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Soaring Soapbox: Let there be (far too much) light

Another night away from home – another hotel but a whole new irritation.

What is the point in providing heavy duty black out curtains – designed to kill all external light… Then installing so many light emitting electrical items in the room that it feels like a nightclub?

Whilst I tend not to need a great deal of sleep, when I close my eyes I prefer it to be in a dark room – the darker the better in fact. The odd light source – the night light on the landing for the sake of our four year old son shining under the door is, for example, not an issue – but that is pretty much the limit.

This particular hotel had…

• Bright bedside clocks – both sides of the bed • A back-lit panel by the door • A back-lit panel by the bathroom door • Two standby lights on the TV • And a strange red light somewhere near the desk I couldn’t quite work out

It is not the first time I have been faced with an excess of undesirable lights in a room. It was however the first time I couldn’t do anything sensible about it. My usual technique (though not what all would describe as normal behaviour…) is to crawl around under the desks, bedside tables, beds, wardrobes etc and unplug everything – even the TV if necessary! However, this shiny new hotel had evidently got fed up with people doing such things in the past and hard-wired everything.

So I could invest in one of those masks they give you on flights but I don’t think they are terribly comfortable and on the few occasions I have worn them I seem to forget I am wearing one and wake up thinking I have gone blind.

The only “sensible” option in this case turned out to be the removal of the room keycard from that weird little slot in the wall by the door that provides electricity to everything. It killed about three quarters of the lights (though still not the red one near the desk..) but then of course I couldn’t charge my phone or switch the lights on first thing in the morning when the heavy duty curtains left the room so dark I tripped over a chair – oh the irony!!!

As an added joke – there was a “night-light” option amongst the various room light controls – as if the seven other sources weren’t enough!


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