ARTIFICIAL lighting is an exceedingly important subject, and yet, in many households, it seems to be ignored in inverse ratio to its importance, of course with deplorable consequences.

The whole subject falls naturally into two divisions

(1) fixed lighting, whose arrangement consti-stutes a part of the fixed decorations and is architectural rather than otherwise in its affinities; and (2) portable lighting, which belongs wholly in the realm of furnishing. The former, as its nature implies, is largely determined by the architectural character of the background, first as regards pattern, material and scale of the equipment, and second, as regards the placement of lighting appliances. The latter admits of almost unlimited latitude in placement, in the selection of divers types of appliance and in the choice of illuminating medium.

Whether the lights be fixed or portable, certain general principles obtain, almost without exception, and these principles must be carefully observed. To begin with, under ordinary circumstances a blazing glare is painful to the eyes as well as ugly and disastrous to the aspect of any room, even though it be well furnished. A number of dim or subdued lights, therefore, are infinitely preferable to one or two powerful, glaring lights. The diffused glow from the more numerous and mellower lights is vastly more comfortable to the eye and more kindly to the furnishings. In the next place, it is both unreasonable and uncomfortable either to have one or two blazing illuminations in proximity to the ceiling or to have a number of less vigorous luminaries lighting the upper part of the room and leaving the lower in gloom. Likewise, the various methods of indirect lighting, although purposely de*-vised to eliminate glare and secure diffusion, which they often do admirably, nevertheless throw most of the light on the ceiling. This does very well for public places, but is usually objectionable and ugly in a house. It is not necessary, nor in many cases would it be desirable, to have the artificial light fall from precisely the same quarter as the light by day, but it is highly desirable and eminently logical to have the light at night coming from approximately the same level as the daylight and to illuminate, not the ceiling, but the region of the room humanly inhabited.

With the foregoing dicta the illuminating experts and fautors of sundry approved modern and ultra-scientific lighting systems, aye, and various doctors to boot, will probably take serious issue and promptly adduce fifty-seven different reasons to prove that they are right and we are wrong. To their accusations we cheerfully answer that their "systems," their inverted appliances and their fiercely illuminated ceilings blazing above a substratum of milder effulgence may be all very well for offices, shops, auditoria and railway stations - doubtless they are - but we humbly submit that our homes are none of these nor can we, for the life of us, see why we should seek to introduce the atmosphere of those places into our domestic, circle.

In the third place, the quality and intensity of the artificial light must also be taken into account. It should not be harsh nor sharp in effect nor of such intensity as to distort the relative values of illumination and shadow. Above all, the colour of the rays must not be of a character to falsify or kill the colours in the furnishing. Mellowness is the chiefest desideratum in domestic lighting, save in such exceptional cases as ball-rooms or salons upon occasion of large and somewhat formal gatherings, when brilliancy is not only quite permissible but often distinctly desirable.

The illuminants to be considered upon grounds of decorative desirability or expedience are candles, oil, gas and electricity. Of these, the first most completely fill all the ideals of quality just mentioned. There is no light so restful and agreeable in quality to the eye as candle light and no light is kindlier to the appearance of a room. The radiance is mild and diffused, shadows are not cut sharp and exaggerated, and the colours in furniture and decorations are not outraged. Incidentally, it may not be amiss to note that ladies are well aware that they appear to greater advantage in the glow of candles than by any other light.

Candles as a means of lighting are perfectly pracr-ticable. The only possible objections that can be urged against them with any show of validity are cost and bother. Neither obstacle is very serious; the former can be ingeniously circumvented, if necessary; the small amount of the latter is not worth considering if one values the agreeable effect of their rooms. "Wax candles, of course, are desirable, but stearic acid candles and other substitutes for wax are thoroughly satisfactory for general use.

It is well to have a good broad glass bobeche for each candle socket. Any drippings can then be easily removed without dirt or trouble. As a rule, the use of shades on candles is finically effeminate, foolish, fussy, reprehensible and anomalous. A candle is, in itself, an object of grace and beauty, but its chaste and dignified simplicity of line is marred and hidden when its shaft is surmounted with a top-heavy, frilly contrivance resembling an abbreviated ballet skirt. Upon the making of such shades entirely too much valuable energy is wasted. The flame of the candle, too, is an essential part of its beauty and ought not to be concealed. Its gleams are not distressing to the eye if the candle is of proper height and properly placed. For the dinner table use tall candles, tall enough to keep the flame above the level of the eye. For the library, living-room or drawing-room, sconces will be at a sufficient height and portable candles may be so disposed on mantels, the tops of bookshelves, tables or cabinets that the flames are comfortably above eye level. Using no shades and keeping the flame a little above eye level is one of the secrets of successful candle use.