Tuesday, May 27, 2014


The sun sets over the Battery and one of the most noticeable images becomes the faint flickers that seem to glow up and down every street. These tiny flames may be on fence posts, fronts of houses and shops, or even standing tall above a light post. They provide a dim light, unlike the bright porch lights most of us are accustomed to seeing at front doors; instead providing an ever so slight flame to dispel the darkness from becoming a blinding blackness in a moonless night.

I remember an evening home tour where we had maps in hand trying to maneuver the route in the pouring rain, thankful we had packed rain jackets. As we ran from one covered alley way to another make-shift shelter along the streets, charting our way through the darkness, we were thankful for the ever so subtle street lights and these ever present lanterns.

Could this have been what the nights looked like when Charleston was founded? Maybe so, with the exception of these street lamps and the electric lights from the windows. While the rain brought an even deeper darkness, the streets which were worn uneven from years of wear made for a night time adventure as we darted from one street to another in search of the next home on the tour.

As I started searching for porch lights to hang on either side of my front doors, I realized these weren't meant to provide bright light for evening guests. There are other lights to provide for the security of our guests. These front porch lights are to provide a setting that might have been provided by candles had my home been built 100 years ago. I'm buying ambiance instead of lighting.

Kichler's Mount Vernon lanterns appear to hang on hooks, just as if they had been readied for the evening and hung to provide light for visitors.

Visual Comfort's Sussex lantern houses a reflector mirror at the back so the candle light is doubled, much as a lantern might have been made in early America.

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