Light is one of the most important necessities for everyday life. Since the beginning of time, light has been crucial to not only everyday tasks, but to survival. Thankfully, attaining necessary light indoors became much easier due to the invention of the light bulb. Since then, our understanding of light and how important it is, has increased, as well as how much it affects our bodies. This article will examine why it is so essential to have the correct type of lighting in your home, and what lighting you should avoid.
Protecting our sleep cycle through lighting
Our bodies have an internal clock that tells us when to wake up, when to start winding down for the day, and when to go to sleep. This internal clock, also known as our circadian rhythm, is extremely important to our wellbeing, but can be thrown off by incorrect lighting. Due to our circadian clocks having a large impact on our body’s insulin activity, disruption to this cycle can lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can keep your rhythm in good order.
Our bodies are more awake with brighter lights and need to have a gradually darker environment before sleep.
One way to accomplish this would be though dimmable lights throughout your home. The later in the evening it gets, the more you can adjust the lighting, allowing your body to start preparing for its sleep cycle.
Another way to receive lower light in the evening, is to use lamps throughout the house. Scientists also recommend that you shut off all electronics an hour before bed, as the bright lights from televisions, laptops, tablets, phones and all other electronic devices can confuse our internal clocks.
Avoid artificial lighting, especially fluorescents
Brightly lit environments can help our concentration and productivity, although too much exposure to harsh artificial light, such as fluorescent light, can have negative effects. Uneasiness, tiredness, nervousness, and migraines can all be triggered from this type of lighting. More negative effects include eye strain, problems sleeping, depression, poor immune system function, anxiety, stress and obesity.
Fluorescent lights are a popular choice due to their inexpensive price tag and long lifespan, but the effects that fluorescent lighting can have on the human body should be taken seriously.
In addition to being a potential health hazard, fluorescent lights tend to give off a green tint, which can make the room look unsightly. The reason for the glow is the same reason why fluorescents are not good for you. They provide a limited spectrum of light. Natural sunlight provides the full spectrum of light and vitamins that our body requires but is not imitated easily by artificial lights. Incandescent lighting provides a higher spectrum than fluorescents, but still not enough.
Fix your lights
A flickering light can be a nuisance but may not always be a priority to fix right away. It is important to ensure that all lights are in good working order at all times. Not only is it crucial to make sure electrical wiring is not faulty, but an annoying flickering light can have a negative impact on your health. Flickering can cause migraines, anxiety, stress, headaches and eye strain.
There are a couple of steps you can take to fix chronic flickering lights. Fluorescent lights tend to be prone to flickering but switching to incandescent lighting can fix the issue. Flickering can usually be improved by switching from magnetic ballasts to electronic ballasts.
As previously stated, the best possible form of light for the body, is natural sunlight. Installing windows, skylights or light tubes are fantastic solutions for what your body needs. Windows add beauty to your home and can make rooms appear larger. Windows and skylights come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles that can make any home look great. Gaining fresh air and ventilation are added benefits to installing windows that open.
If you are unable to install more windows in your home, try to get an hour of outdoor light during the day. Daylight causes an increase in serotonin, a neurotransmitter, which is vital to our mental health and overall wellbeing.
There are many different types of lighting, each with their own benefits and risks. For any window or skylight installations, contact us to discuss adding beautiful new windows to your home!