Sunday, August 05, 2007

Leave the Porch Light Burning

Just as I've always had a "thing" for the Ner Tamid (Eternal Light found in every synagogue ), I've always had a "thing" for a porch light. Not just any porch light, really but one that's on -- a beacon in the dark. If it has a yellow bulb or yellow glass encasing the bulb, even better.
I've always felt that the yellow bulb is warmer and more welcoming.
I know my neighborhood rather well, thanks to being a dog owner who has to become a dog walker. As I pass each home, I determine if they appear to be welcoming. Sadly enough, no.
So many of the homes in the area do not even leave on outside lights, much less yellow-coated lights. They appear to be cold-looking, giving a "leave me alone and stay away from me" attitude with the lack of illumination.
There are homes that might not have a porch light on, but they have statuesque coach lights lining their walkway, beckoning the way to the front door with their bright, white light. Other houses have some feeble lighting lining their bushes and driveways, relying on the light of the sun to light up the way.
Other homes have glaring spotlights poking up from beneath bushes and greenery enhancing their front yards. Sometimes these spotlights are colorful with red, green or yellow hints of color to guide visitors to the front door.
Conservation of energy -- is that what keeps people from keeping their outside lights on? Or is it simply that if they don't illuminate the exterior of their homes, nobody will bother them after dark?