If you find yourself in a dark place during these trying times, all you need to do is turn on the light. The lamp light, that is!

Local ‘Lamp Enthusiast’ Alan Vrombaut has paved the way for the Quad Cities (and beyond) to step into the light, with the creation of Facebook group Lamp Enthusiasts. And while this endeavor was originally created for ‘light’-hearted fun, it has beautifully blossomed into a source of positive entertainment to a growing number of followers every day.

Alan was inspired by his good friend Chris True, a local realtor with RE/MAX, and his love for inanimate objects such as fireplaces, granite counter tops and of course, home bars. Alan was at home, social distancing, on Sunday Apr 5 and decided to throw a little ‘shade’ at his buddy Chris, and publish an album called “This is my lamp.” After posting several pictures of his lamp, his friend Angela commented that it was a nice lamp and she is a “fellow lamp enthusiast”. That’s when the light bulb went off and the group was created!

Lamp Enthusiasts closest to Alan were then brought in for this illuminating project. One such enthusiast, Geoff Manis, has really helped shed some light on the world of lamps. Geoff shares, “For me it all started at 2:22 pm on Sunday, April 5th when my good friend Alan Vrombaut sent me an invitation to a Facebook page he created called Lamp Enthusiasts. The first post Alan created for the page simply stated, “Hello fellow Lamp Enthusiasts! Please post pics of your lamp.” Thus, a well-lit pandoras box was thrown open. I knew immediately that Alan he created something special during these complicated times of living in COVID-19 quarantine.”

Other Lamp Enthusiasts, such as Brad Hines, took a little longer to see ‘the light’. He joined in on the endeavor but shares he “was nearly immediately kicked out for posting a chandelier, which isn’t a lamp. I was able to redeem myself and become a moderator. It’s a true tale of perseverance.”

In a little over just a week, the Lamp Enthusiasts community has grown to over 2,000 members including 10 moderators. Members upload pictures of lamps in their homes (where most of us are spending ALL of our time nowadays), and the moderators offer their expertise on whether or not the lamp is in fact, a lamp. Some great lamps have been shared, in addition to songs and lamp-based poetry and art. A website has even been created to help compliment the legitimacy of the Lamp Enthusiasts initiative. You can find it at https://lampenthusiasts.com/.

The best part of this entire experience is most definitely the witty comments and enlightening banter between members. As Geoff Manis puts it, “The page has undoubtedly been a source of comedic relief during one of the most serious times in our world’s history.”

It’s hard to know exactly what is next for the Lamp Enthusiasts Facebook page. Just like COVID-19, the situation continues to evolve at an hourly basis. But Alan Vrombaut has reassured us, “A lot of people have reached out to me and say they are enjoying the “light”-hearted humor, as it has provided a positive distraction in these difficult times. Now that so many people have “seen the light”, we are discussing plans for Lamp Enthusiast t-shirts and “lamp life” stickers, and once all this COVID-19 stuff is over, we hope to hold an event called “Lamps and Libations” or “Lamp Euphoria”, or some lamp-based pun name where we can all get together and have a good laugh.

The best part is that the Team and I have agreed that all proceeds will go to directly to a local charity, specifically Family Resources Shelter and Housing Program, to help cover the cost of people’s light bills. It seems appropriate.”

If you need a little light in your life right now and consider yourself a Lamp Enthusiast, all of your prayers have been answered with this amazing addition to our social community. And remember, if you can’t fight the urge to share a hanging light fixture, night light or other non-lamp light source – the moderators will let you know. But don’t take it personally. Try to ‘lighten up’.

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Tess Abney was born and raised in the Quad Cities. Her passion for writing and entertainment was apparent at a very young age. Whether it is sharing local events and businesses with readers or sharing her thoughts on life, she finds comfort in the way words can bring people together.