Sunday, December 4, 2011

Life in Japan: Japanese Lighting

One thing that foreigners might find strange in Japan is the lighting in homes. Japanese homes mainly use bright fluorescent lights instead of incandescent bulbs. This picture you see is ours, a very typical Japanese ceiling light. Bulbs come in "Cool", or "Natural". Most people buy cool. Of course in America, we use fluorescent lights in offices or public places, but we think these lights feel artificial and prefer the softer, more natural light of incandescent bulbs in the home. For Japanese, incandescent lighting is too dark. This always strikes me as odd because of the Japanese love of nature and naturalness. But, I think there's another reason because fluorescent lights are more energy efficient and cost effective. The Japanese are always energy conscious. They've definitely got a point. My mother had lamps burning all the time all over the house, but it never seemed bright enough. The brighter fluorescent lights are easier to read and clean by, too.

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