It may or may not surprise you that lighting, whether it be natural or artificial, has a significant effect on your mood. Lighting can alter our thought process, resulting in more positive or negative feelings. Knowing this, it’s important to think about what types of lighting you’re using at home.
It's argued that stronger lighting can result in heightened emotions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean dimming the lights at all times is a good idea. Ideally, you should be using brighter lights during the day and dimmer lights as you’re settling down. This routine is said to have the most positive biological and psychological impact on your health and wellbeing. In fact, it's been debated that using dim lights during meal times can tempt you to eat more food than you might need, whereas bright lights keep us alert to our surroundings, thus limiting the amount we eat. Simply put, remember that our perception is altered depending on the strength of lighting.
Although using brighter lights throughout the day is a good idea, you want to ensure you don't go overboard. Fluorescent lights, for example, may be too bright for some, which can result in lower energy levels as the day goes on. If you work from home then, natural lighting is preferred, but if that's not possible, just try and avoid fluorescent lighting if it's too much for you.
The hue and saturation of lighting can seriously influence your mood. If you aim to create a comfortable, social setting for family and friends, opt for warmer lighting. Warm lighting creates a welcoming vibe, making it easier for people to settle. If soft ambience is your thing, give a read of our Create Ambient Lighting in your Home article. On the other hand, if you crave absolute focus, go with some cool lighting options (a great choice for a home office).
As a side note, screens emit blue light, which aids in productivity due to its short wavelength. Despite being great during work hours, avoid blue light when it's nearing bedtime if you want to get a good night's sleep.
Some of us enjoy coloured LED lighting in our homes, so here are just a few benefits some colours can have on our mood:
Although coloured LED lighting isn't ideal all the time, you can still take advantage of it here and there throughout the house. For more on LED lighting options, check out our Home Decoration Ideas with LED Strip Lighting article.
Where you place your lights can really make a difference, especially if you're looking to set a particular tone. For example, placing lights throughout the perimeter of any room can give it a more spacious vibe, whereas light in the centre of a room can create a strained atmosphere. Additionally, placing lights above eye level can make things feel more formal, and lighting below eye level may result in a feeling of individual importance.
Taking this into account, as well as the impact hue and saturation has, cooler light in ceiling fixtures works wonders for formal settings, and table lamps emitting a warm light are fantastic for social settings. Both our Choosing the Right Table and Floor Lamp and Choosing the Right Ceiling Light articles make for a good read if you want more details on how to use them effectively in your home.
There is certainly a lot to learn regarding the effect lighting has on our mood, so if you feel like some of the things discussed here might be beneficial to your home, check our extensive Lighting Department for a wide selection of lighting options.