This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
The lighting of a dwelling is a most important consideration, as regards comfort and health. Natural lighting is provided for by windows, the construction of which has been described under Carpentry (pp. 348-50) and Glazing (pp. G27-34). The window area of a room should be well proportioned. In dwelling rooms it may amount to half the area of the external wall containing the windows; in churches, etc, 1/3 will suffice. Artificial lighting may be effected by means of candles, oil-lamps, gas, or electricity. Candles will always retain a place in domestic illumination from their safety and convenience; they need no description. Oil-lamps cannot be passed over without a few lines concerning their principles and management, though their necessarily dangerous character and generally unpleasant odour are great drawbacks to their adoption in the house. Gas-fitting has been described in a previous section (pp. G40-2), but mainly from the mechanic's point of view; something remains to be said, about burners and the employ-ment of gas. Electric lighting, which will one day be almost universal, is as yet unsuited to domestic application, except under unusual conditions, and requires many precautions to prevent fires and serious accidents.
The aid of a skilled electrician is necessary in fitting up an electric lighting system, or mischief is sure to arise.