Posted: 4 November 2017
Winter is prime time for Seasonal Affective Disorder, which affects around 10 million Americans each year.
Now would be a great time to change your home’s vibe in preparation for the gloomy winter weather. If used correctly, lights can be the perfect mood enhancers.
We rely on lights in our home for many things, but we don’t realize they affect our productivity and health. Certain types of lighting can deplete our energy while others keep us awake.
Natural light is good for us. Since it’s less abundant in the winter, it’s good to change the lighting in our homes to account for the extra darkness.
Let’s look at some easy techniques for enhancing the atmosphere in your home with lighting. You’ll be surprised how it helps your overall mood and well-being.
Enhance Certain Areas with Accent Lighting
Accent lighting is one of the best mood enhancers in a home. It involves directing light on specific areas or objects in order to add style or drama. It’s also a way of providing good illumination for items like a desk, a piece of art, or a plant.
There are a number of ways to add accent lighting to a room. Lamps are great for bedrooms and bathrooms. Track lighting is perfect for long hallways and gives you the freedom to point light in a certain direction.
Backlighting an accent wall or a nice piece of art is a great way to boost their presence and can even add a halo effect. Remember to use softer bulbs to avoid harsh illumination.
For ideas on what bulbs to use, check out the Philips Hue starter kit review.
Another creative way to accent an area is with colored bulbs. This is your chance to create a truly relaxing and intimate vibe. You could also consider Chinese paper lanterns or novelty lamps with a tastefully colored bulb.
The Right Kind of Ambient Lighting
Ambient light refers to the overall lighting in a room that allows us to see where we’re going and what we’re doing. This type of lighting could be provided by ceiling fixtures, wall-mounted fixtures, chandeliers, and natural light from windows.
If the ambient lighting in your home is too bright and intrusive, it can create a stressful atmosphere. But there are ways to counter this.
One popular way to create good ambient lighting is to bounce light off the ceiling instead of using downward recessed lights. This will open up the room and get rid of shadows. To do this, you can add cove or valance lighting fixtures to a room.
LED strips are another way to add comfortable ambient lighting. These can be placed around the perimeter of the ceiling as a way of providing indirect light to a room.
Get Rid of Blue Light
LED lights like those used in many office buildings give off something called blue light. This type of fluorescent lighting is great for elevating attention and mood in the mornings and afternoons.
However, if you continue to expose yourself to blue light in the evening, it can disrupt your sleep cycles. It’s also not very relaxing. Replacing your bulbs with those that contain less blue light will soften the overall mood and feel of your home.
Computers, tablets, and even smartphone screens give off blue light too. If you spend time working at home in the evenings, consider getting glasses that block blue light. You can also download apps that help block blue light on your tablet or phone.
Softening the general lighting in living rooms and bedrooms will bring a more calming atmosphere to your home. Leave the bright lights at work and allow your mind to wind down.
Light Therapy Lamps
Sunlight helps in the production of vitamin D and strengthens your immune system. It also helps increase energy levels, lower blood pressure and elevate moods.
The lack of sunlight during winter months leads to seasonal depression and a general dip in our emotional well-being. Light therapy lamps are mood enhancers that actually produce artificial sunlight. These lamps increase serotonin levels, a hormone that elevates your mood.
Bulbs used in therapy lamps simulate wavelengths of this beneficial light. When you’re exposed to them, they can counter the effects of inadequate sunlight in the winter.
Consider adding these lamps to living areas or entryways so everyone in your home can benefit.
Add Dimmers to Primary Rooms
Dimmers are a great way to manipulate the lighting in a room and get the exact feel you desire. Plus, they are mood enhancers you have complete control of.
A great advantage to dimmer controls is they allow the lighting to be easily changed depending on the situation.
If you’re entertaining guests for a dinner party, lower the light for a more intimate mood. If your kids are working on homework or playing a game in the living room, turn up the brightness.
Remember, your mood is always changing. With a dimmer, the lights can be easily changed to suit your mental state. And you can have dimmer controls added to existing fixtures so it won’t involve too much installation time.
Accessorize with Christmas lights
It doesn’t have to be the holiday season to use Christmas lights inside your home. They are great mood enhancers and are easy to install.
Try using strings of soft LED Christmas lights around a bed frame or entryway. They won’t provide enough light to illuminate a room, but they look nice and add a touch of cheer.
Find a set that includes subtle bulbs and nonintrusive wiring. Or, go with twinkling or colored bulbs to add a more festive feel.
Lights Can Be Perfect Mood Enhancers
When changing the lighting in your home, you’ll want to keep the existing design elements in mind.
You may find that by changing the mood of the lighting, you’ll bring out these existing elements and enhance the overall tone of your house.
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