Where’d the Light Go?

17th century needleworkers working by daylight.

17th century needleworkers working by daylight.

Clocks were turned back again last weekend and all of a sudden, its dark before dinner, soon it will be dark before most of us even get home from work. Daylight savings time, the practice of shifting the clocks ahead an hour during the summer months, has been around for about 100 years now. It was first proposed to give people more daylight for their leisure hours and theorized that it would lower power usage, but there has been very little proof of that. What it does do, when we set the clocks back again, is suddenly plunge a lot of us into a long dark winter. Of course, if you happen to live closer to the equator, you will not be as affected by the shortening or lengthening of daylight hours, but, if you live further north, I hope you like the dark, because you may only have an hour or two of light, if that much, by the time the winter solstice arrives.

Mostly I miss the light when working on miniatures. I particularly enjoy needlework, and the lack of daylight is really noticeable when it comes to choosing colors. Several years ago I invested in a standing OttLite full spectrum lamp and it made all the difference in the world. It still can’t beat full on daylight, but it does show colors much more truly than any other lamp in my house, and it produces enough light to illuminate the finest details in my work.

There are many brands of full spectrum lights on the market, as well as light bulbs if you’d ┬álike to switch one out in a lamp you already own.

I frequently wonder, especially when I look at historic needlework, however they managed such fine stitching in a time when supplemental lighting meant an extra candle, if you had the means to afford one. Today, we have many affordable options for lighting, for magnification-and even for lights to help when the darkness brings the blues on. Do you suppose they had seasonal affective disorder back then, too?




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