Author’s note: I think of myself as a strange hybrid of wannabe tree-hugging liberal and stumbling follower of Jesus. From time to time you may see one or more of my values and beliefs come to the surface in my blog, such as in this post. Yet the only “religion” I will push on this site is my belief that light can be a benefit to all of us, regardless of religion, belief, race, gender, identity, politics, or any other way we separate ourselves into groups. If you do not believe what I believe, I very much hope you will be welcome here…I know I have much to learn from you!
God’s first gift to the world was light.
I was not around to see it, but I agree with the scientists who believe it was probably a very, very big bang.
Ever since She said “Let there be light,” the world- and those of us who live here- have benefited from this amazing gift. Light quite literally illuminates our path, it is the foundation of our food chain, it is how we measure distance in space and lay out straight roads and level floors. It is the basis for the atomic clock and the constant in Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
And we have not come close to tapping the full potential of the gift. Now we use light to sanitize operating rooms, set dental fillings, find veins for blood draws, promote healing, relieve depression, transmit phone signals and data, and even to wirelessly distribute internet access.
Sight, one of the five senses we learned in grade school, would be lost without light. There would be no beautiful sunsets, no romantic candlelit dinners, no way to see art in museums or games in the stadium or our children in the school play or laugh lines on our loved ones’ faces.
Embedded within the dazzling radiant energy of light are five promises:
- Light can help us see what we are doing, so we can do it better, more efficiently, more safely.
- Light can help us know where we are, where we are going, and who we are with.
- Light can help us feel better, more alert or more relaxed, and more comfortable.
- Light can help us adapt to changes in season, time of day, activity, and age.
- Light can help tell our stories, calling attention to what we value and honor and deem beautiful.
I was created with eyes sensitive to light and a soul tuned to feel it. It is my mission to share the gift with as many as I can.
I am an enthusiastic advocate of light. You might even call me the lighting evangelist.
Each of the layers of light you read about on this blog correspond to a promise. It is important to know what kind of light you need…but the promises explain why you need it. Does the lighting in your home deliver all five promises? Or did your builder treat light as a utility instead of a gift?
Light is essential to life. I am here to help you get the most of it.
Many thanks to the late Howard Malmstadt as quoted in Dick Foth’s book “A Trip Around the Sun” for expanding my appreciation of the elemental significance of light. Dick, thank you for sharing Howard’s beautiful words with me!
Abe Feder used the phrase “push back the darkness!” I have always found that apt. Darkness can be a useful tool in the designers box, and there are certainly some situations (such as the dark skies movement) that warrant more thought and discussion, but as a whole, those of us who have lived in a developed country, which has been electrified for three to four generations, aren’t nearly as appreciative as we should be for everything light does for us. A few years ago there were social media campaigns that encouraged families to not use electricity for a night- not in solidarity for those who were forced to do without, but as an environmental statement. I alway wondered, as rich Americans sat in the dark, how many desperately poor people would have welcomed the chance to study a book, work past the sunset, or just spend time with their family, all things made possible by the gift of light.
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Good points, Matt…there would be no reason for lighting design if there was no darkness.
This is beautiful and inspring, David! I love your claim for yourself as a Light Evangelist! ✨
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Thank you, Jane! I am still “trying out” the Lighting Evangelist moniker, so I appreciate the feedback.