The light touch

Phillips Sceneswitch lighting | Design Hunter

It's been one of those typical gloomy winters (weather wise that is), and so like many others we've found ourselves staying in more and watching lots of box sets and films on TV. If like us, you're happy to chill at home during the dark winter evenings rather than venturing out, then getting the ambience right is as important as the design of your home itself.

Granted light bulbs might not be the most exciting objects in the home, but bear with me on this, as so often with design it's the little things that make a big difference. We've been using the Philips SceneSwitch light bulbs on a daily basis for over a month now, and as promised in my previous post here's a report back on how we've found them. Each bulb has three different settings - from bright light (100%) when you need full illumination, to a slightly softer more natural light (40%) or the lowest setting (10%) which emits a cosy warm glow when you just require a little mood lighting. They are easy to control via our regular wall switches and they've become a simple but key part of changing the look and feel of our living room every evening.

Phillips Scenswitch bulbs | Design Hunter

Of course dimmer switches offer the promise of infinite light settings to suit your mood, but in reality most of us are happy with just a few different options. In this sense it's not unlike having hundreds of channels on your TV, or dozens of different programs on your washing machine. Do you actually need that much choice? At the end of the day we usually know what we like and don't need endless different options in order to perform basic household functions. We've found that the three different settings on the SceneSwitch bulbs offer all the options you really need and with the added bonus of being very simple to install and use. They are easily controlled via your existing light switches and the built in memory feature automatically remembers the setting you opted for last time, so that you don't have to flick through the different options until you arrive at your favourite.

We don't have dimmers installed everywhere at home so these have been a great  for us. We've used them on several of our favourite lamps including this Romeo table lamp in the living room.  

Flos Romeo table lamp with Philips Sceneswitch bulb | Design Hunter

They've also been perfect for the Gubi pendant light above our dining table where we've previously struggled to find a bulb that offers just the right level of light - soft and intimate for mealtimes but also bright enough to allow us to occasionally use the table as a workspace. Oh and they look pretty good too which is another consideration for statement lights where the light bulb is exposed.

So all in all we've found them a really simple but effective solution. Sometimes less definitely is more.

Words by Graham Powell and images by Helen Powell in collaboration with Philips.