Brilliant light

Let there be…

Now, depending on where you are in the world, it might not be the middle of Summer, but there are days here when it sure feels like we are. 

Summers in the UK are not actually like many people in the UK imagine Summers to be, which might be why South Devon is sometimes called the English Riviera(!) In reality it usually isn’t.

But then there are days when the sky is blue, with not a cloud in the sky, and the sun beams.  Sometimes bright sunny days even come two or three in a row. Be still my beating heart!

Light at work

In the workshop, the natural light that streams in on a summery, cloudless, sunny day is like nothing you get at any other time of year. Wood shines, every grain bursts with colour, and surface imperfections scream out at you begging for attention. Get it right, and the diffused light that comes through your skylights will create no shadows, but rather bounce off every surface and light all the surfaces of whatever you’re working on. For a detail obsessed maker, this light is heaven to work in.

So it’s really weird how hopeless makers are at working out how to get light like this for the rest of the year… especially when the rest of the year in the UK can mean the other 355 days when the sun isn’t shining and clouds are most definitely not “less”. 

A good workshop should have tons of natural light sources through windows and skylights and (AND!) brilliant artificial light. In the past, that might have meant a good number of buzzing, flickering fluorescent tubes which can be irritating. Now there is no excuse. 

Rowden has them, our place is converting to them, but holy cow, you would not believe the quality and amount of light that comes from LED tubes. Clean, clear, non-irritating (and cheap!) light. They are a marvel.

Sunshine on a rainy day, sunshine every day, that is what it should feel like in a workshop, and now it’s as easy as L E D.

Until next time,



David established Rowden Atelier in 1995, a now world renowned fine woodworking school. Discover Rowden, the woodworking courses, and the work that students go on to do.

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