Historically, I do not enjoy the club. It is loud, there are many people, things are too expensive, and most “things” that happen at the club start way after my preferred bedtime. However, given our current state of affairs, once I have been vaccinated and we, as a world, are granted permission to live our lives as we once did, I will go to the club, any club, happy to press my body against that of many strangers and to drink overpriced tequila-grapefruits until sunrise. Until that blessed day arrives, though, I will content myself with the club that is my living room, thanks to the LED color-changing light bulbs that I would now die for.
It brings me little joy to admit that these lights did not occur to me without outside help, but I must begrudgingly give credit where it’s due: my sister, Tessa, showed the rest of us her LED party light in the group chat one day, planting the seed for my brief home renovation. Mesmerized, I watched the video of her lightbulb cycling through every color of the rainbow, and imagined what could be for my own home. Lighting is important, overhead lighting is horrible, and also, I grew sick of the queasy yellow warmth of the lightbulbs that occupied the three lamps in the living room. I’m spending a lot of time at home, ha ha, and so I want to find some way to further differentiate my “leisure” time from “work.” Maybe transforming the living room into Brooklyn’s hottest club for ancient millennials who like knitting and watching the yule log like a bad Fox sitcom was the way to do it.
Now that the Christmas tree had gone to rest for the year, my apartment lacked the warm, twinkly glow that the lights provided, and maybe that’s what I had been missing. Hanging the string lights from the tree on the wall in some fashion felt a hair too college-dorm for me, calling to mind the feature wall a friend created in college that was a large tapestry draped over a knotted nest of white Christmas lights. Cooler lightbulbs turned my space antiseptic and white, like a hospital, and simply turning off a lamp plunged me into a despair that I didn’t want to sit in unless I had to. So I went to Home Depot and bought this bulb as an experiment to see if it could enliven the sad little lamp in the corner and transform my living room into a space that felt like anywhere other than my apartment.
One corner of my living room was now the club, or, a TikTok video shot by a teenager who’d already cottoned on to the idea of making their bedroom look like a Drake video. I was so pleased with the light that I bought another iteration of the same thing from Amazon a few days later. The new bulb promised me more control—something I crave daily—by allowing me to turn the light on and off from my phone and also, to select various presets that fit my moods. Mostly, I stick to the color palette that matches the Roku screensaver, which is the thing I inadvertently watch the most, due to my complete lack of attention span and an inability to concentrate on anything other than staring into the middle distance. Though the light in here now is too dim to read by, and when I turn on the decorative lamp that is my pride and joy, too bright to feel comfortable. I’ve ordered a chandelier bulb that also changes colors and—crucially—has a dimmer, so that I might expertly curate the mood inside my home when I feel like I have little to no control over the mood inside my body.
Everyone copes with relentlessness of this pandemic in their own ways, but of all the paths I could chose, these rave lights are low-stakes. Certainly I will tire of their novelty, much like I did with the acupressure mat I bought in a moment of weakness, which requires me to lie completely nude atop its plastic needles to feel the full effect. Until then, though, leave me alone to vibe in peace in the only club I’ve ever liked—my own fucking home.