Modern Needs and Period Atmosphere

When designing the lighting for your period home, you need to reach a balance between modern demands and period atmosphere. For most people, a compromise has to be made between:

  • the desire to have a 'one switch' room, where one switch operates one or more lights which give enough of the right sort of light for most day-to-day activities
  • the complexity and difficulty of re-wiring rooms to give one switch operation
  • the expectation of bright lighting
  • convenience
  • the desire for period atmosphere

A good compromise is a high output central electric light with a dimmer, plus one or more additional light sources. These would include electric task and accent lights for day-to-day use, a fireplace for moving light, and perhaps one oil lamp for occasional use. This scheme would be used in the drawing and dining rooms and the hall, with a more simple version for other rooms.