Do you need a light like Needlite?

Needlite ™ daylight desk lamp | H is for Home

The clocks go back at midnight on Sunday, heralding the start of daylight saving time and winter. Justin doesn’t mind it, but it’s not a time of year that I look forward to – the long nights get me down-in-the-dumps. I find it hard to wake up and get going in the morning. It used to be much more of a struggle back when I commuted every day – waking up in the dark, coming home in the dark and spending those few precious daylight hours cooped up indoors. Does your mood change when the clocks go back in the autumn?

Boxed Needlite ™ daylight desk lamps | H is for Home

Needlite ™ has recently sent us a pair of their daylight desk lamps to try out and review. They’re LED lights which emit a similar spectrum of light that you get from sunshine. They help alleviate negative mood changes and depression from the lack of natural light; and in so doing, can help improve work performance, productivity and creativity.

Needlite ™ daylight desk lamp | H is for Home

They’ve been set up, at the advised 45º angle, either side of a large table which we use for both office and craft activities – a simple, two-minute job. They’re sleek and minimalist – and look really great.

Needlite ™ iPhone app screenshots | H is for Home

You can operate the lights manually by finger touch control – or alternatively, you have the option of downloading an app for your smartphone (another 2-minute job) and controlling them that way. You can alter the brightness/dimness and even give yourself a little daylight boost if necessary.  You can also use the app to programme them to switch off at a particular time – a great way of letting you know that your working day is over!

Needlite ™ daylight desk lamps | H is for Home

I could feel the positive effects immediately – my mood lifting on the dark, drizzly day that we took these photos. Our work room faces almost east, therefore loses direct sunlight pretty early on in the day. With our new Needlite lamps, it will make it feel like it’s south facing!

I think they’re going to be a godsend this winter and they come highly recommended for fellow Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers.

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Pretty Green Mathmos lava lamp collab

Pretty Green x Mathmos lava lamp | H is for Home

We’ve never actually owned a lava lamp – so were very happy to receive one of the new, limited-edition versions produced by the original manufacturers Mathmos in collaboration with Liam Gallagher’s men’s fashion company, Pretty Green.

Box containing a Pretty Green x Mathmos lava lamp | H is for Home

The Astro lava lamp is such a design classic – the idea of Edward Craven-Walker who founded the Mathmos company. The name ‘Mathmos’ actually comes from the French comic strip, Barbarella (later made into the cult classic film starring Jane Fonda). Mathmos is the bubble liquid force under the city – the choice of name becomes obvious when you see them in action. Introduced in 1963, it was an instant success, an icon of sixties and seventies interior décor. Their appeal has really stood the test of time. There have been all kinds of innovations and special editions, however the basic principal remains the same – and Mathmos is still going strong over 50 years later.

Recently switched on Pretty Green x Mathmos lava lamp | H is for Home Warmed up Pretty Green x Mathmos lava lamp | H is for Home

We opted to receive the pink and orange colourway for our Astro lamp. The lovely warm glow filled the room from the moment of plug in. As the lamp heats, the contents come to life. Initially stalagmite-like shapes form – then the classic globules develop. These globules gently rise, split apart and fall back down. Then they do it all over again, with slight variations to the movements and shapes formed each time. Edward Craven-Walker likened it to a repeating life cycle.

Pretty Green x Mathmos lava lamp on a vintage Ladderax shelving system | H is for Home

The atmosphere and warmth that they give to a space is quite unique – and they’re mesmeric to watch of course. If you’re in the mood to relax, there’s a little 2 minute clip below – just long enough to fall under its spell! (P.S. If you hear heavy breathing in the background, that’s Fudge our dog, not Justin falling asleep whilst holding the camera).

When it comes to lava lamps, don’t be tempted by lesser imitations. The brand authenticity, quality of materials, colour intensity and lifespan are all important factors that make the classic Mathmos the only real choice. In fact replacement bottles, bulbs and bases mean that your Mathmos lava lamp should last a lifetime.

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Retro industrial duty hand lamp

Retro industrial task lamp | H is for Home

We often write about industrial lighting of the vintage variety; task lamps that have been rescued from the mills, factories and workshops of the North of England. Not everyone likes vintage – some people are happier with new versions that have the look, and are in mint condition and spotless. We were contacted by PIB to review one such item – their industrial duty hand lamp.

Retro industrial task lamp | H is for Home

Sometimes you can view items online and they look great, but then when they arrive you’re disappointed by the quality. Definitely not the case with this item. It’s got weight and solidity to it, with nice detailing and an excellent finish. It’s a good large size too, measuring 45cm in length.

Detail from a retro industrial task lamp | H is for Home

The bulb cage is made of silver-plated brass with a stained wooden handle.

Retro industrial task lamp | H is for Home

We’re big fans of this type of lamp as they’re both functional and attractive, adding a touch of vintage industrial style to any space.

Retro industrial task lamp | H is for Home

They’re also very flexible when it comes to use.

Retro industrial task lamp | H is for Home

There’s the practical task lamp facility to start with – a lamp that can easily be moved around the house, garage or workshop for bright, directional light.

Retro industrial task lamp | H is for Home

And when it comes to decorative use their are a host of options. They can be hung from the long flex and attached to the ceiling, they can hang from wall mounts and hooks – or they can simply lie flat on shelves and tables. There’s no risk of fire or damage as the cage protects surfaces from the direct heat of the bulb.

Retro industrial task lamp | H is for Home

We’ve been trying it out in various sites this week and have become very fond of it already.

Retro industrial task lamp | H is for Home

We’ve got lots of dark corners in our house, so it’s going to come in useful. It also works well with other industrial look pieces that we have.

Retro industrial task lamp | H is for Home

It’s most definitely a keeper!!

Box fresh!

Vintage Anglepoise lamp and original box | H is for Home

We’ve had lots of these classic Herbert Terry Anglepoise lamps over the years, but we’ve never had a box fresh example before. In fact, we’ve never seen an original box until now.

Mint condition, vintage Anglepoise lamp | H is for Home

The earlier, stepped-base Anglepoise lamps have firm followers, but this early 1970s version also has devoted fans… and, along with the very similar 1960s Model 75, it’s probably our favourite shape. This site will show you the various Terry-designed Anglepoise lamps available to hunt out – or help you date your own vintage Anglepoise.

Box label of mint condition, vintage Anglepoise lamp | H is for Home

This Model 90 is available in a variety of colourways. As you can see from the packaging, it’s mushroom grey in this case.

Mint condition, vintage Anglepoise lamp | H is for Home

Some people like their vintage homewares with a bit of wear & tear – others prefer to search out pristine examples.

Name stamp on a vintage Anglepoise lamp | H is for Home

If you’re the latter, this could be the lamp for you… fully working, and hidden away for 40 years. We can’t guarantee it’s unused, but it certainly looks it!

Chalkware Japanese lady lamp

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

We picked up this lovely lady yesterday!

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

She’s a vintage 1950s Duron chalkware or plaster lamp… and the best example we’ve ever come across. Not only the design, but condition too – they’re often chipped and a bit tatty. The painted decoration is all original. It has twin bulb fittings and works perfectly.

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

We tend to steer away from what’s termed as ‘kitsch’, but the occasional example sometimes takes our fancy. We like the classic Tretchikoff girl prints… and this Japanese geisha has a similar vibe going on.

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

The lamp can either stand on a horizontal surface or can be hung on a wall.

Rear view of a vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

Here’s a view of the maker’s mark for collectors.

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

We’ll be a bit sorry to see her go actually, but go she must. The lamp is heading to our antiques centre space tomorrow. Sayonara lovely lady!

5 Lighting hacks to make your room look bigger

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small kitchen-diner with white opaque globe light shadescredit

If your home is on the small side you’ll need to be creative to get the very most out of every little space you have. Even people with bigger homes want to make the most of the rooms they have.

There are a wide variety of decorating and lighting hacks & techniques you can use to help you give the impression of more space. Here are just a few simple ideas that can be used to achieve a lighter, brighter and bigger-looking room.

bulb pendant light hanging over table & chairs in a sitting roomcredit

  1. Pendant lights

One simple way to make a room look bigger – and to free up some much needed space – is to replace any floor or table lamps with pendant lights. These can have adjustable cords fitted so that you can raise or lower them for different occasions. Remember to angle your lighting so not to cast shadows over corners of your room. If you don’t want permanently bright lighting you could always have dimmer switches fitted so that you can lower the intensity of the lighting at night.

If you want to keep your electricity costs down then fitting low energy lighting, such as LED spotlights or small ceiling lights, will all help keep the your bills to a minimum. If you use lighting well you’ll feel like you have a big, bright space to enjoy and pendants should help in this quest.

Pair of large angled wall-mounted bedside lightscredit

  1. Wall lighting

Pendants aren’t the only way in which lighting can help to make the most of your room. The use of wall lighting, as described in this Mirror article, can help point light upwards and, if you have a brilliant white ceiling, the effect can be amazing. This not only makes your room look lighter, but it can also make the space look bigger. Up lighting will also free up much needed space.

You could have LED strip lighting fitted to the underside of shelving to give the room a warm feeling and these will also illuminate and show off you favourite books or ornaments – making them into bright features instead of dark ‘space eaters’.

Round convex mirror above a fireplace in a small sitting roomcredit

  1. Mirror Mirror

The use of mirrors hanging opposite the windows in a room can help reflect some much needed light and can give the impression of more space. You should try hanging the mirror on different walls until you get the ideal effect, you’ll be surprised how much larger you can make a room look as they reflect the light in effective ways.
Even a small mirror can make a lot of difference to the smallest of areas and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Another great look using mirrors is to hang two or three side by side this can have a similar effect to purchasing artwork.

Brightly-coloured, wallpapered bathroom wallcredit

  1. Painting your walls

An article on the House Beautiful website explains how you can use different bright colours on walls to help give the illusion of space. Light and bright shades are the order of the day to make the most of this technique.

If you do decide to paint one wall a dark colour then make sure that all the other walls are brilliant white or just have a hint of light colour – and don’t make your dark wall the one that gets the most natural light as this will spoil any chance of making the room feel bigger. You could also experiment with different types of wallpaper to give your room a special look. Some wallpapers have patterns that show up best under lights, pick one that really sparkles for a fun effect.

Some large DIY stores have 3D computer software online that can show you how a space would look once it has certain furniture and décor fitted. Model your colour scheme and see just what difference colour can make when combined with lighting.

Pastel colour painted kid's bedroom with floral roman blindscredit

  1. Changing your furniture, flooring & fittings

You’ll be surprised how much difference you can make to a room by just moving your furniture around or by changing the type of flooring you have. When it comes to furniture, why not try two or three different arrangements over the course of a week and see which works best? Don’t just do this in the day time either. You need to see what the effect of natural daylight and lighting is on these items.

The use of striped carpets or rugs can give the impression that the room is longer than it actually is. If your carpets are looking a bit tired you could either lay new laminate flooring or, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, then you could just lay some new rugs down.

Tidying away any clutter and clearing the window spaces obscured by heavy curtains can also make a room look more spacious. Allow the light to stream into a room by replacing your curtains with blinds.

You can essentially control three elements in your room: the lighting, the colour scheme and what’s inside the room. Tinker with all three of these, while keeping an eye on how to maximise the natural light you get in, to make your room feel as big as possible.

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