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Although I have always been a fan of subtle lighting in the living room, as I get older I have found that I need a really good strong light to read or sew by ... and so I decided to buy what my son describes as my "old lady's lamp": a bright floor lamp which incorporates an uplighter and a smaller adjustable light for reading, etc.
After some research I was tempted by the Mayer Father and Child floor lamp from Homebase, reduced from £76.99 to £38.99 in the sale. Although some of the reviews mentioned a buzzing noise, and some complained of a poor finish, most of the reviews gave this lamp 5 stars as a solid and reliable floor lamp.
~~ Description ~~
I am not a big fan of the Mother (or Father) and child style of lamp, but this one caught my eye and seemed to be a little bit more attractive than the usual design. My lamp is made out of a golden brushed chrome colour which I find much more attractive than either black or silver. It stands really tall at 179cm - I have very high ceilings but I imagine that it would cast an even stronger light on the lower ceiling of a more modern house.
The large uplighter head measures a moderately large28cm across and has the added advantage of a clear bottom to the shade as well as the uplighter shade - thus giving a gentle downwards light as well as a strong upwards light. There are two upright poles to support the large uplighter head, rather than one single flimsy pole - and this gives it an unusual and slightly art deco look as well as making it much more stable. The smaller reading light sits on a flexible 10cm long brushed chrome stalk and measures 10cm across. There is a 5cm long handle on it to change the direction of the light without getting burned.
The two poles have a panel half way up which contain two dimmer switches - one for the reading light and one for the uplighter. The uplighter can be dimmed down from 230 watts to zero, and the reading light from 40 watts to zero.
The base of the lamp is made from nice shiny brushed steel with rounded edges and looks really attractive as well as being very stable. There is a long 28cm power cord which can be wound up and tucked away inside the base for tidiness.
~~ Assembly ~~
I would definitely recommend two people to assemble this lamp to avoid damage to the chrome. Long, cumbersome poles fly around, weighted down with heavy lamp heads attached, and the danger of them swinging out of control and hitting something can be avoided by another person supporting the heavy end as you tighten the nuts.
Assembly itself is fairly straightforward; the poles have the power cable already threaded through and just have to be joined together and attached to the uplighter and the base. A spanner and an Allen key are provided to tighten the nuts and the assembly leaflet is easy to follow.
~~ Am I pleased with it? ~~
The light cast from the uplighter is a very natural light similar to daylight - not yellow or golden but very white. This makes it great to use during dull days - my room is a naturally dark room and this white light really cheers us up and gets rid of any miserable dark winter thoughts.
The small directional reading light is an absolute godsend; I use it all the time and it means that I can sit with my family, pointing the bright light at my reading or sewing while they watch TV or game, without disturbing them at all. The flexible stem that holds the reading light is long enough to position it very precisely so that it can be pulled right over my shoulder and direct the light onto my book.
I love the fact that both lights are on dimmer switches. This makes the whole unit very easy to regulate and suitable for a variety of needs and times of the day. Despite the boys' initial horror, they now prefer to use the dimmed uplighter when they are watching TV or gaming.
I would recommend this lamp to anybody and am very happy to give it five stars. It is very sturdy and robust - it does not sway around like some of my IKEA floor lamps. I think it looks more stylish than a lot of father and child lamps that I have seen on the internet - and the finish has proved to be scratch resistant as well as attractive.
As a final note, several people have recently pointed out to me that this lamps absolutely eats up electricity - much more so than other lamps. This was a bit of a disappointment to me as I try to keep my fuel costs down and to be environmentally friendly - using economy bulbs in the rest of the house.
This is something to be aware of when buying, and may have put me off if I had realised before I bought it.