Is your space feeling dark and dim because winter is here and its really getting you down?
With the winter season nearing, you’ve likely noticed the days getting shorter and the nights longer. It’s all part of the magic of the winter solstice. But with all this beauty of the season comes a unique set of challenges, particularly when it comes to lighting. I’ll show you a few lighting hacks that can improve your emotional well-being, and some simple adjustments you can make to your space to get a functional, bright and cozy lighting plan.
Let's explore some of the common lighting issues you might be facing during this winter season.
First of all, the days are shorter, with less natural daylight.
You probably noticed by now the sun rising later and setting earlier. Which means there are fewer daylight hours to brighten your spaces. Also, the quality of natural light in winter hits different.
The sun hangs lower in the sky and lack of moisture due to the cooler temperatures mean sunlight doesn’t get scattered as much before reaching our eyes. This results in the sky actually appearing to be a brighter shade of blue.
Add the that to the longer shadows created by the lower angle of the sun and the result? Your spaces may feel uninspiring and less vibrant. So what do we do with fewer daylight hours, many of us turn to artificial lighting which are known to have a negative impact on our physical, mental and metabolic systems.
But it also leads to an increase in energy consumption resulting in higher electricity bills.
Now, let's talk about how these lighting issues can affect your mood and energy levels during winter.
You might now be waking up before the sun and driving home from work in the dark. Reduced natural light can disrupt your body’s internal clock which leads to imbalances in sleep patterns and energy levels. On top of the many of us have to deal with the ending of daylight saving time which reeks havoc on our circadian rhythms.
Since we’re talking about sleep patterns. lets discuss how less natural light can result in lower production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Low serotonin levels can be linked to mood and energy disorders.
Additionally, natural light suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.
During the seasonal time change with reduced daylight, the body may produce more melatonin than usual, leading us to feel more drowsiness, lethargy and reduced energy during our waking hours. Because of this, during the winter, you may find that your standard task lighting starts to become insufficient.
Reading, working on the computer, cooking, or your favorite hobbies can become more challenging without the right lighting. Having dimly lit spaces can affect productivity, affects your focus. It reduces cognitive performance, eye strain, headaches, stress and anxiety, and cause fatigue.
All of the issues, the quality of winter light, with its cooler and bluer tones. Can create a sense of coldness and detachment in your space, which impacts your emotional wellbeing, that then leading to feelings of isolation and unhappiness. Which also lead to lower energy levels, making you feel lethargic and less motivated to engage in activities or even leave your home.
The winter blues/ Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, becomes a real concern for some people.
There are some lighting hacks to address your challenges and nurture your wellbeing.
First and foremost increase your daylight exposure. Natural light is a primary source of vitamin D, which plays a crucial role in your energy levels and mood regulation. So practice getting outdoors daily, take a brisk walk during the warmest part of the day if only for 5 minutes. Get out side. Also to maximize the natural light that gets into your space ensure windows are clean, clear and unobstructed. Open up curtains and blinds and use light colored window coverings that allow light to pass thru.
A well-thought-out lighting design that includes ambient, task, and accent lighting all which help to create a more flexible and comfortable environment all times of the year. Different types of lighting should be used and varying heights to create a layered lighting scheme that includes, overhead lighting, sconces and floor and table lamps. This approach allows you to customize the lighting for different activities and moods.
To avoid eye strain and perform tasks effectively, consider installing task-specific lighting in areas where you read, work, cook or practice hobbies. Warm lighting with warmer color temperatures can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, countering the cooler light of winter. Invest in proper energy efficient artificial lighting for a welcoming indoor environment. Invest in sunlight lamps which are full-spectrum or daylight-mimicking bulbs that can mimic the qualities of natural light and can contribute to improving mood and energy levels. For more control over your lighting overall, you can explore options like dimmer switches, timers, or smart lighting systems. These tools allow you to adjust light levels and schedules to mimic natural light patterns throughout the day.
Don't get stuck in the dark! The biggest challenge I see with clients is not having enough lighting hacks.
I encourage you to look around and think about your own lighting challenges in your spaces during this winter season.
Are there any areas that could be brighter, or dimmer, or a corner that needs another lighting source?
If you find some of these winter lighting issues are impacting your mood, energy levels, and the overall atmosphere of your space, it might be time to seek solutions.
With the help of a professional you can create customize lighting solutions based on your specific needs, preferences, and the characteristics of your space. I can help you to craft a comprehensive lighting plan which promotes your emotional well-being. Since I understand the nuanced interplay between lighting and emotions, I can design a lighting scheme that creates a positive and uplifting environment within your space.
Create a Lighting Plan
So to recap what we’ve discussed today.
During the winter, having a lighting plan is crucial for creating a warm and cozy but also functional environment during the colder months. It impacts your mood, energy, and overall well-being. Particularly if you’re experiencing lighting challenges this winter, I want to encourage you to take the next step. Reach out and book a Redesign Consult with me to discuss your unique lighting needs further. Furthermore if you just want to discover what type of design update you may need in your space, take my personally crafted Interior Redesign Quiz linked below.
If you’re ready to tackle your winter lighting challenges and create a cozy retreat space, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You can find my contact information in the description below, and I look forward to assisting you on your journey to a well-lit, cozy, and functional winter space. I‘d like close this space with a home energy affirmation.
“May you be open to the power of light in your home, allowing it to uplift your mood, to energize your space, and to create a sanctuary of warmth and comfort.”
That’s all for today, Stay in Peace!