When my partner and I decided to move in together, I promised I would make our home bright and lumenated and optimized in ways that matter. So early on I bought three lamps (and fairy lights for the bedroom) and bought the brightest possible lightbulbs in lumens I could get on Amazon and made a lot of mistakes because it turns out in the UK there are like 4 kinds of standard lightbulbs including like mini ones with mini little threads that made me feel like I had bought a toy and tried to install it into a real life electronic device.
And I asked him if it was good, and he said it was.
And then four months later, I thought, "but couldn't it be a lot brighter in here?" and he said "yes" and I realized I had not held to my promise at all, so I doubled the number of lamps in the living room, and I asked him if it was good, and he said it was.
And then two months after that, I thought "but couldn't it be a lot brighter in here?" and he said "yes" and I realized I had not held to my promise at all and I decided to Actually Try and apply as much Dakka as it took and follow the instructions here but they weren't that helpful because it's the wrong Amazon, so I found equivalents and made mistakes and did a bunch of arts and crafts and this is what I now have in my apartment. It's likely nowhere near ideal, and I would be thrilled to get to add better options.
Here's what it looks like (understanding that taking pictures of light is...uh). You can see the wonkiness of the lanterns and the vast differences in colors. Having all cool lights would be definitely overwhelming. Having two lamps next to each other is definitely not very aesthetic (and that’s repeated elsewhere in the room) but it’s worth it for now.
With all the lights on, it’s quite bright and cheery! The socket lights were so bright that as I hang out here in the evening, I wanted them off. I like getting to have just the soft lights in the room (in the lamps + fairy lights, not sockets since I can only turn on that whole thing at once) for evening ambiance and adjust as necessary.
I have a couple recommendations in case you're interested in improving the aesthetics of the loopy cord.
One is that you can buy a white version of the same cord, which just blends into the wall a lot better.
The other is that, instead of having it loop down for each bulb like that, you can string it taut across the command hooks, and when you get to the end of the wall, you can turn around and double the cord back on itself (maybe even three or four times?).
Also, I'm assuming you're not using nails because of landlord preferences or something, but if you did want to use nails instead of command hooks, the cord you're using has little hole loops made for hanging on nails, one above each socket. And also note that on a white wall, you can very easily fix nail holes by filling them with spackle!
Thanks for writing this up Chana! Helped me prep for my first winter in the UK :)
it turns out that the Litake brand which I bought first doesn't quite reach long enough into the socket to get the threads to meet, and so I had to return them to get the LOHAS brand.
I came across a problem like this before, and it was kind of a manufacturing/assembly defect. The contact at the bottom of the socket is meant to be bent up to give a bit of spring tension to connect to the bulb, but mine were basically flat. You can take a tool (what worked best for me was a multitool's can opener) and bend the tab up more so it can contact bulbs that don't screw in far enough. UNPLUG IT FIRST though
Sounds scary, but thank you for the model of what's actually going on!
How do you use these without squinting all the time?
I've tried a couple of 7k lumen corn bulbs in my ceiling-mounted light fixture in my office, but I find myself squinting all the time.
Maybe it's something to do with it being point sources?
If you have strange sockets or strange bulbs to use, look for adapters between them. China makes a lot of various adapters for pretty cheap. Standardizing one's home on a single bulb base type (I use E26) feels very worthwhile, as you only need one stash of spare lightbulbs and everything Just Works.
Go to your local hardware or home improvement store and see what lighting is sold for use in garages. Do not be afraid to use "garage" lighting in the home. For instance, I hung one of these above my kitchen sink (using a curtain rod between the cabinets on either side as a convenient thing to hang it from) and it turns out that doing dishes in a few thousand lumens is a vastly preferable experience to doing the same chore in a few hundred.
In your particular setup, may I suggest placing some garage or garden light fixtures on top of the closet so that they shine up onto the ceiling and reflect around the room? That space seems particularly promising for it, since dropping a heap of light there would simulate having the sun shining in through a high window at midday.
When figuring out how to control lights, I've seen a lot of smart plugs that can be controlled by a remote or phone app, and there are always those mechanical or digital timers that people use while traveling to turn a lamp or TV on at certain hours and deter burglars.
100% agreed on simulating sunlight during the day and firelight in the evening. Warm color temp lights at low lumens from small point sources help the brain wind down at night; cooler color temps at high lumens filling the whole room help the brain wake up through the day.
When I was in the UK I bought one of these floodlights. You have to attach your own plug but that's easy enough. More frustrating is there's a noticeable flicker, and the CRI's pretty poor.
On the upside it's £70, compact, simple, and 40k lumens.
Oh woah! Thanks for linking.
I am too lazy to do this so just did this and it is good:
If you want light, the term you need to know is corn bulb (also available in screw fit).
Tried to buy those, didn't have any luck finding ones that fit nicely into my sockets! (An embarassing mistake I didn't describe in detail is buying corn bulbs that turned out to be...mini?) If you have an amazon UK link for ones with E27 threading, that would be awesome.ETA: Having looked, it looks like not all corn bulbs are brighter than the ones I have, though I have now found 2000 lumen ones. I don't know if corn bulbs are still better if they have lower lumens. I would guess not?ETA 2: The link above does have E27 if you click through the multiple listings in the same link, wasn't obvious to me at first, thanks!
I think you can find 6000 lumen E26/27 corn bulbs relatively easily: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T3GQB5J/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_i_1X8ZFHR91SCX5R63RQWW?psc=1
This brand also has 10,000 lumen versions if you're willing to use an adapter, but it's probably easier to just use two of the E26/27 version.
One downside compared to your current setup is that these are 60-100W, so I'd be a little worried about covering them with paper lanterns.
Unfortunately I'm not seeing anything close to that on the Amazon UK site :/
Might be bad search skills, though.
It seems like there's less of them, but searches like "60w led corn bulb e26" find a few results: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=60w+led+corn+bulb+e26&i=lighting
True! 65 Watts! That would really be something.
Click on green text, or Amazon UK have a search box, and Google ads displays a 4000 lumen bulb.
Your link's lightbulbs have a bayonet style, not the E27 threading :) Thanks for the other link! Amazon says currently unavailable.ETA: Found some, will add to post