The human brain is a highly complex organ that is surprisingly easily influenced by many different outside factors – one of these factors is lighting. Everything from the sun to a desk lamp can impact how we feel and think. That’s why it’s so essential that you pay attention to the design of your home’s lighting layout. Learn more about how your residential lights affect mood and mental health.
Before diving into the impacts of lighting on mood and mental health, it’s important to understand lighting temperature. There is a broad spectrum of lighting colors that fall under two different temperature classifications: warm and cool. Candles, incandescent bulbs, and halogen bulbs are all considered warm lighting solutions, while CFLs, fluorescent bulbs, and LEDs are cooler (although these latter three solutions can emit warm lighting).
So why is all this information so necessary? Numerous studies show that warmer lighting colors help individuals relax by encouraging Melatonin production in the brain, while cool lighting colors promote Serotonin production, which boosts energy and alertness. By understanding how each lighting temperature impacts mood and hormones, you can better manipulate your home’s lighting layout to encourage better mental health.
Lighting’s Impact on the Circadian Rhythm
As mentioned above, cooler lighting temperatures boost Serotonin, energy, and alertness levels in the brain. Specifically, “blue light” emitted from the sun and tech-device screens (laptops, TVs, smartphones, etc.) keeps us awake for more extended periods. Unfortunately, overexposure to blue light is very common in today’s technological-dominated world and negatively impacts our circadian rhythms.
A circadian rhythm regulates natural sleeping patterns and is heavily influenced by the surrounding environment and lighting. When you overindulge in screen time before bed, you alter your circadian rhythm and interfere with proper rest – a lack of quality sleep causes mental health and mood issues that carry with you throughout the day. It’s essential that you give your eyes a rest from blue light leading up to bedtime and consider using blue light glasses when using computers or smartphones.
How can you manipulate your home’s lighting setup to ensure better sleep and mental health overall? The easiest way to better influence your brain is by using cool lights in the morning and warm lights in the evening.
LEDs are highly capable of producing a wide spectrum of lighting colors and temperatures. They offer more control throughout your house. Additionally, you can opt to install lighting systems with dimming capabilities to better regulate temperatures. Regardless of your preferences, it’s essential that you always consider the best lighting solutions available to you.
Understanding how residential lighting affects your mood and mental health can better ensure that your home is a healthy and enjoyable environment. Try to keep lighting temperatures and colors in specific rooms consistent to maintain a better mental space.