Most people don’t give a second thought about how the lighting in their homes or environment can affect their mood and general well-being. Generally, light is thought of as a way to add light to a room, and how it does so is of no concern besides personal preference.
There is no denying artificial light has provided humankind with innumerable opportunities. It has also generated some confusion in our bodies, which have developed over thousands of years to respond to the stimulus of sunshine during the day and darkness at night.
This sensitivity to natural light is referred to as the circadian rhythm or cycle, and it explains the 24-hour biological cycle of nearly all living things. Light reception has the greatest influence on circadian rhythms, but temperature and other stimuli also have a role.
Natural light encourages our brains to create the ‘feel-good hormone serotonin, making us feel awake and motivated. Then, as the light levels begin to fall in the evening, our systems respond by creating the hormone melatonin, which aids in the preparation of our bodies for sleep.
Changes in the weather and seasons can have a big impact on our mental condition. Just as we can feel more fatigued and lethargic on a cold and dreary day, when the sun shines the metaphorical clouds lift, and we feel brighter and more cheerful!
Winter months can be challenging for some people, and a lack of sunlight can cause seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression associated with the change of seasons.
Choosing the right light for your home
Experts recommend that we try to match the artificial lighting in our homes to natural light as much as possible. This means opting for brighter white lighting during the day and cooler tones of an evening that are less likely to stimulate your senses.
Having lighting adapted to the mood and time of day is optimal but not always possible.
But how you add different lighting to a room can make a difference too. For example, your main light could be made up of over 5,000K (lighting is measured in Kelvin and the higher the Kelvin, the brighter and more stimulating the light is).
But you can add lamps or RGB LED strip lights for the use of an evening, which add a warmer, cosier feel to a room to help you acclimatise to the darker evenings and nights.
When looking at the placement of different types of lighting, it is important to use the lighting where you need it and assess what type of lighting you need in different areas. For example, in your bedroom, you need a warmer light to help you get ready for sleep but a brighter natural light for getting ready. To achieve this combination, you can use a more yellow bulb for your main light and brighter white LED lights on your mirror or dressing table for the right type of lighting for applying makeup or styling your hair.
Check out this article for more ways to create a healthy home that’s great for your wellbeing!