Almost Everyone Notices That Natural Light Reduces Fatigue and is Better For Our Mood
Studies show that natural lighting helps to regulate our hormones and circadian rhythms, therefore positively influencing our health, productivity, and happiness.
Using softer and warmer lighting in the evening does not disrupt the production of melatonin, which is sometimes called the sleeping hormone. Research even suggests that red, green, and yellow hues will stimulate melatonin production, while bright, cold white and blue lights in the evening may disrupt melatonin and stimulate the production of serotonin instead.
Whenever possible, try to maximize the use of natural light:
- On overcast days, choose the lighting that is closest to natural sunlight. Our circadian rhythms are regulated better if we are exposed to the colder or bluer part of the spectrum during the day and the warmer, yellow part of the spectrum at night.
- Open the shades and curtains fully during the day. I sometimes notice that people leave the shades down during the day, and the energy in the room gradually becomes lower and more stagnant with time. The only way I can explain this is that the sun not only uplifts the energy of the space when it shines into the room, but somehow charges it up. Hence, northern rooms always feel more yin than southern rooms where the sun shines directly into the room. A southern room has a more vibrant feel to it, even in the evening or when it is overcast.
- To me, curtains are overrated and are used less and less in newer homes. They can add something beautiful and special to the design and feel of the house if they are done by a professional designer who has great taste, and you are willing to pay a few thousand dollars for them. Most often curtains are not so special, and they tend to block more natural light than window shades because of the extra bulk. Shades do not block natural light during the day, and they can be moved up or down for privacy and maximum light. Shades will also help preserve heat and, therefore, lower your heating bill during the winter. If you want to save a significant amount of money, you can measure the window frame yourself and order them online. Any online store that sells shades will have clear instructions on how to take measurements. You can get samples of the shades mailed to you to see the color and texture before you order. If this seems like too much, and you don’t have a budget to work with a designer, you can also hire a professional installer from Home Depot or Lowe’s to do the measurements for you.
- If you work from home and have a choice, try to work from a room that has more natural lighting. For example, for your home office choose a room with windows or part of any other appropriate room with windows.
Non-Natural Light Solutions
Lighting is, in many ways, responsible for creating the appropriate atmosphere in various parts of a home.
Chandeliers are a great way to create a statement and bring beauty for larger homes and homes with higher ceilings.
Pendants and Torchiere
Ceiling pendants and torchiere lamps are good for uplifting the energy in homes with normal or lower ceilings. Crystal chandeliers and pendants are fun, but they are considered a more classical option. If your design style is more contemporary, there are other beautiful and more contemporary options like cascading raindrop glass bubbles or hand-blown patterned glass cups that will work just as well. Cascading chandeliers are especially good for a two-story open entryway staircase because they can be longer and fill the area better.
Table lamps serve well for creating an intimate and relaxing atmosphere in the evening. A warmer choice of LED is best to use for table lamps. A warmer, softer pendant or chandelier light is also preferable for dining in the evenings. After all, for most of history humans dined either around the fire or by candlelight.
Your Options Are Spectacular
There are so many spectacular choices out there, especially online. It’s easier if you can find what you want in the store, but stores do not have as many options on display compared to what you can find online. If you buy lighting online, make sure to read all the specifications and measurements very carefully so you know exactly the size and wattage you are getting.
Chandeliers, pendants, floor lamps, and table lamps can absolutely be considered an art item in addition to their functional use.
I am very interested in hearing from you and learning about your experience with different kinds of lighting. I am curious if you agree/disagree with me on some of these points.
Want to Learn More or Discuss Your Next Project?
Natalia has over two decades of experience as an educator and practitioner in creating inspiring, balanced, and supportive environments. She applies her knowledge of feng shui, environmental psychology, and design sensibility to help clients obtain transformative and sustainable results for their homes and offices. [Read More]
Natalia Kaylin is an author of The Soulful Home Design Guide.