These days though… well, there are so many fittings and so many different type of bulbs to have to manage - low energy, LED, strip, halogen, screw, push, toggle, clip. The list just goes on and on. Add to this that I’m quite lazy when it comes to replacing a dead bulb and some sort of minor catastrophe (of the gloomy, dark, kind) is bound to happen in our house at some point.
Let’s start with the hall and landings. Now, we have a lot of hall and landings, and they are lit by a series of double wall-light fittings that require very small bayonet type bulbs. The candle ones won’t do because they are too tall. So, round, dumpy ones, about the same size as an alligator egg, are required. There are so many of them needed to get all the wall lights fully functional that each time a count I come up with a different number, and if they were all on at once it would be far too bright. So I usually run with about one-in-three functioning. Of course these means that at times, when a bulb blows, one of our landings is plunged into darkness with all the mumbling swearing that goes with this particular inconvenience.
Then there’s the kitchen. We have no ‘main’ light in our kitchen, relying instead on over and under cupboard lighting which is more than adequate when they are all fully functional. Of course this in itself is a problem, and a few years back we had to replace all of the lighting units at great expense because we found that the strips that we needed couldn’t be replaced. Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but the long, thin, strip lights that were fitted were intentionally non-standard by a couple of millimetres and when the company that sold us our kitchen closed, never to be heard of again, we found that we were progressively moving towards the dark ages as each non-standard strip died. We were down to two of sixteen before we took action.
Even the replacements, which are a standard size, are hard to get hold of; and as I write this particular rambling two strips are out under the wall cupboards and all of the in-display-cupboard lighting is dead. It’s almost like living in a Victorian kitchen, but without the lard and rabbits. In fact, gas and candlelight would probably be brighter.
Then the other day, the final remaining light in the bathroom went with a pop and the tripping of the breaker switch on the fuse box. Our bathroom lighting is recessed halogen, and there are far too many of them. It makes the dazzling, stark, whiteness of the bathroom unbearable when all the fittings are working. Consequently we only have one of the six recessed lights working at any one time and of course when this decides to die, as it did the other day, there are all sorts of consequences which involve… well, I will leave that to your imaginations.
Just how we came to have so many light fittings is a mystery, but at any one time if we were to turn them all on, they’d be at least a hundred bulbs of various shapes and sizes burning merrily away in our house – even more at Christmastime. Let there be light? Yes, let there; but I long for the days when all bulbs were standard and lighting was about seeing rather than ambiance. Mind you that did mean the ‘big light’ wouldn’t it and I shudder at the memory of that.