Lighting in Cyprus

What is there to say about lighting in Cyprus? Cyprus has an average of six hours of bright sunshine per day, even in the middle of the winter. On the contrary, village houses traditionally have been dark refuges with small openings to protect from the burning summer sun and the biting-cold winters.

Every day, women would sit outside their front doors absorbing all the light absent inside their homes. They drank coffee, made crochet blankets for their grandchildren and gossiped about everybody who passed through the village.

As in most Mediterranean countries, when electricity and artificial lighting became part of everyday life, people lit their homes very brightly. I remember myself, as a young girl siting in my grandmother’s kitchen, in her flat, under a huge fluorescent lamp, waiting for dinner to be cooked. I now know that the atmosphere, apart from the smells of cumin and freshly chopped coriander, had nothing to do with how she used to live as a young girl in her village.

Today, we are still trying to find better and smarter ways to light up our homes and streets. A new generation of lighting designers is leading the way towards balancing our modern lifestyle needs and the respect for the darkness, in order for the stars to brightly shine in the night sky.

Photograph of my grandmother, my mother, my three aunts, my uncle and two of my cousins in the early 70s sitting outside their front door in their village Gerolakkos.

Photograph of my grandmother, my mother, my three aunts, my uncle and two of my cousins in the early 70s sitting outside their front door in their village Gerolakkos.