From your sleep schedule to overall productivity, light in a space can affect how you feel and behave through the day. The right kind of lighting can not only make a space more inviting but can also alter your mood - positively and negatively. Energy efficiency is another important consideration to help you live consciously, nurturing body and soul.
Read our top tips to help you achieve the most productive results:
Before you add light in a space through fixtures, remember that natural light is imperative for your health. Lack of natural light can lead to a severe Vitamin D deficiency and can also trigger depression and anxiety. Ensure your window treatments allow for light to filter through. Installing UV resistant glass is a good option to make sure you are living at your best.
LEDs vs. CFLs
While the use of LEDs is on the rise due to their energy efficiency, did you know that they do not contain mercury and produce only a small amount of UV (compared to CFLs or even incandescent lamps)? Switch to LEDs if you haven’t already, it will save you time and money.
Plan the layout
Like the proverbial deer caught in headlights, bright light can temporarily blind you. As you navigate between rooms or climb a stairwell, moving between bright and dimly lit areas can tire your eyes. Plan the layout of your homes or office allowing for relatively even distribution of light across various rooms. For offices, LED panels are especially useful, illuminating wide expanses.
Layering light fixtures is as vital as planning the layout. Use a mix of task, ambient and accent lighting in every room, a combination of table lamps, floor lamps, sconces and overhead fixtures. You don't need to have them all in every room, but aim for at least two options per room.
Introduce task lighting
Certain areas will require more light so think of your needs and plan ahead. Bathrooms and kitchens need light for specific tasks that require concentration: think shaving or chopping. Under-cabinet lighting is perfect for kitchens, while light near mirrors is ideal for bathrooms. Desk and small lamps with swivels are recommended for reading, writing, and other activities that require focused vision over prolonged periods of time.
Whether your home is a duplex or a rambling mansion, chances are that you have to journey across stairs or dark hallways. Remember to install floor lighting, it could be of low wattage or you might even consider glow in the dark paint. Path-finding lights are a smart way to prevent accidents and help children or visitors navigate your home.
Watch out for the glare
As we age, we experience sensitivity to glare caused by sunlight, light reflected off shiny surfaces, or other sources of illumination. Protect yourself from damage by choosing wall treatments and furniture with a matte, rather than glossy, finish.
Think of your light fixtures as decorative accessories: during the day they will most likely be off but they are an indelible part of your home decor, so choose wisely!