Just like how bright and sunny weather can uplift our entire day, how we choose to illuminate our indoor environments can also affect how we feel inside. With spring right around the corner, SM Lighting & Bath Design, your one-stop-shop for all your lighting needs, offers some insights on how you can freshen your home for the new season.
Our intake of light has psychological and biological effects on our health and wellbeing, impacting our sleep patterns, cognition performance, emotions and other aspects of our daily lives. Good lighting can result in positive improvements to our mental and physical states, while poor lighting can lead to negative disruption on our mind and our body.
When creating our live, work and sleep environments in our homes, understanding the effects of light can help us build spaces that will enable the moods and feelings we wish to foster. “We showcase lighting fixtures with a range of colour temperatures to help our clients build spaces with the right amount of comfort,” says Harleen Minhas, director of SM Lighting & Bath Design
Here’s how to incorporate light psychology into your home environment.
Colour temperature sets the mood
Measuring the warmness and coolness of light, the colour temperature of light affects the human body. The low colour temperature of soft and warm lights triggers the production of melatonin, which makes us slow down and relax. The high colour temperature of bright and cool lights triggers the release of serotonin, which makes us more alert and energetic.
In fact, a study from University of Toronto shows that our emotional levels are intensified under excessive bright lighting. Alternatively, while low lighting doesn’t remove emotions, it does help keep them steady.
“We’ve integrated switches in many of our lighting products to combine bright and low temperatures with a simple control switch,” states Minhas. “This helps our clients create ideal settings in every room.”
Adjusting our lighting at home to high colour temperature or low colour temperatures, along with warm colour tones and cool colour tones, can help us direct our moods and emotions.
Like the glow of a fireplace or candle, warm lighting and yellow tones creates a soothing and calm ambiance that can reduce negative emotions and anxious moods, helping us to slow down and relax. Keep your home lights dimmed down to foster a comforting atmosphere when you are feeling stressed out or making important decisions. As well, red light in the evening helps produce melatonin, which leads to minimal disruption to our internal circadian rhythms and thus, better sleep at night.
Whereas warm lights promote relaxing environments, cool lights promote more stimulating environments for when you need to feel more alert, more focused and more productive.
A study by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that blue light stimulates the brain and promotes cognitive activity more than any other light. Using blue-enriched LED lighting can improve your productivity while working or studying in your home office, along with other spaces where high concentration is expected.
Other lighting tones to consider installing in your workspace in your home are green lighting, which can enhance learning and concentration, and orange lighting, which can increase mental activity by stimulating the creative thought process.
Light direction transforms spaces
The positioning of a light source can transform spaces and impact the way we feel in these spaces.
“At SM Lighting, we never want the client to feel limited to a certain position of a light fixture,” says Minhas. “Therefore, we offer a wide range of customized positioning to accommodate a complete setting for lighting.”
According to the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), lighting placed above eye level can create a more formal atmosphere, while lighting positioned below eye level can create a more informal atmosphere.
To encourage a more relaxed mood, lower overhead lighting levels and add soft and warm-toned lighting at room perimeter. Pendant lights, recessed lighting and cove lighting in your home will make your space feel comfortable and cozy. Additionally, by positioning low light levels around your space, you can evoke a feeling of privacy and intimacy. Consider table lamps or dimmed lanterns for indoor lighting, and string lights for outdoor lighting (such as on the patio).
Light is the finishing touch that affects not only the look of your home, but how you feel in it. By understanding how light affects us and adjusting our home lighting configurations accordingly through, we can better create spaces that promote more balance in our moods and behaviours.
SM Lighting & Bath Design is a lighting store in Surrey that sells lighting fixtures and provides customized service to help you build the best lighting plans for your home. Their team is extremely knowledgeable and takes pride in helping clients build individuality in spaces by choosing the right fixture with the right colour temperature.
For more information, go to savemorelighting.ca and visit their showroom, located at 12639 80 Ave #137.