How Lighting Affects Your Health
The right lighting used the right way can benefit your health, so learn how to control it and make it work for you.
Light affects you in more ways than you know. It influences your sleep patterns, mood, productivity and overall health and wellbeing. So, it’s important to learn how you can improve your relationship with light and make it work for you.
All of us have an internal 24-hour biological clock or circadian rhythm that tells us when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. In the past, our ancestors regulated their body clocks based on the rising and setting of the sun. However, today with the use of smart phones, TVs and bright lighting long after sunset, we’re exposed to more blue light at night which disrupts our sleep and in turn our health. There’s a way to fix this.
The level of melatonin – the hormone that signals to the body it’s time to rest – typically starts rising two hours before bedtime. So, schedule your smart lights to dim down and emit a warmer temperature light (1800K-3000K, minimal blue light) two hours before bedtime every night to help you fall asleep easily and stay asleep. Similarly, schedule them to turn on at a brighter, cool white temperature (4000K-6500K) at the same time every morning to help you wake up refreshed.
If you’re not ready to invest in smart lighting, choose lamps that let you manually switch between a range of colour temperatures and brightness levels. If that’s too tough to remember, simply install lighting fixtures with warm white lights in your living room and bedroom where you relax and unwind at the end of the day.
Globe featured: Karbon 25W ES Clear Pilot Globe
Globe featured: GE 4.8W Dimmable Opal LED Candle ES Globe in Warm White
Observe how happy and energetic you feel when the sun is shining brightly outside. It’s the blue light naturally present in sunlight that stimulates the ‘feel-good hormone’ Serotonin to kick in. Artificial lighting mimics this effect by offering bright cool white temperature light (4000K – 6500K) which is perfect to use indoors during the day to stay alert, focused and upbeat. This is particularly needed when doing tasks like cooking in the kitchen or working and studying in your home office.
Make sure that the pendants, spotlights or downlights in your kitchen and the desk lamps in your study are set to a bright, cool white temperature during the day to boost your concentration and in turn, your productivity.
We’ve already seen how using the right colour temperatures and brightness levels at different times during the day can affect our health and moods. While that’s the practical aspect of lighting, the aesthetic aspect can also make a difference. Decorative wall lights like our Disk lights can add a spa-like vibe in a bathroom to help you feel relaxed while candles and Himalayan salt lamps can add a sense of tranquillity to your space. Cute string lights on your study or work desk add an element of fun to your workspace and can cheer you up when you’re having a tough day.
In addition, there are other lighting accessories that directly or indirectly improve your physical and mental wellbeing. Like our Moda LED light and phone disinfector. It charges your phone and at the same time destroys 99.9% of germs and bacteria that live on the surface of your phone in just seven minutes. Our Esse LED diffuser can help relieve nasal congestion by adding moisture into the air. If you have a green thumb, you’re already aware of the benefits of having greenery in your garden. Consider growing plants indoors as well to clean the air and boost your mood. Our Natura plant growth lamp provides the light spectrum that is necessary for plants to grow, so your indoor plants will thrive throughout the year, even in winter.
Besides taking care of your health, lighting can also keep your home and family safe. The staircase in your home is the primary connection between your spaces downstairs and your bedrooms upstairs. So, this area sees a huge amount of foot traffic throughout the day. And you know how dangerous stairs can be, especially at night. Not just children, adults too are prone to tripping over poorly lit stairs. The key to safe illumination is contrast. This means creating light and shadows along your stairs to give you a sense of depth and space while navigating this space. This can be achieved by adding strip lights on the treads of the stairs or under the handrail or by installing recessed step lights on every alternate step. Use the same lighting ideas to illuminate the stairs in your front yard and backyard to prevent trips and falls.
Exterior lights with built-in motion sensors are another great way to add a layer of safety. They turn on when they detect movement, so they’re great for startling intruders. They’re also helpful when you return home late at night or when your hands are full; they turn on automatically, so you can see clearly where you’re stepping or find your keys easily. Because they turn on only when they detect motion, they also help you save energy and reduce power costs. A bonus benefit!
If you need assistance in selecting the right lighting that supports your health, our team can help. Drop into any of our stores and speak to our lighting specialists for free advice. Or if you plan to update your entire lighting plan, our accredited lighting designers at Beacon Design Studio can put together a customised solution for you. Schedule your personal consultation here.