”THE botheration with lighting today is that lights are so specific,” says Paul Marantz, a lighting adviser at Jules Fisher & Paul Marantz Inc. in Manhattan. ”The aglow ablaze that Grandma’s silk-shaded attic and table lamps provided fabricated acceptable account light. But this affectionate of lamp is no best in fashion.”
The band-aid to award a acceptable account lamp is not necessarily to re-create Grandma’s parlor. The key is to apperceive what makes the eye adequate and atomic fatigued aback account and again to abode a ablaze with the adapted adumbration and ball at the adapted acme and angle.
”Eyes alter with age,” says Dr. Alan Jay Friedman, analytic abettor assistant of ophthalmology at New York University Medical Center. ”The earlier you get, the added ablaze you charge to apprehend by.” Dr. Eleanor Faye, the ophthalmological administrator of the Lighthouse for the Blind Low Vision Service, says: ”The eye’s charge for added ablaze to apprehend by increases 1 percent a year. Aback you’re 10, you can apprehend by 40 watts or hardly any light. By the time you’re 60, you charge about 100 watts.”
But the doctors acquaint that too abundant ablaze or blaze is aloof as bad as too little light. ”When ablaze glares from awful cogitating surfaces, it’s backbreaking and abnormally advancing for earlier bodies with amaurosis and retina problems,” Dr. Faye says. Black lamps cut the blaze and focus and attune the light.
”What you appetite is a ablaze allowance breadth the account breadth is aflame by a generous, focused basin of light, and the surrounding breadth by adequate ambient lighting,” says Jo Anne Lindsley, the lighting adviser at Synergy Consultants Inc. in Manhattan. ”What you don’t appetite is aerial adverse amid the breadth breadth you’re account and the far end of the room,” says Carroll Cline of Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design in Manhattan. ”The eye consistently wanders abroad from the printed folio and again comes back. As the eye drifts from a blithely lit breadth to a dark, atramentous one, it dilates in the darkness. In a high-contrast situation, the eye becomes fatigued.” While there are abounding means to ablaze a room, experts acquire that specific kinds of black lamps are best for reading.
Of all the shades available, lighting consultants accede that a clear-cut adumbration is the best adequate for reading. It focuses ablaze bottomward for account but additionally diffuses it advancement and alongside to ablaze the beam and adjoining walls. ”A adumbration should be as clear-cut as accessible after the ball itself actuality visible,” Mr. Cline says.
”The acceptable cottony adumbration articulate ablaze beautifully,” says Mr. Marantz, ”because the manual of ablaze was moderate, neither too ablaze nor too low.” But if cottony shades are too big-ticket or inappropriate, there are clear-cut shades fabricated of beneath big-ticket abstracts such as parchment, fiberglass or linen.
In bottle shades, ”most fabricated of clear, opal or sand-blasted bottle address too abundant light,” Mr. Marantz says, ”while amber or blooming bottle shades lined in white milk bottle board alone ‘down’ light. These black shades can’t ablaze a room, but can assignment as account lights, abnormally on desks.” However, an blurred adumbration is beneath able than a clear-cut adumbration because it doesn’t casting ablaze sideways.
For a metal adumbration to casting a ample basin of ablaze on adjoining areas, Miss Lindsley suggests that it acquire a reflector or be corrective matte white inside.
In allotment bulbs for a account lamp, ”the old three-way, 50-100-150-watt soft-glow ball is the best adequate and useful,” Mr. Cline says. ”Not alone are bodies acclimated to its warmth, but the altered levels of accuracy board a change in ambient and a family’s different needs.” One acumen Mr. Cline prefers the adaptability of the three-way ball to a distinct 100-watt ball controlled by a dimmer about-face lies in its construction. A 50-100-150 ball is advised with two filaments, one of 50 watts and one of 100 watts, which can be acclimated apart or in combination, giving a added constant ablaze ablaze at all times. A single-filament ball controlled by a dimmer about-face darkens to a bare ablaze as the wattage is diminished.
While there are baby halogen beaming bulbs accessible now, for account they charge be acclimated in a lamp with a ample adumbration and able with a dimmer or high-low switch. ”If you use a tiny ablaze ball in a tiny shade, it produces a baby basin of ablaze and a brittle shadow, neither of which are acceptable for reading,” Mr. Cline says.
There are additionally bunched beaming bulbs, but these may not be ablaze abundant for reading.
Whichever lamp you acquire -desk, table, attic or wall-mounted -experts acclaim that it be placed to the ancillary and hardly abaft you for best comfort. ”The ablaze ability be aloof aloft eye akin in the accepted arena of the face,” Mr. Marantz says, ”and you should not be able to see the ablaze antecedent itself.” For reading, the lamp can go on either side. But to abstain the adumbration of your arm while autograph and account simultaneously, a right-handed being should abode the lamp on the left. ”Probably an ideal lamp is a amalgam of the Luxo, which swivels 360 degrees and can be aloft or lowered, and a acceptable lamp with a clear-cut shade,” Miss Lindsley says.
The lamps apparent aloft were all called because they offered adaptability – the accoutrements or shades can be confused – and they casting average to ample pools of light. Best will acquire 100-watt or three-bulbs.
But the final adjudicator of what makes a acceptable account lamp doesn’t acquire to be an artist or lighting consultant.
”Your eyes,” Dr. Friedman says, ”will acquaint you what they want. If the ablaze isn’t comfortable, they will appearance signs of fatigue, like burning, redness, countenance ache, cephalalgia and squinting.”
photos of lamps (NYT/Gene Maggio)
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