Psychology of light in our homes

The psychology of light in your home

There are some rooms in our house that are lovely and bright, letting in lots of gorgeous natural light.

Our living room though has a really deep windowsill so it can feel quite gloomy in there at times.  What’s interesting is the difference that makes to how we all feel.  On days when it’s that bit darker, spending time in the living room can make us all feel a bit gloomier.

The amount and quality of light in our homes really does have a bit impact on our moods and sense of wellbeing.

The psychology of light in your home

 

One of the best things we can do in our homes is let in as much natural light as possible.

When we’re exposed to more natural light we tend to feel happier and calmer, and also more productive.  Natural light is also essential to keep our circadian rhythms on track, as we use light as a prompt to let our bodies know when it’s time to sleep and when we should be awake and alert.

 

There are a few things we can do to bring more natural light into our homes.

Pulling back the curtains and opening the blinds is a great start.  And cleaning the windows regularly is also a good idea so that they let in as much light as possible.  If you have the money available for a bit of remodelling then adding a glass conservatory or an atlas roof lantern would really help flood your home with beautiful natural light.

You can also make your home lighter by putting big mirrors up opposite the windows, to bounce more light into the room.  Light coloured walls, furniture and soft furnishings will also have the same effect, reflecting light back into the room rather than absorbing it.

 

There are some interesting benefits of having a bright and light home.

Studies have found that we eat more slowly and often choose lighter meals when we eat in rooms that are brightly lit.  I suppose this is probably down to the fact that we can see so clearly how much we’re eating, so we’re more conscious of not over-eating.

So quick tip – if you want to enjoy a box of chocolates take it into the living room and dim the lights before you indulge.  On the other hand, if you know you want to just have one or two stick to the brightly lit kitchen when you break open the box.

 

It’s also interesting to know that brighter lights can make us feel both positive and negative emotions more intensely.

There was a study in 2014 that found that volunteers reacted to a few different situations more intensely under brighter lights than those who were in more dimly light rooms.  They showed a preference for spicier food, judged other people as more aggressive and felt more strongly about positive and negative words.

So next time you have some great news to celebrate at home, make sure it’s nice and brightly lit so everyone can feel even happier about it!

 

The colour of light in our homes can also have an effect on us, as it ties in with our circadian rhythms.

Blue light makes us feel more alert and energised, so it’s great to be exposed to this during the day.  At night though, when we want to be winding down and feeling sleepy it can be really disruptive.  This is why it’s recommended that we limit screen time before bed.  You can also get red light night lights which are brilliant if you have to get up in the night with a baby or child, as they don’t wake you up so much and make it easier to get back to sleep.

 

The main thing to keep in mind is that natural light is the best, so we should be letting in as much as possible to our homes.  This way we can keep our body clocks working the way they should, so we can sleep well and wake up refreshed.

 

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

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