Fill your house with joyful light

Readers, today I’m delighted to welcome team member Ginger Horton to share about a book that changed her life in the most practical of ways. Ginger is our Community Manager for the Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club. Take it away, Ginger!

My favorite books are the kind that teach me something. But my very favorite books make me change something in my actual life as a result of what I’ve learned—look at a robin differently, budget differently, walk around the block differently

Like so many, I was first introduced to Ingrid Fetell Lee through her excellent Ted Talk. I immediately rushed out and bought her book, Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness

Of all the whimsical and practical things I learned, I’ve started to become a little fanatical about one of them: The Lightbulb.

Most of us learned in elementary school about light and how it affects color, but I did not know just how much warm and cool light could affect our happiness. Thankfully, Ingrid Fetell Lee knew.

As a result, I learned more than I ever dreamed I could want to know about Kelvin degrees and CRI (color rendering index). I had soon bookmarked the page and used it as my personal manual to use happier lightbulbs at home, deep dived into research about what lightbulbs were on the market, and photographed the page of said book on my phone so I could consult it in the home store aisle.

These days, I have a favorite brand, I’ve memorized the exacting joyful specifications, and I stock them in my laundry room just like I stock paper towels in the linen closet and pasta in the pantry.

I literally changed how I buy lightbulbs for my house because of this book. I’ve become so enthusiastic about these lightbulbs, I’ve had friends text me from the Target aisle, asking “Which lightbulbs am I supposed to buy again?” That’s why I’m so excited the Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club is reading Joyful and talking with the author in December.

I love this book for its delightfully nerdy insider info on things like the psychology of why sports teams wear the same jersey, and also, why wedding parties do. (There’s a reason!) On things like why exactly it’s such a delight to find a 20-dollar bill forgotten in your pocket when you know you have another $20 in your wallet. And why so many happy things are circles (confetti, balloons, polka dots, daisies—the list goes on!).

But mostly, I’m happy because I’m always surrounded my wonderful light, because my lightbulbs are warm and bright and flattering. And I’m happy because I’ll never have to stand in the home store aisle again, wondering what on earth those lighting facts charts mean, feeling overwhelmed by options I don’t understand—and you don’t either.

Here’s what to do: buy the Kelvins closest to 3000 and the CRI close to 100. The GE Relax lightbulbs are my favorite. Ingrid Fetell Lee knows, and now you do, too.

We can’t do anything about daylight savings time, but we can fill our houses with joyful light.

I hope you’ll join us as we discuss Joyful in December. Take a look at our calendar of events to see what’s coming up and then sign up to join us for classes, community, and conversation!

What books have changed your life in practical ways? Do you have a favorite lightbulb? Please share in the comments.

P.S. A Book Club membership makes a great gift for your favorite bookworm (or for yourself). See all gift membership options here.


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  1. Hilary says:

    I read this book last year and find myself thinking about it a lot too. Love the practical (not expensive!!) advice from it.

  2. Beth says:

    I just started the book and it’s interesting how I’m looking at color and shapes differently. My daughter and I even painted a red table to warm blue to change the feel. Loving reading by simple white Christmas lights with my morning coffee.

  3. Jenny says:

    I read this on my Kindle a month or two ago and just ordered a hard copy. I NEVER do that! I want to have this book around so I can easily refer to it often. I have made it a practice of looking for joy every day and it has really made a difference in my life. I’ve been trying to put more color and fun into my wardrobe (especially on Mondays!) and arranging my kid’s food into faces on their plates to add some fun to their meals!

  4. Sara Aeder says:

    We use wifi enabled lightbulbs that we can change the color with the connected app. We can set them to “party” which is color changing, and all sorts of fun shades. I’m almost done with the book, and about to start major home renovation, so I’m thinking about how to incorporate more round shapes and colors into my home.

  5. Angela says:

    I am an evangelist for Susan Cain’s Quiet. It helped me understand my introverted self and my introverted family members so much better. It also helped me accept all the positives of being an introvert. I think this is a must-read for anyone with introverts in their lives.

  6. Debra Benton says:

    I haven’t started the book yet, but your post makes me excited! And may I say that one of the things that brings me joy is Ginger! Your delight and smile always brighten my day!

  7. Jennifer Geisler says:

    Thank you, Ginger, for this wonderful review. You have just helped me figure out holiday gifts for so many women I love! I hope we hear more about your reading life….

  8. Deanna says:

    When I saw our December pick, I literally thought not another self help book. I know shame on me! However, this post has me running out to the bookstore and grabbing a copy. Thank you for this review! Well done Ginger 😀 So pumped to read this book 😊😉

  9. Suzanne says:

    I like the Cree soft white bulbs from Home Depot. They’re 2700K, 90+ CRI, and are the closest to pretty incandescent light I’ve found!

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