By Danielle French

New Light

Warm weather is around the corner

Who isn’t grateful for Spring? Its arrival is the reward of having four seasons. Stepping out from months of darkness to light, fragrant smells in the air from warming earth. My mood is affected by light and as it brightens so do we all. Winter wouldn’t be as difficult to navigate if it wasn’t so dark in the mornings, so dark early in the evenings. And then ,by the end of January things begin to change and a few more minutes of light edge into the days and before we know it, it’s still light at 5:30 pm!
changing light
Light inside our space and home is equally important for our state of mind. The first year that I started my business, South Pond Farms, I didn’t have electricity in the barn yet, so I had real candle light chandeliers. Candles on the tables weren’t bright enough for people to see what was going on. That does seem incredible now that I think about it – but I designed and had 6 metal chandeliers made each with 6 arms that allowed for a candle inside a glass jar. The candle had to be sizable to give off decent lighting below. At every event, I climbed up on a 14’ ladder to light the candles for the evening.

Farm jobs

That job became tiresome very quickly and two years later, I made the plunge and brought electricity inside the barn and replaced the candelabras with real chandeliers. I collected a variety of different ones that added an eclectic feeling to the barn. I also added 4 spot lights that pointed up into the ceiling illuminating the beautiful beams and 1960’s structure. I put everything on dimmers so as to be able to keep the lighting soft at night. It really was beautiful.

One thing that I made sure to do myself for every single event right up until the end when I sold the farm was to come in just after sunset and adjust the lighting lower. It made such a difference to the atmosphere. I never got tired of helping to create this evening scene. It took my breath away, candles on the tables and lighting up in the rafters, it was such a lovely feeling, romantic, and warm. It was one of those details that you might not notice, but it completely changed the atmosphere and vibe of the event. If the lighting was too bright after dinner, hardly anyone went onto the dance floor. That little adjustment made all the difference.

Light at home

Here at home, creating this feeling is just as important to my well being. All my lighting is on dimmers and I always have candle light on the table and on my counter for when friends come over or it’s just me at home in my kitchen cooking. I recently bought smart bulbs to put in the lights that @ShawnCameron. built out of iron and spare boiler parts. I can adjust the glow, control the time and do it from my phone. I love this!

Soft lighting sets a mood, invites conversation and puts people at ease. As the season changes, more and more natural lighting comes inside. It feels like we’ve all shed a wintery skin and bask in what nature gives. Patio dinners by candlelight, we have six more months to enjoy it! I’m not wasting any time.

Photo credit: johnandsamanthabutler 

(reprinted from Taste of the Kawartha’s Magazine)

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