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  • Putting you in the picture about solar lights
  • Wall lights and their uses
  • Timeless Table Lamps
  • When Space is at a Premium
  • A Place For Everything, and Everything In Its Place

Putting you in the picture about solar lights

Solar Lights Imagine capturing sunshine and having it at your fingertips whenever you want. This is what solar lights can do for you and especially for your garden, creating a pretty and atmospheric ambience that lasts all night. The great thing about them is you can leave them alone, safe in the knowledge that they will light up the following night having drawn their energy from the sun.

Technology has improved so much in the solar light industry over the last few years that it is now possible to get better batteries that are more efficient at taking and holding a charge, so you can get,for example, about 1000 nights from one unit.

Solar lighting really performs at its best outside. It is the perfect solution, especially when you do not want ugly and encroaching wires all over your garden or when having the wires buried can be a costly business with paving being taken up or turf being dismantled.

There are many ways to use solar lighting within your property. One of the first is to light up your perimeter so, for example, you could have lights on your fence or round the bottom of a hedge. This completes the look of your whole house and garden and gives you a border showing where the boundaries of your house are.

Highlighting particular trees in your driveway or bushes in your front garden is also an inviting and pretty statement to make. This can be done with solar up-lighting, where the solar lights are fixed round the bottom of the tree or bushes to shine softly on the tree or feature that you have chosen.

Another effective idea is to mark out any walkways or paths that you have leading up to your property or in a back garden, by placing solar lights at regular intervals along the edge. Staking them into the ground or in plant pots is a very easy and quick way to do this. You can also buy stepping stones with solar lighting in them that look great at dusk falls and they start to glow.

As well as solar lights for effect, consider using them for useful jobs too. They are great in security lights that are motion-controlled, within sheds or as a a light to highlight your house number.

Of course the key to all of this is to place your chosen lights in the position where they are most likely to get as much sun as possible. A tip is to check out where the sun hits your garden during the day and make sure the lights are in that area, as long as this is suitable. This cannot be so easily done for security lighting, but as long as it gets some light during the day then it should be OK.

If you do not get much sun, then some lights do have a separate photo cell which can be positioned in an area that does receive a lot of light. This means a shady tree can still be lit up if you want.

Wall lights and their uses

Wall Lights There is plenty of talk about task lighting, up lighting, down lighting, where to put a lamp, how to fix an electric light to a ceiling and so on. Often, what people want is plain and simple – wall lights that look gorgeous and do the job that they are supposed to do.

Wall lights can emit a cheery glow, be a colourful light on a child’s bedroom wall, add interest to a living space or create a talking point. Maybe they match the central light, are modern in design or have that old fashioned curling ironwork that can look so chic.

There is even a certain type of wall light that is sensitive to movement, so if it is switched on in the right mode it will turn itself on if someone is within six metres. But and this is the clever thing, this only happens when it is dark. This means there is a lot of energy saved, as the light is only on when needed. Imagine never having to worry about turning lights off again – these lights do it for you.

One thing to think about when choosing lights is the position on the wall and which room you are going to put them in. A perfect solution beside a bed is a wall light, as it does not clutter up your bedside table. Consider buying one that has a pull down switch, as these can be easier to find when you are groping about in the dark in the middle of the night.

Lights that fix onto the wall over a mirror need to have a stronger output but do not want to be too glaring, as you do not want to be shocked every time you look at yourself. For intricate actions such as putting on make up or shaving, you want to be able to see clearly, so an overhead wall light is ideal.

As always, the question is contemporary versus traditional. The answer lies in how the rest of your house or flat is put together. You might have a mix of rooms, but sticking with a modern wall light in a modern room is probably best.

Often with wall lights, having just one looks slightly wrong. Two either side of a door or arch can work very well as does two on either side of a bed. This balances the look of a room and adds a certain symmetry that is pleasing to the eye.

The fixings that are needed to attach the lights to the wall are also important. You want them to be as subtle as possible, sturdy enough to make sure the light holds in place yet not intrusive, so they don’t spoil the overall look. Before buying any wall lights, check where the fixings go so you can be sure you will not see them once the light is in place.

It is also worth checking the electrical source, as some will have to be connected straight to an electricity point which might mean drilling holes in the walls to access the power.

Timeless Table Lamps

Table Lamps Many think table lamps are a modern invention that appeared with electricity and a plug, but the reality is that putting a lamp on a table to light the evening stems back to the Stone Ages. After man discovered that animal fat was flammable, he began soaking moss and similar materials in it, pushing it into a hollow heat resistant substance such as a rock with a handy hole or a large shell. These ancient lamps were then lit and placed strategically to light up the area around which the gathering sat to eat or chat. As different materials were discovered, the lamps changed accordingly. The advent of pottery led to creative shapes and after metal working was made possible, the lamps became more sturdy and lasted longer.

The word lamp comes from the ancient Greek word "lampas", the term given to the terra-cotta torches that were fastened to the walls and translating to torch. The eighteenth century saw a major turn for the better with the creation of central burners, allowing the lamps to be enclosed, offering increases safety and a method of controlling the intensity of light.

Glass chimneys came next, a method of enclosing the flame whilst still being able to use the light effectively. The air flow could be controlled, which affected the burning of the flame. Towards the end of the century, inventors created hollow wicks that were able to be enclosed within these glass chimneys.
Within ten years, this design was converted to gas and the first gas lamps came into being. As technology increased and coal gas was able to be pumped to lamps, commercial versions were available and by the turn of the new century, English cities were lit by gas lamps.

It was in the early twentieth century with Thomas Edisons incandescent light bulb invention that table lamps really began to make an appearance. This pivotal invention is now taken for granted, but then it was a major breakthrough that allowed all to enjoy the freedom and versatility of table lights.

Table lamps had become a common feature by the 1930s and with the increased efficiency of light bulbs, the designs have developed dramatically. Functionality has always been a priority, but now design and aesthetic pleasure is equally as important.

Although table lights are still necessary for lighting a particular area, now the care with which they are chosen will depend on where they are going and the overall look that is required. The available designs are many and varied and created to suit all tastes, from bling, to bizarre, to Baroque. Choose particular styles to suit a child’s room, a study or a living room. Common these days are kitchens with lamps placed in corners to light dark areas or just to provide atmosphere whilst the hostess slaves over a hot stove.

Whichever style and design you choose, spare a thought for ancient man huddled over a animal fat flame within a hollow rock and marvel at just how far lamps have come.

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