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    « Letter From America #20: The Etiquette Of The Four-Way Stop | Main | Meet The New Basil Fawlty; The “Charismatic” Boutique Hotel Owner »
    Friday
    Sep162011

    The Overhead Light: Emergency Use Only

    I could never go on Come Dine With Me. For some reason – perhaps to do with how it’s filmed – the dining rooms are always so unnecessarily bright, with the overhead light switched on. The overhead light was called the ‘big light’ in my family when I was growing up, and I consider it a sort of emergency light source, when there’s a broken glass or something that needs clearing up, and not at all appropriate for everyday – or everynight – lighting.

    When I wander down my street in the evening, I’m alarmed by the number of front rooms I see lit up like office corridors. How unwelcoming and uncomfortable it looks in there, I think. Such harsh lighting ruins the mood, shows up too much detail. The big light is one of those great dividers of people. It’s candles and low lamps all the way for my guests and me. Would you have the overhead light on if I came to dinner at yours?

    Flickr: dprevite

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    Reader Comments (3)

    YES. The 'top light' (as it was known in our house) must NEVER be used except in dire emergency.

    September 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Summerfield

    Having been teased by family and friends for years for not using the 'big light', I am so glad to find I am not the only one to feel this way. It recalls a scene from Downton Abbey where Maggie Smith enters the drawing room shielding herself from the ceiling light, complaining bitterly that it is like being on stage on gala night!

    September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBB

    haha..the 'big light'..I still call it that..only used at the end of an evening when we switch off the lamps, solely in order to see where we are going on the way out of the room..

    February 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjune seghni

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