When the clocks go back, heralding the official start of winter, it reminds us how the light in our homes is an essential factor contributing to our individual happiness. In fact many of us suffer a dip in mood and energy at this time of year, with 7% of us suffering from Seasonal Adjustment Disorder, SAD, which can result in depression, problems with sleeping and even overeating.
So perhaps its time for us to consider how best to bring natural light in to the home by day and find creative solutions to using artificial light by night – bringing energy, warmth and happiness into our homes through the darker winter months.
Harnessing natural light within our homes is not only beneficial for our health, but also our bank balance. The average home has 35 electric lights, if each were turned on by just 5 minutes less each day, it is the equivalent of saving one bulbs energy usage for over forty solid days and nights! so these little saving really can ad up.
There are a number of ways that we can optimise the amount of natural light that falls into our homes. Decorate your house using Dulux Light and Space which uses Lumitec providing twice the reflectance of conventional paints, meaning that more light gets reflected back into the room, requiring less artificial light.
Alternatively why not simply consider over simply extending curtain poles to allow drapes to be pulled right back and not obscure any natural light pouring in. or even use pictures or mirrors to reflect and bounce light into the deeper recesses of your rooms.
But when the sun goes down and night falls one way or another its going to be time to turn on the lights. Using the app controlled and colour changing Philips Hue light bulbs is one of my favourite ways to bring a bit of creative happiness into the home. Adjustable to suit any mood, I am yet to find someone that isn’t enticed by the idea of having a complete spectrum of colour within one bulb.
Natural light is essential to maintaining the body’s circadian rythyms, which can affect sleep and energy levels. The light of a Bodyclock by Lumie can help to reset the body’s natural rhythms to suit the working day better. waking you in the morning with a gradual bright light. Manufacturers claim that they will not only help you to feel more awake in the morning but also lift your mood, energy and productivity all day, and help you to feel ready for sleep when it’s time for bed.
It may not surprise you that the visual and physical warmth that comes from a flickering flame is a great way to create the heart to a home. This could come from an artificial source such as a string of fairy lights carefully positioned in a frosted glass jar but may bet best delivered from a wood burning stove – creating an efficient low carbon source of heat and light- plus a focal point to the room. the only problem is – who gets to sit closest!
Natural light provides our body with vitamin D, which is important to maintain healthy bones. It also lifts our mood, helps to alleviate depression and makes us happier people to be around. So make the most of the daylight this winter, and when the lights go down remember that there are so many ways to stay happy and healthy till the first shoots of spring start to reappear.