The Gift of Light must be fully unwrapped to be understood. Inside the gift box of white light are all the colors of the rainbow, only visible when we split the wavelengths apart with a prism or raindrops. The power of light is also multi-layered, affecting our lives in many ways. My approach to better lighting has long been multi-layered as well, just like my beloved red velvet cake. Recently, the Red Velvet Cake Theory was attacked by a potential usurper: Rainbow Velvet Cake.
Cake has nothing to do with lighting, but it sure is easier to understand. When fine-tuning my introduction to layers of light for clients, it occurred to me that red velvet cake did not relate very closely with the full spectrum of layered light. So I sketched out a new recipe for the Rainbow Velvet Cake Theory and gave it a taste test. The multi-colored layers of cake dovetailed nicely with the rainbow of colored light from a prism and provided a memorable backdrop for the five promises of light.
There was just one problem: the cake looked disgusting. Sure, it might be great for a kid’s birthday party with sparkly unicorns and glitter galore, but it just was not appetizing. What makes a better analogy? One that is more closely related to the original subject matter, or one that is more memorable in a positive way? So I trotted right back to where I started: Red Velvet Cake.
Now that looks like a slice of cake I could actually enjoy eating. The layers are piling up nicely, the icing looks creamy and delicious, and I’m ready for a fork.
And the cake has five layers to help us remember that light promises to help us do better, know more, feel better, focus clearly, and change easier.
Lighting, like Red Velvet, is better with layers. You may be able to take away a layer or two and still enjoy the experience, but it will not be quite as satisfying as the full piece.
Removing one layer also affects the power of the remaining layers. The promises of light are interdependent, contributing to each other while accomplishing their own unique tasks.
With each layer of light removed, with each layer of cake removed, our experience is transformed from enjoyment to disappointment.
Light in one layer, like a ceiling fan with lights, begins to harm as much as it helps. Cake in one layer just leaves us wanting more.
Lighting, like red velvet cake, is better in layers.