An overhead light that has a gold base and tip, and a textured clear glass globe

Sorry, Mom.

My mother has carefully and meticulously curated a style for the family farmhouse over the past 45 years of residency (we’ve had the farm since about 1882, but none of us remember that).

In the 1970’s and 80’s when I was growing up it was, well, very 1970’s. Then, when we finally all went off and stopped draining her finances with braces and college textbooks, she started over. And wow, did she do it well.

Except…some of the lighting.

For all the reasons you can read about in other posts, it is very hard to get good lighting. You may buy a well-built fixture like the solid brass and beautiful glass fixture in her master bath, but that does not mean it will deliver good light. Lighting is a product; it costs you money. Light is a gift; it can help you live a better life. But not all lighting delivers light as a gift. Sometimes it comes out as a battering ram.

An overhead light that has a gold base and tip, and a textured clear glass globe with the light turned on

Here is the same fixture when turned on (which they rarely are in marketing photos on websites). There is a beautiful pattern on the ceiling…and glare right in your face.

A man in a dark photo with an over head light turned on above him casting his face in shadow

The glare up there does a nice job of making my hair look strangely luminous, but my face is dark. That’s okay most of the time, but not when I’m shaving.

In other bath, mom bought a nice three-light vanity fixture. It’s well built and lovely.

A bathroom pedestal sink and oval mirror with three lights pointed down on the sink. There is yellow and red floral wall paper, white wainscotting, and a towel on a rack to the right.

It does a nice job of illuminating the sink. That’s great when you need to wash your hands. But what about working on your face (and my face needs more and more work all the time, it seems)?

A man from the chest up lit up with a completely dark background.

I can see it, a bit, if I lean in far enough.  But the lack of light coming out of the sides of the shade (they are solid porcelain) makes my hair completely disappear.  I’m hoping it lasts a few more years.

Lighting is a tool that can, when properly used, deliver the gift of light.  But it can also be used as a weapon to inflict shaving wounds, bad hair days, and makeup mistakes.

Sorry, mom.  If you want to make some changes I can recommend a good lighting designer.  I heard he’s internationally acclaimed.

Light Can Help You