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Blog posts tagged with 'mood lighting'

How Lighting Can Impact Your Emotional Health and Wellbeing

Have you ever thought about how light can affect your mood?

You’re probably aware that you feel better when the sun is shining or that you’re more creative when the light is more subdued, but different lights can impact our emotional health and wellbeing too, by affecting everything from your mood to your appetite.

Sunshine Equals Happiness?

While we can’t guarantee that being in the sun will make you feel happier, it does make a big difference to your wellbeing. Researchers have found that people who are exposed to natural sunlight during the day exercise more, sleep for longer and feel much better than people who get little exposure.

Getting your daily dose of daylight will help your body to stick to its natural circadian rhythm and help it to know when it’s time to be awake and when it’s time to sleep.

 

Natural Light May Help Reduce Symptoms of Depression

Getting outside during daylight hours may also help to reduce the symptoms of depression. A 2013 study reported that volunteers with both depression and a Vitamin D deficiency found that their symptoms were reduced by increased exposure to sunlight.

The good news is that this effect can be replicated with the use of a lamp that’s designed to mimic natural outdoor light, which can prove particularly helpful during short, dark winter days.

 

Bright Light Heightens Emotions

Researchers have suggested that being under bright light can heighten both our positive and negative emotions.

Following a study in 2014, in which participants were given a number of tasks in either a brightly or dimly lit room, it was found that their senses and emotions were more intense when in a bright environment.

 

We Feel More Energetic Under Blue Light

Being exposed to blue light can give us more energy, make us feel more alert and help us to become more productive. Volunteers in a recent study were found to complete reasoning tasks more quickly and accurately when they were exposed to blue light in comparison to the control group.

Interestingly, this heightened state of alertness continued for at least thirty minutes afterwards.

 

But Blue Light Will Keep Us Awake at Night

As you would expect, if blue light gives us more energy, it’s not the best light to be exposed to if we want to sleep. Smartphones, laptops and other screens emit blue light that is known to suppress melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. So, it’s no wonder that you’re finding it hard to sleep if you take your screen to bed with you!

 

Light Can Affect Your Appetite

How fast we eat, how much we eat, our perception of flavour and our choice of food can all be affected by the kind of light we’re exposed to.

In general, we tend to eat more slowly and consume less food when we’re in a dimly lit environment, although we may be tempted to order more unhealthy options. This may be because we feel more relaxed and less alert when the lighting is more subdued.

However, light can affect our taste buds too! In a 2009 study, researchers looked at how different levels of light affected the participants’ preference for a particular wine. Although, they did conclude that the results could have been influenced by the way in which the wine changed colour in the light.

 

Light Up Your Life!

So, as you can see, we need good levels of light to ensure that we feel at our best, and it’s no surprise that we often feel down in the dumps in winter. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a recognised problem that’s caused by the lack of bright light.

Fortunately, it’s easily treatable with light therapy using specially designed light boxes – but even if you don’t suffer from SAD, it’s a good idea to bring as much light into your life as possible!

A Quick Lesson in Bathroom Lighting

 

Lighting for the bathroom is often relegated to an afterthought, which later proves to be detrimental because bathroom lighting is actually so important.

It's one of those rooms of the house where good lighting is essential and where, depending on the size and style of the bathroom, adjustable levels of lighting may be highly desirable.

Investing some time in considering the kind of lighting your bathroom will need is an action you will not regret. Good bathroom lighting pays dividends in terms of making the bathroom a more liveable space.

 

Ambient Lighting

Depending on the room shape, you will need one or more main ambient lights for the bathroom. If the bathroom décor is modern, you may be best served by a flush mounted style of ambient light.

 

A fine selection of excellent ambient lighting options from
Christopher Wray Lighting to suit a modern bathroom décor.

For a more classic décor scheme, consider elegant ambient lighting options that will complement the décor and even draw focus to the opulence on display. If you can make your bathroom feel like a special place, that is definitely a measure of success to be savoured.

 

Tiedro chandelier (with matching wall lights) by Christopher Wray
Lighting makes a good choice for a classically furnished bathroom.

Although it is often a popular choice, we recommend against recessed lighting for the bathroom. Recessed lighting can be a mistake because steam and condensation accumulate in the recessed area, and do not then readily evaporate. This increases the corrosive potential to harm metal, plaster, wood, and other materials.

 

Mood Lighting

The bathroom can also be a place to unwind with a relaxing soak after a busy day. The last thing you want when you're trying to relax is to be blasted in the face by harsh overhead lighting.

A little mood lighting, courtesy of cleverly placed wall lights and sconces, can give you just the right amount of light to achieve a more relaxing and romantic atmosphere in your bathroom.

 

Wall lights such as Dorchester (left), Granton (centre), and
Cannuccia (right), provide softer lighting for better relaxation.

Once again, it's sensible to match the lighting style to the décor of the bathroom. If you're not sure how the bathroom will eventually be furnished, an art-deco style such as Cannuccia has a good balance between classic and modern looks, making it a versatile choice.

 

Task Lighting

When you are trying to shave or apply makeup, there's nothing worse than poor lighting. Good lighting will enable you to see clear detail and avoid embarrassing errors.

 

Innovations in lighting design, like this internally illuminated mirror
are at the heart of the Christopher Wray lighting design concept.

Choosing the right task lighting will be partly a matter of personal taste and partly a matter of practicality. Some designs can meet quite specific needs.

 

The Bristle strip light has a built-in shaver socket,
cleverly saving valuable bathroom wall space.

While the majority of bathroom task lighting is focused on the mirror and sink area, many home owners find the addition of a downlight placed strategically above a toilet bowl can be quite a practical idea too.

Good bathroom lighting should be a design feature

Planning your bathroom lighting at the home design stage, if you have the option, is always the best way to go. This way you can be certain your bathroom lighting will provide adequate light for each purpose the bathroom serves, and that the lighting will be installed in precisely the right locations for best effect.

For more ideas and information about bathroom lighting, talk to one of the friendly lighting consultants at Christopher Wray Lighting, or send us an email. We also have plenty of examples on display at our King's Road shop, and you are most welcome to drop in and browse our collection