We all know that lighting affects a room, but what does it do to our moods? The reason lighting is so crucial to the ambiance is because it plays into our physiology. Our bodies run on an internal 24-hour clock that is dictated by the gravitational pull and rotation of our planet. In other words, our circadian rhythm is influenced by lighting, which in turn affects our moods and energy levels. So how should this affect how we decorate a room?
Natural light will always be good for the soul. So of course, windows are the obvious way to “let the sunshine in,” as the “Age of Aquarius” song chants. However, not every room is designed with windows that let in a lot of natural light—and not all rooms need this depending on their purposes. Office spaces and most lived-in spaces benefit greatly with windows. Even in the workplace, studies show that employees who work in offices with natural light have higher energy levels and healthier lifestyles. So, with an at-home office, try to station a desk near a window to improve productivity and mood.
In this digital age, you’ve probably heard of blue light, as it is emitted from our phone screens and laptop and tablet devices. It energizes us, which is good for working but not for sleeping. Our circadian rhythm is thrown off because the bright, daylight-like light sends our body into daytime mode versus nighttime mode. So, try to use a screen protector or turn on the “night shift” setting to be respectful of your body clock in the late hours!
Given the fact that we are constantly exposed to screens, it can be hard to unplug! But we can use lighting to help our bodies and minds relax. With candlelight, Himalayan salt lamps, twinkle lights, small lamps, and even soft light from essential oil diffusers, you can create a calming effect and start to prepare for rest. A great way to match your energy level throughout your day is to install dimmers in your overhead light switches. For less than twenty dollars, this quick-fix gives versatility for your room’s purposes. For instance, your kitchen can go from bright light to cook, to dim light to eat, to bright light to clean, to dim light for tea. Dimmers even change a bathroom to either help you wake up in the morning or wind down with a bath.
Use the power of lighting to your benefit as you consider your circadian rhythm and the level of energy you need throughout the day. This will help you personally as well as create a revitalizing home experience. Let’s just say, you can put the light in lighthearted!
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