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Why "Who Turned Off The Lights"?

Posted by Naomi Schoenfeld on

Since early 2013, we have lived without electric light.

We became interested in this after reading about the role certain spectrums of light, found in nature only during the day, play in the circadian rhythms of humans and animals -- and after learning about the rather controversial and under-studied topic of segmented sleep, a potentially more healthful sleep pattern that can emerge when one begin to live by natural light and dark cycles. We wondered what it would be like to live without the power to create daylight with the flick of a switch, even in our suburban lives. Our rules are simple:

  • During the day, use technology normally.
  • Between sundown and sunrise, no electric light.

Obviously, that means no artificial lights. But it also means no TV, no computer screen, no smart phone, no digital clocks, no little green light on the printer or dishwasher. (We cover those with transparent red tape.) It means being home-centered, since the rest of the modern world is relentlessly lit by a bazillion signs and streetlights. It means shutting down, disconnecting, lighting a few candles, and spending an evening reading, writing longhand, crafting, or just relaxing with family. It means getting sleepy without effort, and waking without an alarm clock. It means being in touch with the turning of the seasons in a way we hadn't imagined possible.

So - when we decided to start selling our homemade products, the name Who Turned Off The Lights was a fun, natural fit. 

In many ways, living without electric light has come to symbolize our philosophy of mindful choice -- wherever and however you live. We love it -- and can't imagine going back.

How do electric lights affect your life? Wade in with an opinion below.

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