We survived one week with no electrical lights in our house. It was . . . well, it was dark in multiple ways.
First of all, we will say that one of the hardest parts of the week was just breaking the habit of hitting the light switch every time we walked into a room. We had to be intentional about not touching the light switches except for the rooms with fans; and for those, we just made sure the light-bulb part of the fan was turned off.
At the beginning of the week, we rounded up our candles and flashlights, and also ran to Target to get a battery-operated lantern. The blessing of doing this in the summer is that there are more hours of daylight during the day, so we did not have to use the supplementary lights as often as we would have if we had tried this challenge in January.
Most mornings weren’t bad with plenty of golden sunlight streaming in, plus our mornings are so fast-moving that we don’t have much time to try to accomplish things besides the essentials like making a quick breakfast and packing our lunch.
Putting on makeup was an inconvenience this week. Bethany had to move one of our mirrors into a room with ample lighting. It was a pain moving from room to room to get what she needed to finish her hair and makeup in the mornings. Not impossible, but definitely not convenient.
Joshua’s mornings were darker than Bethany’s because 1) he gets up earlier and 2) he works out in the lowest level of our house, where there are no windows. He made do with either doing some fitness things outside or using the lantern to illuminate the room where he uses his equipment.
Our evenings were interesting. This is when we found that our concern at the start of the week was, in fact, true: the darkness did affect our moods. The lighting was different than in the mornings, which meant less overall. We still opened blinds and the front door to let light in through the storm door, but our living room was a bit dim. It made doing anything productive after 8 pm nigh impossible.
We have a covered porch in the back. We will talk about the positives of that momentarily, but it is worth mentioning that it does negatively impact the amount of light that comes in via the large dining room window at the rear of the house. Preparing dinner was a bit of a challenge because while we did have some natural light, it was sometimes difficult to tell if something was fully cooked, or if we had peeled all the skin off a carrot. So we did end up using our lantern for things like that.
We just felt very blah and boring in the evenings, sometimes a bit down for no real reason. We also found that the darkness made us feel less productive, so there was more clutter by the end of the week than normal.
However, we spent more time outside on our screened-in porch this past week! It was a wonderful opportunity for us to enjoy the outdoors and stretch the amount of light we had at our disposal.
We thoroughly enjoyed reading, conversing, and playing games outside in the dusk. Once the sun set though, we were almost always ready to go straight to sleep. It was definitely an odd week.
Looking back we realized how important lights are to our overall mood and productivity, especially in the evenings. We are hoping to be more intentional and efficient in how we use our lights, but we definitely plan to keep things brighter.
We are excited to have the lights back on and head into our next weekly adventure.