Circadian lighting systems, red light and more ways to use lighting to improve your mood and energy levels.
Lighting alters more than the aesthetic appeal of your home — it can affect your mood as well.
Studies show that we are deeply influenced by our home lighting choices. Fortunately, there are several ways light can help with common problems.
Feeling sluggish? Try a circadian lighting system
Waking up without a cup of coffee is always a little bit tricky. But if you find yourself feeling overly sluggish in the morning, it could be because your sleeping pattern is off its natural cycle. Investing in a circadian lighting system may help you get back on track.
Circadian lighting systems mimic the sun’s normal light path. Not only will an artificial sunrise help you wake up in the morning, but dimmer light toward the end of the day will make it easier for you to wind down. Many smart LED bulbs can now be programmed to mimic this cycle.
Feeling blue? Try installing natural light
The darker your home is, the more difficult it becomes for your brain to produce serotonin — a mood-boosting hormone triggered by daylight. So, if you’ve been feeling down during the rainy season, more access to natural light could help.
Sunlight-mimicking lamps are available. Or find places in your home where you spend the most time and consider installing windows or skylights. If that big of a job is not possible, check out light tubes — cylindrical pipes that channel light from your roof and reflect it into the rooms of your choosing.
Feeling anxious? Try dimmer switches
If your emotions are running high, installing dimmer switches around your home could help. Studies show that bright light intensifies your emotions, while lower light can keep your feelings at a steady level. Give yourself the option to move between the two without sacrificing bright overhead light when you need it.
Feeling restless? Try red light
You probably encounter blue light on a regular basis thanks to computer screens, fluorescent bulbs and LED lights. Unfortunately, blue light is known to stop melatonin production in your brain, which makes it difficult to fall asleep. Take a look at the lightbulbs you’re using in your bedroom and replace blue tones with red, amber or yellow light for more restful sleep. You’ll still be able to see what you’re doing, but your body will be able to produce the sleep hormone it needs.
What now? Don’t forget finishes
No matter which new lighting scheme you decide to try out, it’s important to make sure your home finishes work with your design. Installing natural light won’t help much if you decorate with dark paint colors and espresso floors. Instead, amplify brightness with white walls and pale furniture. If you prefer dimmer ambiance for relaxation, feel free to play up light-absorbing shades like navy, charcoal and umber. And for a more flexible lighting atmosphere, neutral colors will get you a happy medium.