If we have to spell out our favourite festivals, Diwali will always be on top of the list. Everything from the annual house clean-up, renovation or re-painting to the preparation of lip-smacking faraal (snack items), is done with great gusto ahead of the festival.
But lighting is, and will always be, the most important aspect of Diwali. Lanterns (Aakash Kandil) have traditionally been used in various Indian households but there is a trend to use lights in various other ways too. Let’s have a look at them...
Every year, we get to see newer trends in lighting. There are designer and fancy diyas with stone embellishments giving company to traditional paper lanterns and earthen diyas. These fancy diyas come in vibrant colours and varied designs and add a touch of glamour and sophistication to the festivities.
One of the options to the traditional oil lamps is tea lights. They can be used in various ways and there are artificial tea lights which one finds becoming popular too. They come in a variety of colours and are considered safer than the oil or wax ones.
One can also use floating diyas as decoration in the house. These are available in electric as well as oil or wax varieties and one can choose as per their requirement. They can be placed in a huge glass bowl with flower petals accompanying them, either in the water or around the bowl. The bowl can either be placed at the entrance or as a corner piece.
LIGHTING IT UP
One finds many flats and bungalows being decorated with rice lights around this time. Rice lights are small strings of bulbs that can be hung from a ceiling or hung on to a wall. The lights can also be put in mason jars or glass bottles. The jars or bottles can then be either placed inside the house or can be hung from a window sill or grill. Interestingly, a string of rice lights can also be used as a border for rangoli design at the entrance of the house. Prashant Kulkarni, an interior designer says, “Rice lights are very flexible. They can be used in a variety of ways and that is why they are so popular.”
Kulkarni says that these lights come as either plug in or battery-operated varieties, giving the user a choice. The battery-operated lights are suitable for outdoors where usually there are no plug points. He adds that there is a plethora of options available in terms of designs. “There are many beautiful designs available in the market to choose from,” he mentions.
LED strips are another popular way to decorate the house during Diwali. Jayesh Naik, an interior designer who uses LED strips at his home during Diwali, says, “LEDs are one of the most cost-effective ways to decorate the house. The strips can be tailored to suit your required size. They also come in different colours. Decorating the house with LED lights gives it a different and beautiful look.”
Naik added that he usually buys a bunch of LED strips in different colours and divides them into five to 10 strips in each bunch. He then hangs these bunches at the entrance and throughout the house.
The LED strips are easily available at hardware or electric shops. One can create a curtain by hanging multiple strips beside each other or stick them to highlight the window edges, door frames, staircase or even a rangoli pattern at the entrance. The LED lights are also flexible and can be placed in a jar or bottle to decorate.
With DIY tutorials being a rage, a variety of designs in lighting can also be made. The balloon blow is a popular and easy way to decorate. One has to blow up a balloon in any colour to the required size. Once it is blown, apply gum or fevicol around it. Circle the balloon with a thick thread in any direction so that the thread sticks to the balloon. Once it has dried up, burst the balloon and insert lights into the thread. The lantern can then be hung or placed anywhere in the house.
Paper lanters can also be made in many designs and shapes. Square and circular lanterns are the most popular but one can also make designs of animals or cartoon characters depending on one’s skills.
There are many tutorials available on YouTube. Try some this year!