The 'big light' debate has everyone divided and I'm going to settle it.

There are some questions that always seem to elicit a visceral and passionate response from people.

Like, do you really need a top sheet or can you just use a doona? 

And should you shower in the morning or at night? 

Well, during dinner with some girlfriends recently, I made an admission that was apparently so shocking my friends collectively agreed it warranted immediate jail. 

Okay, maybe not imprisonment, but there were audible gasps around the table when I told them I always use the “big light” at home. 

Yep, I'm talking about the regular, old down lights in the ceiling. 

I was confused. Why was I vilified for admitting to using electricity in the way it’s bloody intended!? 

But it turns out there is a huge portion of the population relying on fairy lights and lamps to light their way around their homes like they live inside romantic comedies. 

Sure, when I think about it, the idea of a softly lit room is obviously more cosy and relaxing. 

Of course I can recognise that as an interior design choice, lamps and candles are gorgeous and create a lovely ambiance. 

But if my lounge room gave off day spa energy I would never get anything done.

And who has time to flick on lamps and light all the candles when they get home after a long day?


Do I own 50 of them? Sure.

Will I ever light them aside from when I need to get rid of the smell of Thai food from the night before when a friend is about to come over? Absolutely not.

They’re purely decorative and I won’t hear otherwise. 

The fact the "big light" debate was even a thing first came to my attention - as most things do these days - when a TikTok went viral.

In the video, user GeeOfDee went around her house flicking on colourful, vibey lamps as she said the words: “I don’t have many rules for my house, but I do have one, and that is that we never, ever, ever, ever, use the big light.” 


shun the big light and the harsh rays it casts

♬ original sound - GeeOfDee

As thousands more videos spawned from people showing off their own dimly lit houses, people passionately agreed they’d rather sit in total darkness than dare flick on a harsh down light. 

“The big light is only for spiders and when something is lost,” one person said. 

“I took the lightbulbs out so no one can turn them on,” added another. 

“The big light is for interrogation purposes only,” another person agreed.  

A quick survey around the Mamamia office also confirmed I was very much in the minority. 

"The big light and I are not friends - it's too bright, a bit obnoxious and kills the whole mood. Natural sunlight during the day and lamps at night, it's the only right combination," my colleague Charlie told me. 


But I am a staunch defender of the big light. 

The big light means business. 

The big light means I never have to squint to find what I’m looking for. 

The big light means I’m far less likely to step on a stray doll shoe my toddler has left laying about (although to be fair, this would probably still happen even with a theatre-grade spotlight shone directly on my carpet). 

The big light eliminates the element of surprise. It’s basically a scientific fact that robbers won’t strike in a well-lit house, only one filled with eerie candles. 

Really, the only thing soft light has going for it is that it creates a calming effect before bed, but if you’re anything like me you’re staring directly at your phone for 20 minutes (okay 40 minutes) before you close your eyes anyway. 

So do I understand why people like to create a moody, dimly lit vibe in their homes? Of course.  

But for the lazy girls of this world, the big light will always be right. 

Do you use the big light? Let me know in the comments below. 

Feature image: TikTok/@3mmazetterberg @garbagefairyy

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