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Candlelight Reading Set-up

 
Posts: 40
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Hey all,
     I enjoy reading by candlelight, but I do often wish I could see the text better. Tonight I tried using a mirror to reflect some of the candlelight towards the page (as shown in the attached picture).

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to improve upon this design or use another design entirely for my nighttime candlelit reading.

thanks,
zym.
Photo-on-2011-01-01-at-19.39.jpg
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Mother Tree
Posts: 11351
Location: Portugal
1977
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Google 'lacemaker lamp' and see what comes up.



They used to use a candle and a glass globe filled with water arranged so that the light would illuminate their work, so it would probably be adaptable for use as a reading lamp.  I used to have a wonderful illustration of 'Jack be Nimble' jumping over a lace-maker's candlestick in a book of nursery rhymes written by Eric Kincaid, but I've given the book away now. 

Here's a useful link to more info and photos.

http://lace.lacefairy.com/Lace/Gallery/LaceLamps.html
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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You need to have the candles elevated about 1.5"-2" and set off to the side so they're not glaring into your eyes.  That way, the mirror will angle the light down on the page instead of across.
 
                          
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I tried a version of this lace lamp last night.
It could really work!

I used cleaned-out jars with label removed. (ready to recycle)
What was obvious to me is that the water magnifies and focuses the light and makes it much much brighter, but less diffuse.

In my case I had 4 small cylindrical jam jars and I would recommend olive jars because they are taller and bigger around.
The first try I made with a 1 gallon glass water jug. I worked really well and I am thinking the thicker the water the better. Maybe there is a point where that stops working.

So, picture this:  a corner shelf with 2 mirrors against the wall with 1 to 3 candles, in front of the mirrors, and 4 jelly or olive jars in front of the candles.
I bet you could see to read as well as with a book light, but the color of the candle is better than super bright led booklights!

This is a great old idea!
Thanks for this inspiration,

jeanna
 
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Many years ago I spent a Montana winter living in a dark sauna.  Using one candle and two shaving mirrors I was able to read just fine.  The mirrors are the kind that magnify your face on one side, flip it over and it sheds a regular reflection.  It took a bit of rigging but the outcome was bright.  The magnifying mirror created a bright beam that I focused on the book. 
 
Posts: 38
Location: london, england
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Mark Vander Meer wrote:
Many years ago I spent a Montana winter living in a dark sauna. 



a sauna? really?
 
Mark Vander Meer
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Yes, those were desperate times.  At least it was warm.  It was a good-sized sauna with a dressing room attached.  Sadly it burned down about 6 years ago, we replace it a few years ago with one very similar to the one that burned down.  Photo attached.  Folks regularly camp out in this sauna. 
Sauna-Burned-Deck.JPG
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dave brenneman
Posts: 38
Location: london, england
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Mark Vander Meer wrote:
Yes, those were desperate times. 



To paraphrase Herbert Morrison, "oh, the humidity!".

 
                                        
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White paint also helps with reflecting light.
Diffusing light though frosted glass/plastic can work too.

If you really want to increase the your lumens, you may want to consider using more than one candle.

You also might try a Fresnel lens for optimal lighthouse light effect.
 
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