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  • Mary Lynch

Let there be light

Winter is the darkest time of the year. This is due to day light savings and the tilt of the earth. Darkness, which is not helped by the overcast and bad weather we have been experiencing, is not good for our mental health and well-being. We can counteract this.

We need light for our safety and mental health. It affects our hormones and our circadian rhythms. Meaning, we need the right kinds of light during the day to function well.

Adequate amounts of light help to improve mood and energy levels while poor light can contribute depression and other deficiencies in the body. The amount and type of light affects mood, concentration, appetite and many aspects of daily life. Adequate light is needed for safety in a home. Being able to see aspects of a room will help to reduce falls.

As your eyes age, they need more illumination. A 60-year-old individual needs 3 times the amount of illumination than a 20-year-old person. (http:/ Adding higher wattage bulbs and more lamps can help with this. Installing lighting in the stairways is very important.

Stronger and brighter light are suggested for the morning and during the day and dimmer lights are suggested for the evening. The temperature of the light, measured in Kelvin(K), also matters. Warmer lights, lower number on the Kelvin scale, are welcoming and relaxing. This is the kind of light that came from basic lightbulbs. The light that comes from fluorescent or LED bulbs can be cold light. Look for lights that say soft white or 2000K-3000K. This will give you the warm and welcoming light that most of us grew up with.

There should be adequate light in each room so you can safely navigate the space. Lighting has three main categories, general lighting (ambient), task, and decorative. General lighting can be accomplished by ceiling lights and lamps. Lamps can also be used for task lighting. Dimmers for ceiling lights are great because you can adjust the light to your needs. The best lighting plan is layered, both ambient and task lighting combined. Ceiling lights and lamps can be important design elements on your home. These can reflect your home’s aesthetic or style. New lighting can give you a whole new lease on a room. Change up your lighting and change your room.

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