R Zach




Around 6th grade, I wore all of my flashlights for Halloween. I had about 10.

I have always liked lights a lot. I have no idea why. As a child I used to pore through flashlight manufacturers' catalogs and knew all of the major brands and models of high quality flashlights.

Over the years I've built a variety of lights for the spaces I'm living or working. Here are some of the ones I had the presence of mind to photograph.

A nice salvaged lamp to illuminate a standing-height drafting table.
An old school gymnasium was demolished in the building I used to work in, and I found this fixture in the trash room. I schlepped it home but had no way to mount it, until I subsequently found the metal bracket on the street—two lucky finds into one lamp.
The inside of the reflector. The lamp has a mogul base, so I had to use a converter to put in the standard-base 150W equivalent CFL.
Homebrewed fixture for a small kitchen. It projects out from the top of the cabinet unit.
These bulbs are so nice and warm when they first turn on...and then (paradoxically) when they physically warm up the light becomes colder.
Made for my dorm room at college. A jumble of ten 15W frosted bulbs. Westinghouse made them with no markings—very beautiful.
Side view of a chandelier for a dining room. Note the one runaway bulb. It was held there by a thin piece of thread, nearly invisible.
Bottom view of the same. Note again the runaway hiding in the distance.
A sconce made from a discarded shipping tube.
When it gets scared, it retracts its bulbs.
Tree of variety.
Three of those nice Westinghouse bulbs, with a twist-lock 15A grounded plug as their base.
This light works well on the wall,
Or on a tabletop. To turn it off, just unplug.

Finally, a special purpose-built lighting design. While studying in Beijing, the rooms had an incredibly sickly blue-purple CFL glow at night, which made me crazy. I wanted to install my own incandescent lamps, but this wasn't allowed, and the housekeepers who came in every day were not tolerant of rulebreaking rebels like me.

Since the city water wasn't potable, there was always a surplus of empty plastic water bottles, which were convenient to keep on the top of the dresser. I realized that the translucent bottles were great hiding places for my secret lighting system. When the lights were off, it just looked like an unsuspicious bunch of bottles. Even the switch was obscured behind the dresser.

We were never found out, I recycled the bottles when I moved out, and light justice was served. ⁂

Creative Commons License  2014 Robert Zacharias