153. The introduction of light by the medium of a wire, which may be carried to any point in a room, encourages so many possibilities for comfort and effect that it behooves us to forget traditional customs which were established during the gaslight period. The introduction of gaslight through tubes was a rather complex problem, and the carrying of the pipes into the room through a main chandelier was the most advisable constructive form. But we have no need for such cumbersome fixture
A mere cord takes the place of an inch pipe. Modern German and Austrian lighting fixtures frequently are mere pendants, with the cord frankly in evidence. In this way the lights may be placed wherever needed—at the head of the lounge, so one may read more clearly by it; close by the piano; over the tea-table. In fact, supplementary lights to the general illumination are a convenience that the decorator should consider.
154. The lighting of a house is a matter so dependent upon æsthetic conditions that it is never within the scope of the electrician. It is a problem for a decorator alone to solve. Intense and glaring lights of unusual power must be avoided. Luminants of low intrinsic brilliancy are preferable.
155. The floor is the least important surface for illumination, and has no reflecting power of value. The walls vary in value according to their color and surface. With lights radiating upward, however, the ceiling possesses definite power, and should be considered.
156. Dark colors absorb light, while white and light colors reflect, and this must always be remembered; for upon the character of the decorations and furnishings of various rooms the quantity as well as the quality of light has serious influence.