Why we use lamps, lanterns, candles and heaters


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Why we use lamps, lanterns, candles and heaters

by  "A lantern lover"

I have about 30 miscellaneous lanterns I have collected over the years. I far prefer candle or lantern light, it calms and is gentle. Consider the difference between a candle lit dinner table or drawing room over even the the most subtle of electric lighting in the same venue. People seem enchanted by the allure of the warming, gentle glow of even a small, wavering, radiant flame. Perhaps there is a curious, primordial resonance to fire. I am fortunate (or not) to live in an 1830 captains house in Mass with 6 fireplaces. Guests are mesmerized and seemingly more gentle when seated around a fire. Think of the appeal of fire pits, bon fires, even bbqs.

I wax on. There is, in my opinion, an innate human attraction to flame /light/ fire/warmth. This is not hard to understand.

Perhaps lanterns are a remembrance/talisman of something from a long time ago. Why do people from all over the world still light fires and lamps and candles when they don't need them?

Many human celebrations involve fire from the Yule Log to fireworks. The realization and eventual mastery of fire is a story unto itself.

The lantern represents the mastery and "capturing" of this seemingly life giving force. It also made flame "transportable". It is not hard to understand why so many of the worlds most talented designers have bent their talents toward this task.

There is the art of the lantern and the question of "why". The answer may lay in our attraction to "the flame" which on one hand enhances our lives, and on the other, destroys it.

Enough philosophy for tonight.

Be well, "A lantern lover" from Mass.


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