It is Better to Light One Candle…

by Barb, typing away…

Wickeds, it’s the time of year when we all work into the dark hours. How do you light your workspace? Describe and show us a photo, if you dare…

Julie: I’ve escaped to my family’s summer house for a bit of a change. I brought the cats, and we’re settling in for a long as we can take it. I use the dining room table for work calls, but I’ve been sitting on my father’s (ugly) brown microfiber recliner, feet up, computer on my lap. I’ve got to admit, I love it. The chair rocks and swivels when not reclining, so there are several different views–tv, window (with water in the distance), fireplace. Here’s the light–a Christmas Tree Shop special from several years ago.

Jessie: I love this question, Barb! What fun! I have to admit to being a bit of a crow. I love sparkle in all its forms but am especially enamored of crystal. In October my husband and I redecorated my office and high on the list of to do items was to swap out the overhead light fixture. I chose a glittering chandelier and I couldn’t be happier with the way it fills the room with light and rainbows! I couldn’t help myself from going just a little over the top and so I added 11 crystal prisms to the windows too; one for each book I have published and one extra for the books yet to come! Sometimes when the sunlight streams through the windows I set the crystals to spinning and watch the rainbows dance about the room. If you were peeking in the window you might just see me joining them!

Sherry: I’m having light fixture envy seeing Jessie’s sparkly chandelier! I usually write during the day and have lovely light coming in two windows — one which overlooks a patch of woods. The light in my office is leftover from the people who rented our house while we lived in Massachusetts. And yes, we’ve been back here for ten years and I’m just now calling our electrician to put in can lights.

Edith/Maddie: I’ve had the same desk lamp for many years, a castoff from a friend I worked with at my antepenultimate day job. The lamp, which turns on and off by touching it, is perfect next to my laptop. I dislike overhead lights and don’t have any in the house except in the kitchen (although Jessie’s chandelier is lovely).

For zoom calls and when it’s really dark as I start work in the mornings (yes, I do start that early), on the other side of my desk I have a second brighter floor lamp with a gooseneck so I can aim it wherever I need it.

Barb: When we moved to this house three years ago I spent a lot of time thinking about my study. There are two walls of windows and one wall taken up by the staircase and an elevator, so effectively only one wall to use. I came up with the brilliant solution to use my parents’ old glass dining table as a desk and to float it in the center of the room. Then I looked at dozens of glossy photos of rooms with floating glass desks, trying to figure out what to do about cords for lamp, laptop, phone, etc. Guess what? Since 100% of the photos are staged, none of them have any cords in them whatsoever. I wish I had come up with Jessie’s chandelier idea, but that would have involved electricians since there’s no lighting in the ceiling and I wasn’t in that place at the time. So I have this lamp that curves over from a spot on the window wall. It’s meant to provide ambient light not task light, so not the perfect solution, but it will do for now.

Liz:  I write in a bunch of different places, depending on my mood and where I’m spending that particular day. My apartment gets a lot of natural light, and I do like dim lights if I’m lighting up. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of writing in my alternate space, and as always I like to have my essential oil diffuser lighting the way.

Readers: What about you? How do you light your workspace whatever you do there?

17 Thoughts

  1. My kitchen table/laptop desk is right against the kitchen window and I have a pole-mounted lamp that has to be at least fifteen years old (possibly twenty) right next to the laptop for when the sun just isn’t bright enough to illuminate the keyboard. Ugly, and I have to keep jogging it to keep the LED lamp lit, but it does the job. Fortunately, Kindles supply their own light, so I find myself going to them rather than reading hard copies.

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  2. I love this post, and the glimpse into workplaces. Do all writers have workplace envy? My office was originally a summer bedroom in the basement . It’s quiet and it has the advantage of receiving reflected heat from the woodstove we use all winter. I have one big window that faces due east. During the 16 hour days of summer, it’s perfect to sit at my desk with only my two LED task lights. In the 8 hour days of winter…different story when it’s full dark by 3 PM. Then I have an overhead light. The kind we all grew up with. Two bulbs and a frosted shade. Hubs is going to put it on a dimmer as soon as we find the box with the dimmable LED lights.

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  3. When we built our dream home, instead of an extra bedroom, we built a small computer room. The only thing in there are two Amish made large desks each with a computer (one for me and one for hubby), a small cabinet with printer on it and my Mom’s curio with her frog collection. There is one large window on the side facing the front of the house. Wanting to have ample lighting, there are four recessed lights that light up the whole room. It’s a very comfortable and much used room in the house.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. We were having a discussion here last night about couples who share a study–as opposed to those like me husband and me. Our primary attraction to this house was that our studies are four floors apart!

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  4. I like a lot of light. Right now, I’m using the chandelier over my kitchen table to light my work from home office. In addition to having all the curtains open.

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  5. We hate ceiling lights, so we have a lot of lamps. In my office/museum, I have a gooseneck lamp clamped to the side of the desk, and in another part of the room, I have a hanging light that is a ceramic cone made by wonderful friends in Peru. When I do jigsaw puzzles, I have an extra gooseneck lamp that is clamped to the top of a bookcase and hangs over the puzzle table. It is a very cozy room stuffed with books and memorabilia. If I really need to see something in a corner, there is a flashlight nearby!

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  6. My desk is in a corner of our sunroom, so I am surrounded by windows and natural light. We have a stand lamp for those early-morning, “it’s still dark out” start times.

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