Residential Lighting That Promotes Health and Sleep
Any amount of light can affect your health throughout the day and your sleeping patterns at night. Proper light exposure helps regulate the body’s circadian clock, and the more we’re exposed to bright and dim light throughout the day, the better we sleep. To ensure you get the best sleep possible and promote your wellness, create the right lighting in your home.
How Lighting Affects Wellness and Mood
All light sources create light waves that affect the body. One of the essential biological functions in the body is the circadian system. This system uses light waves to cue the body during the morning and evening. In other words, seeing bright light in the morning can wake you up, and experiencing progressively dimmer lighting at night can make you tired.
With the creation of artificial light, our daily light exposure has changed over time and impacted our circadian rhythms. Understanding how different kinds of lights can affect mental health and physical responses will help promote better sleep and encourage healthy choices.
A bright, harsh light can affect your appetite, sleep cycle or emotional responses. For example, in dining areas within the home, a brighter light may cause a lack of appetite, and bright ceiling lights or night lights may disrupt the body’s natural sleep schedule.
However, if used correctly, bright light can help you feel more awake and energized during the day. Higher lighting levels are known to make the human body feel warmer and invoke feelings of emotional intensity, which can encourage confidence and strong opinions. This is why it is vital to understand how bright light can regulate the mood of those within the house.
Unfortunately, harsh lighting is one of the most prevalent light sources used when working. Fluorescent lights can be harsh on the eyes, making it difficult for individuals to focus on hobbies or work from home. It may even cause eye strain, headaches or migraines. Although some home offices may not have access to natural light during the day, you can simulate this with LED lights that reduce the harshness found in fluorescents and increase your productivity.
Artificial lights can now generate almost any color imaginable, thanks to technological improvements. Colored lighting can continually enhance a venue’s physical space and aesthetic design while influencing how people view the area.
Though color is often subjective, its impact on human psychology is relatively the same throughout different cultures and groups. Because color affects the mood, you can use lighting fixtures to cause the desired emotional reaction you want in your home.
Here are a few ways in which different colors affect mood:
- Red: Red evokes feelings of passion, anger or love and is seen as a color that promotes action and intensity.
- Blue: This color is calming, often representing serenity.
- Green: Green is connected to the natural landscape and has associations with tranquility.
- Yellow: Yellow emits a positive emotion that reflects sunlight and energy.
- Orange: This color can signal excitement.
- Purple: Purple may have a sad connotation but also reflects pride and royalty.
- Black: This color most commonly means power or strength.
- White: A pure and innocent color, white can also reflect neutrality.
Natural sunlight can be beneficial to the mind and body. It most notably boosts vitamin D levels, strengthens bones and helps prevent cancer. Natural lighting can also positively impact mental health and depression symptoms. While the absence of light helps to release melatonin and assists in the sleeping process, the existence of natural light tells the brain to release serotonin, which helps to improve a person’s overall mood.
Sunlight can also range in color temperatures that help the body’s circadian rhythms and assist in our natural sleep cycles. The sun’s cooler temperature lights promote productivity and help you feel energetic, while warmer light helps the body to relax during the evening hours, promoting better sleep.
Remember that the absence of natural light can cause eyestrain, headaches or drowsiness, and allowing room for windows or areas within the home that let in sunlight will increase the overall happiness of the household.
The Benefits of Light Therapy
Light therapy has been known to help people with mental health conditions, especially those with depression. There are different versions of light therapy, each with its own benefits.
Natural sunlight can be vital to the human brain, and bright light exposure may improve the mood of individuals and assist with natural biological schedules. A similar system known as dawn simulation has also been tested and said to impact seasonal depression patients positively.
Both forms of therapy show that daily light exposure during the morning and late afternoon can help people with sleep problems and treat depression symptoms.
Tips for Installing Healthy Indoor Lighting for Homes
To create comfortable home lighting, some tips may help you design the right atmosphere:
1. Create Even Light Distribution
Contrasting lights in different rooms can tire your eyes, while an uneven distribution of light sources may cause headaches or strain. To combat this, consider using LED panels to bring light to a broader area and create even lighting throughout the house.
2. Install Dimmers
Dimmers in the living room or bedroom can produce a calming effect and protect the eyes from damage. Harsh lights may cause headaches, and dimmers can give you the controls you need to lower the impact of strong light during the evening.
3. Use Safety Lights
If safety is a concern in certain parts of the house, consider placing safety lights near a stairway or along a path. This will help family members and guests to find their way during the night and prevent any falls or accidents due to tripping.
4. Understand Color Temperature
Color temperature is often measured in Kelvin and refers to the appearance of a bulb. Lower numbers produce orange or red tones, while higher numbers reflect blue tones. Thanks to technological innovations, you can now use color temperature to assist in keeping the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Keep in mind that some artificial lights may still affect the mood of the household, so you should take the effects of different colors seriously.
Shop Residential Light Fixtures at WAC Lighting
WAC Lighting is dedicated to building sustainable products while remaining at the forefront of emerging technologies. Our owner-operated design and manufacturing company has worked with various designers and architects in commercial and residential fields, so we know what it takes to create stunning, effective lighting.
Contact us today to speak to a representative or browse our various products.