Whether it is subtle or not, lighting makes a huge difference to any living space. It can take a room from dull and drab to bright and cheery, or it can add just enough softness to create a calm atmosphere.
Lighting does more than add function to a room; it affects your mood. Have you ever noticed that when it has been rainy for a few days, your mood suffers? Then, on sunny days you tend to be more cheerful and energetic? This same concept translate to the home, where the lighting in each room can affect your mood.
The good news is, knowing that different kinds of lighting can help boost your spirits or unwind after a long day, there are things you can do with the right lighting equipment and lighting fixtures in each room to create a positive atmosphere in your home.
The living room is where you gather as a family, where you visit with guests and where you enjoy entertainment. For many people, this is one of the most-used rooms in the home, so the lighting here is very important.
You likely want a cheery yet homey atmosphere in your living room. A strong ceiling light and accent lights like floor lamps, smaller lamps and wall sconces can accomplish this. Keep in mind that there may be areas in your living room, like art, shelves or bookcases that you want to highlight, so these spaces may require recessed lighting that can be directed to highlight special features. If you watch television or like to kick back and relax in your living room, install lights with dimmers so you can adjust the brightness according to what is happening in the room.
The kitchen is another room that gets a lot of use. The lighting here needs to portray a clean, happy and even appetising feeling. How do you accomplish this? With bright, open lighting. Look for fixtures that have very transparent and minimal covers and shades to avoid dim lighting.
Opt for bright lights and lighting directly above things like counters and tables. You can add character and definition to a large kitchen by using hanging lights above things like a table or island.
Natural lighting can help enhance your mood and can even help regulate your body’s circadian rhythm or natural clock. When you head to the kitchen for breakfast before you start your day, natural lighting can help your body wake up and become energised. Bring natural lighting into the kitchen with large windows and by using curtains that can be pulled back to let in as much light as possible.
The lighting in your bathroom needs to be chosen specifically to help you relax. It needs to be subtle and soft so that at the end of the day you can relax in a warm shower or bath and let your worries drift away. Look for smaller lights and use soft white bulbs in the bathroom.
However, if you apply makeup at your bathroom mirror, you may need brighter lighting in this area. Try vanity lighting above the mirror that has its own switch so it can be turned off when you want to relax, or install a dimmer so you can adjust the lighting as needed.
The bedroom is another area that requires lighting that can help you bring your mood from busy, stressed and work-oriented to calm and relaxed. With the right lighting, you can actually get a better night’s sleep.
Start with a main light fixture that isn’t extremely bright or that can be dimmed. Then, add a smaller light near the bed that you can use for reading and that can be turned off without having to get out of bed. When it is time to unwind for the night, you can turn the main light off and turn the lamp on, allowing for subtle lighting that will help prepare your mind and body for sleep. The idea is to create a lighting system that can easily go from day to night mode with just a few switches.
Research has shown that the light emitted from electronic devices, like computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones keeps us from getting a good night’s sleep. The kind of light from these gadgets actually makes our mind believe it is day and, therefore, makes it harder for us to fall asleep. Keep these things out of the bedroom or at least turned off and away from the bed.
Good lighting can increase your productivity and energy level, so it is a good idea to have strong lighting and access to natural light in your home office. These kinds of lights can not only help you focus on the task at hand, but can also help prevent things like eye strain and headaches.
When shopping for lighting for your home office, look for lights that offer direct lighting so you can easily light up work spaces like a desk or work table. Natural lighting can help with productivity and help you maintain a positive mood, which can also benefit productivity levels. Keep curtains open during the day and consider situating your desk where you can see out the window and benefit from the sunlight.
Since lighting can affect your mood, it is very important that you choose lighting fixtures that are not only functional but that help you create a certain ambience in each room in your home. As you shop for lighting, consider the main uses for a room and the kind of mood you want to have while using the room. These guidelines can help you find the right lighting for both function and feeling, so your entire home will be well lit and mood enhancing.
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