Compact fluorescent lamp
CFLs, compact fluorescent lamps, are as aesthetically pleasing as a concrete block! If given the choice... I would probably pick an illuminated concrete block. Ok, sorry; enough of the soapbox chat.
On to a more pleasing lighting subject -- candles. Let's face it, candles are fairly simple technology. And, there is something magical about their light. I firmly believe that the world looks better on a dimmer switch and by candlelight.
To prove my point, here are some examples...
Luminaries have been used for centuries. Tradition has it that luminaries lit the way for Mary and Joseph in their search for lodging in Bethlehem. (Who knew?) Today, we use them more for their aesthetic beauty rather than for absolute illumination. These white luminary bags, pictured on my patio, were purchased in bulk from eBay. If using real candles, make certain to use flame resistant bags... otherwise, you might burn down the neighborhood. And, don't forget to add some sand to the bottom of the bag to weigh them down.
Like luminaries, lanterns are a great outdoor statement. They look amazing at the front door or along a sidewalk for path lighting. And, lanterns are beautiful around patios or lounge furniture. The ones pictured are from Restoration Hardware.
Hurricane lamps, or indoor candle lanterns, probably originated around the time of Alfred the Great (849-899AD). They are as functional as they are beautiful, and hurricanes are available in a wide range of sizes and price points.
Candlesticks... the slightly histrionic variety
Double candlesticks. This binary candleholder, by Mikaela Dörfel, draws from her upbringing in Finland and life now in Germany. The solid steel bodies and curved, lissome arms suggest a couple united, harmoniously, in a dancing embrace. Display one, display several.
Sterling Silver Bubble Candlesticks, Daan Brouwer, 2008. The designer describes them as a set of polished sterling silver candlesticks shaped like a tower of stacked bubbles.
Distortion candlesticks. Designer Paul Loebach gives his creation its unique twist by using state-of-the-art technology: from computer design to special 3D printers to the final result, these whimsical candelabras are the embodiment of delight, pure and simple. Made overseas of crushed marble mixed with resin.
Since it is Friday, go get yourself some candles, turn off those pesky CFLs and enjoy the weekend.