. In the morning it has a cool quality subtle blues and in the evening it's warm full of rich oranges and reds.
      Fortunately in our homes with the flick of a switch we can have whatever light we need and exactly where we need it. It is possible to even duplicate the quality of the light the sun produces, early or late. This is what lighting engineers refer to as a measurement of 5400 Kelvin, which is approximating high noon. A number which many fine artists try to duplicate in their painting studios, sun light or close to it. Ever notice, shadows only fall in one direction? Remember there's only one true source of light.
      What's interesting about lighting in one's home is the obvious choice of the incandescent bulb. We can thank our friend Thomas Alva Edison for that. The incandescent bulb is basically a light made from short  circuiting the negative and positive leads to the filament which glows a radiant warm ambient light. Depending on that filament wire the color will change but will always have that glowing quality.

     If you desire the light focused ,as in task lighting, then the reflector or glass part of the bulb comes into play focusing the glowing filament, depending on the degree of focus the bulb then could be called a flood or a spot. You have seen the little florescent coiled glass tube type bulb, that's a different application of electric activity as the tube has a gas that glows when charged electrically. The world of twenty first century lighting is getting complex with
quartz and Halogen as well as LED’s (light emitting diodes).  We have discovered with the application of all these devices there's always one available to produce the kind of light you need for your particular application, oh and yes, the fixtures to hold them.
     So far we have talked a little about The Quality of Light, it's a subject that has fascinated us for years and the more applications we find for our Clients homes the better equipped we find ourselves to solve even more complex lighting situations.
      How about you, got a small space needing a little ambient light to see your way...? Or a large and imposing space you would like some flexibility with in terms of lighting? Warm and cool, sunlight for a painting or just a comfortable place to write.

Nick Harding, President
Burr Chase, Lightsmith

Nostalgia Lighting, Inc.
234 Middle Road
Falmouth, Maine 04105
(207) 772-1096