Light has the ability to affect us in more ways than just visually. It also has psychological and biological effects that can have an impact on our health and wellbeing. Light can improve or disrupt our sleep. It can affect our cognition skills, and it can heighten emotions.
Light’s ability to affect our emotions has been much in evidence in recent weeks in London, where various forms of lighting have been cleverly used to not only help us remember and reflect but also to give us hope for the future and something to look forward to.
Light as a powerful symbol of remembrance
November 11th, 2018 marked the centenary of the end of the First World War. All over the UK and beyond, people came together to commemorate and remember the millions of people that gave their lives throughout the conflict. In London, the fallen were remembered in many different ways, but perhaps none more poignant than through the new installation at the capital’s iconic Tower of London.
Anyone who was lucky enough to brave the crowds to see ‘Beyond the Deepening Shadow: The Tower Remembers’ will have been struck by the moving ritual where 10,000 individual candles were lit to acknowledge the lives lost during the conflict and the ultimate sacrifice made by so many; a spectacle which took four hours to evolve into a breathtaking display of flames and a powerful symbol of remembrance.
Despite the enormous crowds, anyone who attended couldn’t help but be touched by the flickering lights. By lighting these candles as symbols of eternal life, it meant that their lives wouldn’t be forgotten, and that their sacrifice would always be respected.
Light as a symbol of celebration and hope
During the same week, London was bathed in more twinkling lights as the city’s Christmas lights were turned on. From Oxford Street to Carnaby Street, the famous London thoroughfares became awash with festive cheer, and over the next few weeks, more and more lights will appear as darkness falls.
During holiday periods, we love to fill our homes with shimmering lights, but the tradition started centuries ago when people lit candles during ancient winter solstice celebrations as a way of remembering that spring would soon be on the way.
As Christianity took hold, candles were lit to represent the star of Bethlehem, but other religions also use light to add cheer during the winters, including the Jews who light up a menorah during Hanukkah and the Hindus who have their own Festival of Light, Diwali.
And so, when special celebrations come around, we feel the need to fill our homes with light, both inside and out.
Lights are not just for Christmas
In modern times, battery and solar powered lighting ensures that we can illuminate our homes during the holiday season without needing to light candles. But, of course, lights are not just for Christmas or other religious celebrations; they’re an integral part of modern living and interior design.
So why not ring the changes this Yuletide by installing lighting that will last longer than the advent period? From traditional antique brass finish star lanterns to magnificent chandeliers and pendants that glisten and glitter as the light catches the crystals, there are so many beautiful light fittings to choose from which will give your home a festive feel all year round.
Whether you prefer a modern or traditional aesthetic in your home, or your tastes are flamboyant or minimalist, you’ll find an impressive array of stunning centrepieces that will illuminate your home in style throughout the year. So why not visit your local lighting store in London, choose a new light installation and dedicate it to someone you love this Christmas?