When I visited my uncle on the occasion of his birthday (by the way, he loved the painting I made for him!) he took the opportunity to show me something he had just installed in his home. Running across a supporting beam in the living room there was a set of LED lights. Once he switched it on the whole room changed instantaneously. The subtle glow the colorful lights provided was amazing. We looked at each-other with my husband because we knew, we wanted one for ourselves.

Our apartment is well lit. When the sun is out, that is. However, during winter when the sky is cloudy and there is perpetual gloom, our home becomes dark as well. To avoid bumping into that rascal of a furniture that just keeps getting in our way we started turning on a reading lamp. Unfortunately, it only illuminates a small spot of the living room and on the long run the energy bill adds up. Switching therefore to LED lights seemed like a good idea. On the other hand, we had been thinking about a way to illuminate the paintings on top of the shelves for some time, and this idea seemed like we would be killing two birds with the same stone.

LED bookshelf painting illuminationI am not sure what word to use, because installation seems such an overstatement. We simply rolled out the tape that contains the tiny lights on top of our bookshelves, positioned the receptor of the remote control in a place that was not too conspicuous and yet could be easily reached, and voilà! It was finished. All we need to do is reach for the remote and choose the color of the lights we want that evening. And that is it!

LED remote controlWhat seemed strange at first is how much more light there suddenly was in our living room. Since the light reaches the white ceiling unobstructed it bounces back and provides an incredible glow. Also, since the light comes off the ceiling, it is much more relaxing to the eye overall. Watching our Sunday night football or an odd movie has become a whole new experience. And the paintings. Oh, my! They have suddenly a whole new life, a whole new meaning. It is as if many, many candles… or perhaps the rising sun itself was burning right below them and giving them a perspective they never had before. The color of the painting changes and is more intense, drawing your eyes to new parts, playing tricks with you. Many times I find myself just sitting in the living room and staring at them in this new setting.

We knew the lights would be great during the night or to give a more intimate feel to a party. One thing we did not anticipate, however is how comforting these lights are during the mornings. When the alarm sounds at 6 AM and it is pitch black and chilly outside it is not easy to open the covers and get out of bed. When we switch on the lights, it is as if we switched on our private sunshine. Suddenly the warm golden light finds me and I am smiling. The morning routine becomes much easier. There is just one danger I  should keep in mind: to stop staring at the paintings when sipping my morning coffee. Because  daydreaming is fine, but the purpose of the lights and the caffeine is to help me wake up at the end… not get back to sleep.

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