There is a at the end of the  t  u  n  n  e  l...


… and it is coming from my Phillips 11W Energy Saving ‘Warm White’ bulb. It gives a nice orangey glow to everything and makes my heart stop beating at the sight of all that food on my dining table. Question : Ever stop to wonder why expensive restaurants always serve you in glow dim environments and hawker centers always show you EXACTLY what you’re eating? (including that lizard and roach on the veggie)…. that’s it, think about it. Price aside, everything does look more appetizing when you can’t see it clearly…. strange isn’t it? No stranger to misdirection, I have followed that truism and installed two of the above bulbs over my dining table…. Now even my wife’s cooking looks good enough to eat….yes, dear. Oh no, dear. I won’t do it again, dear.

Act Two :
Cut scene; to a Hifi demonstration room. The lights are turned down, the music is trumming and the listener’s eyes are closed with a look of dreaminess/concentration (* delete where applicable). A bit more of this and he has to be carted out for coma revival, so blissful is he or he’d buy anything the dealers suggests if he could afford to.
Cut scene; to an open wall hifi layout in SLS and listen to the salesman demo your chosen amp/cd player on his 3000w PMPO 3-way super reflex speaker, with bass so big it gives you a new hairdo. Even if it sounds good, it sounds bad. Besides, all that cables, dust, finger print marks and spittle specks (from karaoke yodeling) everywhere combined with the zits on his face are enough to turn you off Hifi for good.

So it's true. Lighting affects your mood, and that affects your state of mind, and that affects the weight of your wallet. Interesting chain of events isn’t it?. But are we to say that this type of presentation is wrong? That such a move is pure marketing strategy and not honest selling? Purists may argue that it is an unscrupulous way of playing with the feelings of the buyer instead of using the bare truth…. me? you can suck up to me anytime, and I am as likely to buy something from you as well as not. Look back again at the reason for listening to Hifi. - It is to appreciate Music or (at the worst), the accurate reproduction of sound. Either way, when I listen to my Hifi, I’m looking to enjoy myself…. and THAT is a state of mind that I will want to achieve…. so if turning down the lights to a warm glow that reflects my full tummy helps, I’m doing it.

How hard can it be? If you can tie your shoe laces, you can change a light bulb (How many audiophiles does it take to change a lightbulb? – None. Audiophiles don’t need light ‘cos they have the glow from their vacuum tubes!) …. as long as the connectors are the same and the wattage is the same, you should have no problems putting it back. Bring you bulb along if you aren’t sure and the happy staff behind the counter of your nearby Handy-FIX DIY (they are everywhere nowadays) will be glad to assist you. You should be looking for the ‘Warm White’ type and not the ‘Daylight’ type. Ask for ‘yellow light’ if you still can’t get it right (dummy!). Also, it is best if you go for the new expensive-funny-looking-Low-Watt Energy Saving bulbs, it will cost less in the long run and you will be helping to save the whales in Alaska and I get a cut of the takings for promoting them here.

Oh yes, you can replace fluorescent tubes to the same color too, but your children won’t be able to do their homework in that room anymore….isn’t that a shame?

Alternatively, you can invest in one of those sexy uplighters that project their light against the ceiling for a reflected glow. Most of them come with dimmers so you can control your mood even more! (That’s amazing!… a built in emotion chip!)

So if you haven’t done it yet, give it a shot. You will be surprised how much more focused your speakers sound; greater clarity and depth becomes apparent with softer lighting , and the soundstage will envelope you completely in total darkness (this IS a HiFi site after all - <grin>). Best upgrade to your system you’ve had in years….just don’t break anything stumbling around in the dark.