Light on the subject

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  • Photo: Paul van de Loo

To counteract any post-holiday blues, any blues really, experts warn us about, keep some kindly lights glowing — just a string or two decorative lights outdoors on the trees and shrubs and, yes, whatever our faith or no faith, inside our homes. Keep kindly lights glowing, in general, because they are best for our emotional and physical health.

And I’m talking about incandescents that also make us, our apparel and surroundings, “look their best.” Now “people looks” shouldn’t matter, but ‘till the revolution. But surroundings do matter — a lot — to our total well-being. And attention must be paid.

Ah, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for saving energy, cutting the dollar cost, cooling the climate, but only when they “first do no harm.” They must not depress or oppress us as the glaringly bright LED street lights do. But where “energy-efficients” must be used, then the warm-whites depress and oppress less than the cool-whites do. Yes they exist, Virginia.

And I sure thought a lot about that in my recent hospital and nursing-home stays — and how the medical community can’t see that lighting in these places of healing should be warm-white, not cool-white, and surely not excessive. The walls should be a warm color too. Ah, a health-related sidetrack that needs all out attention, is how hands-on-medical care has been replaced by hands-on computers checking on patient care. Hospitals and nursing homes can be the loneliest places — and if anything is bad for our health. Infinitely more must be said about that.

But to stay with the “good-for-us” lighting — it’s so especially needed in schools, work places and other everyday places.

Policy-makers, including environmentalists, just haven’t done their homework — or some just don’t have the vision to see that reducing the excessive wattage that more and more bombards the landscape, is the healthy “first-do-no-harm” way to save lighting energy.

And again, no matter, that energy-efficients cost less and last longer — the trade-off is far too great — indeed harmful. Again, cool the climate in ways that “First do no harm.” (Say that again and again. Please.)

Ah, a future column will again address saving small business but how we long to see any lights in their windows now darkened by epidemic closures. Again, such loss poses not only obvious hardships, but they’re surely a factor social scientists now warn big-time about if we’re to combat growing epidemics of loneliness. Big brick and mortar biz is also at risk. And I think of that long ago all too timely lyric, “... and every town is a lonely town.”

Will you please think of it too? Sing it as a rallying song to restore and preserve small business and brick and mortar public places. And of course, restore and preserve the lighting that makes us look and, above all, feel better.

It can be done if enough of us try.

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