The Light Factor


Light has a huge impact on how a person feels at any given moment. There are even health conditions that are triggered by the amount of sunlight one gets, or one’s exposure to artificial light.

The one thing you cannot do in an RV is to randomly add additional windows to your RV the way you might do in a house with a dark room. Nor can you easily increase the size of a window — they way they show in a lot of home remodeling projects.  With an RV it’s usually what-you-see-is-what-you-get.

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The disadvantage of modern auto-exposure cameras is they don’t want to let you see what the lighting is really like… But this is about how it looks outside right now.

One of the lessons we learned with our first RV — that 2003 Winnebago Journey DL — was that once we had it, we found it was not nearly as “light” and “airy” as we thought it would be.  We had toured the RV in nice weather — sunny weather — and being new to the RV game it never occurred to us to wonder what it would look like on an overcast day — or on a day with overcast sky and heavy rain, as we have right now.

I say we didn’t think about it but we did tour RV’s in both good weather and bad — so some of the potential RV’s we had seen in more typical weather — just not the one we first purchased. When we bought Serendipity we were, by then, aware of the affect of light and dark and we did make sure that our new home would be brighter inside than the old one.  Still, on a particularly dark day it’s still a little bit dark without turning on a lot of lights.

I’m one of those guys who doesn’t like lots of artificial lights burning. It’s not an economy thing.  I just prefer natural light.  I’ll turn on the lights when I need, but if I can have a nice naturally light home I’m happiest.  I don’t know how to compensate for good, natural light.

Interior light is something to which I’m particularly sensitive.  You have already heard me say that I don’t like some of the newer coach lighting systems.  The move to recessed canisters seems unstoppable, but it’s not my thing.

 

A simple little detail we never thought about in our first coach was the presence or absence of windows on the SIDE of the slides.  Our first coach had only 2 slides.  The rear slide had zero windows in it. The lounge slide had wall windows but not side windows.  Our newer coach has 4 slides. Once again we have a bedroom slide with no windows.  But the second bedroom slide has 2 windows — on on each side face.  The Lounge slide has front and back sides windows.  But the kitchen slide has none.  Still this RV has always seemed brighter than the old. And that is with both RV’s utilizing similar Honey Oak Interiors.

I have never heard anyone say that the best time to check out possible RV purchases is in overcast weather, but if we ever went RV shopping again I think I’d give the weather a serious thought!

Most of the time Serendipity is quite homey. We are happy with our coach.  But in the interest of full disclosure I have to admit that on really cloudy, rainy days it can get a little dark inside — especially when we are rimmed in by trees on every side with just the width of the camp road as open space around us. I don’t know how other couples would react to the same light values.  Friends of our suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder and I have often wondered if they could be happy in an RV — seeing as they have talked about retiring the same way we do.

Thanks for stopping.  I’ll be here again tomorrow.  Why not stop and say hello?

 

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13 Comments

  1. That’s one thing we love about our fifth wheel; we have a total of 14 windows. I’ve even gotten really good at repairing day/night shades, as the rig is a 2007 and the cords are starting to show their age.

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    1. One of these days I’ll have to start doing that too. But thus far our shades have held up — yeah, they are showing their age, but the strings at least haven’t failed us. I wish we could keep the windscreen open all the time, and I have considered some of those windscreen covers that you can see through — just to have a LITTLE more light — but all in all it’s fine. So much better, this newer coach!

      You give shade repair lessons?

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      Liked by 1 person

  2. We both need more light for reading or sewing than comes in an RV. I installed a four foot track light over the chairs and another over the dining/craft table. I replaced the 50 watt halogen spots with LED spots and we have plenty of light just where we need it. Even the artificial light helps the mood. Being emotionally solar powered, I know exactly what you mean by needing sunlight but the extra fixtures really do help and all seven LED bulbs take about the same power as one of the halogens. By the way, we enjoy your blog. Keep it up.
    Russ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russ — I’m with you on the way to get more light — LED’s are amazing and efficient to boot. Given how clumsy I am I hesitate to do the track thing. I like track lighting but I have this bad lifelong habit of whacking things with my head. I once tried to do the shaved head thing and I have so many knots on the top of my head that it was too embarrassing and I grew my hair right back.
      We went through the coach and removed all the halogens — it was expensive but worth it. I have replaced about 1/2 of the fluorescents with LED’s too — and this winter when we are in S. Texas I plan to visit the flea market and pick up enough florescent replacement kits to finish replacing those — a single LED tube replacement gives as much light as two tubes — so that works for me!
      That said — I can’t think of any time that we have actually had all the lights in the lounge burning at the same time. I LIKE task lighting. I may have two sources, or even three sources on if I’m reading — depending on where I am in the coach. We actually have 19 different artificial light sources in the lounge alone. 6 florescent fixtures and the rest are formerly halogens, converted to LED’s.
      Thanks for the roses, I’ll try.

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  3. The light factor is so important to us, even though we just travel by RV. Our first RV had lots of nice windows all around, and we knew this was a feature we wanted in our next one, too. We really love our new-to-us RV, and having all those nice windows is definitely one reason why we do. We love to open all the windows to lighten things up and catch some nice breezes as much as possible as the weather permits, and it’s great to see out in every direction from the living area since we camp mostly in state parks and see lots of wildlife. Having the windshield and front side window transparent covers that clip on the outside of those windows, in addition to the inside drapes over them that we can pull at night or in really hot weather, really is a great feature. I’m honestly surprised that more RVs don’t come with them. I can’t imagine that it would cost all that much extra at the factory when they are made, and it takes less than five minutes to put them all on and take them off. We will be spoiled to having those when we eventually shop for our next RV. Having lots of windows is especially nice when we go out in the winter months, too.

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    1. You can get shades made to order @ the Don-West flea market in Donna for +\- $100 if I remember from 2 yrs ago; or spend the better part of $609-700 from Magnashade and get magnetic fasteners with no holes in your coach. All dependson your objective 😀

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  4. In my neck of the woods SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a clinically recognized condition. Depression, anxiety, sleepless nights, weight gain and lethargy are symptoms of people unable to endure winter in B.C.’s south-west rain forest. (equally recognized in U.S. pacific north-west) Point being – most people muddle through light deprivation but it takes a far greater toll than we think.

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    1. SAD is recognized here too. But to be fair, I have only known of one person who has ever been so diagnosed. I’m sure there are many more out there. But, the one has commented so much about how much they are troubled by it, that I’m surprised either other people haven’t been diagnosed, or haven’t taken their complaint to a doctor. Maybe I can blame my own weight gain on it? Hmmmm…Actually, my chemistry is so screwed up by all the meds I take that I’ll blame it on that instead.

      But in all seriousness — I agree — I think light deprivation takes a much greater toll than we imagine.

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      Liked by 1 person

      1. Truth be told SAD strikes me as a tad much.Not to discount the very real pitfalls of a dark and gloomy existence, just that those predisposed to depression might succumb more easily.

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      2. Truth be told there are numerous conditions that are diagnosed today that strike me as a bit much. 🙂

        That said, the one friend we know who has been diagnosed does seem to have a real issue with light. But the therapy (including meds) that she’s prescribed don’t seem to me to be a good way of treating anyone for anything. All of these mood altering pharmaceuticals have to have more impact on us than we are willing to admit. When I hear the adverts for these new drugs and listen to the side effects I keep saying to myself, “why on earth would anyone risk death for …. a pimple, or whatever” especially when it comes to taking systemic drugs for localized external problems: pimples, and foot fungus among them….. But then I guess I’m old skool.

        Don’t forget that with OUR medical system you aren’t just talking about those being predisposed to depression succumbing, you also have those who can be convinced succumbing. It seems no one wants to accept that living and aging are accompanied by not always feeling 100% and wanting something to make the pain go away no matter how mild or normal.

        I don’t really understand how the ’normal’ outlook has changed so much from a time when we grew up with people in iron lungs and diseases like all the poxes, and measles and such — real, serious conditions that caused the deaths of many — so being infatuated with how we look and taking a pill for everything.

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  5. I agree that the amount of light affects your mood. I always like to have all the curtains open and the shades up, but when it’s hot, it get so very warm in an aluminum box. I share your aversion to natural light. I have even considered buying one of those indoor UV lights, but am just to cheap to shell out the cash. Any tips on cheap ways to have more natural light without the greenhouse effect?

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