This is a lighting test that I am working on with a “JUNOLUX” light bulb. The bulb is about $30, and is comprised of about 100 individual LEDs that turn on and off in order to simulate a flickering flame. The bulb looks kind of odd without a lampshade or cover, but once covered, or hidden behind an object, it looks fairly realistic.
There should be mystery in Masonry, and the degrees should be a wild, intense experience. One of the things that we can do to help achieve that is to set the mood with a well-thought-out ambiance. Without giving too much away, the Select Master degree is supposed to take place in a very dark, very secluded area. I talked with a member of the Grand Chapter & Council Committee on Work (the committee which writes our ritual and figures out how degrees should be performed) who explained that the degree should, ideally, be done in almost total darkness.
However, doing it in the dark can be pretty impractical. Nobody can see, there’s an increased fall risk, etc. How do we address this issue? My answer is that we should look at the idea of targeted low-lighting that is “lore friendly.” What kind of lighting would have been used in King Solomon’s time? Workers on the Temple would most likely have used torches, candles, or braziers of coal. Those are all pretty cool - but none of them are really okay in regards to my Masonic temple’s policy regarding flammable materials in the carpeted rooms. We have to look at special effects instead, in the form of LED bulbs.
These are the next few questions that I am going to try to find the answers to:
- Where is the best light placement in the room to increase lighting without using too many bulbs, running too many cords, etc?
- How much light is too much light?
- Will props used in the degree be an issue for lighting?
- If more bulbs are needed, are the cheaper versions as reliable?
- What is the most practical and lore-friendly way to house the light (lamp stand, fake firepit, prop torch, etc)?
Needless to say, I have some experimenting to do.