Life Improvement - Light


Increased working hours and an unpredictable climate mean that we’re missing out on mood-enhancing natural light. Find out how to use artificial light for a practical and healthy home.

Light and Life Improvement...

Light is fundamental to our appreciation of happy and healthy spaces, but few of us really take the time to maximise our exposure to daylight, or when the Sun goes down, to get artificial lighting right in our homes.

Exposure to natural light is essential for a balanced circadian rhythm, which influences our body’s behaviour, mood and hormone release - controlling our sleep/ wake cycle. Whilst we spend 90% of our lives indoors, there is much that we can do to increase natural light in our interior spaces: keeping windows clean, clear from exterior obstructions, fitting the right size curtain rails to allow curtains be pulled right back, and reflecting light off window sills are great ways to brighten up spaces.

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We can even use super reflective paints to bounce light into the darker recesses of a space, and reduce our need for electric lights. If the average home has 25 lights, and every light was used for just 5 minutes less every day of the year – it would be the equivalent of saving 1 light bulb being left on constantly for over 31 days and nights. In hallways (often the darkest spaces in the home), we can filter and borrow light from other spaces using etch glass doors, reflective flooring surfaces, or fitting light tunnels through attic spaces.

But when the Sun goes down we all need a little help from artificial lighting. To add practicality, flexibility and mood enhancement, I always recommend using three light sources in every room. General lighting (often the main room light) to help you navigate around a room easily and safely. Task lighting (such as angle poise or under cabinet kitchen lights) to allow you to carry out different tasks, such as reading, cooking or washing. But also mood enhancing lighting to create a calm relaxing or atmospheric quality to a space – this can be as simple as a string of fairy lights in a coloured glass jar.

You can even extend the feeling of space in your home by fitting garden lighting – illuminating features, trees, shrubs and walls. It will give the eye something to focus on beyond the confines of your interior space and add a sense of magic.

Just occasionally lighting can be a menace in our homes – think of the light pollution from streetlights, car headlights, or sunlight in the early morning and mid summer evenings – all of which can hinder a good night’s sleep. Control light seeping into bedrooms with blackout roller blinds and a good thick pair of curtains. Whilst lighting can be used to create a calm and relaxing space, just remember that the bright blue light that emanates from your tablet or smartphone can also energise you, and prevent you from sleeping at night. So aim to put technology down 2 hours before you sleep.

Getting the lighting right at home is an essential element of living well. Get it right and your home will be practical, healthy, flexible, and yes, even more romantic.

Lighting - top picks...

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Wood Tripod Floor Lamp - White
Product Row 1 - Tripod
Tripod Floor Lamp

Shop Dulux Light and Space paint - for a brighter, more spacious room...

More ideas to improve your life...

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