The “winter blues” might be a kitsch catchphrase for many people who like to complain that they miss the warmth and the light of summer, but for some of us, it’s a serious condition. Indeed, 1 in 3 people in the UK suffer from what is now known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which saps our energy and our mood whenever there is a lack of literal light in our lives.
Winter means short days and long nights, so your home will naturally feel much darker than it did in the summer and this can be crippling if you suffer from SAD. But winter doesn’t have to be a debilitating chore as long as you follow the winter lighting tips below to brighten up your home this season.
Bring the daylight in – Keep the windows and the curtain/blinds drawn during the day as much as possible to make the most out of what little daylight we’re getting. If you’re struggling to make that natural light really pop, there are also several shortcuts you can experiment with, such as placing reflective surfaces close to windows and hanging mirrors opposite each window. You might even be able to add a skylight if you’re really serious about making the most of our most powerful natural resource.
Circadian lighting – The rise in smart lighting systems has meant those of us with IoT connected homes can now set our home lighting on an automatic pattern. Try setting your lighting to your circadian rhythm, so that it creates an artificial sunrise and dims gradually awards the end of the day.
Natural light – Of course, if bringing the natural light in is too much of an effort (or simply not possible in your home for whatever reason) then you can experiment with lighting that mimics sunlight. These so-called SAD lights are engineered to feel like actual rays of sunlight and have been proven to help those suffering from the disorder in the winter months.
Warm light – It might sound counterproductive, but some of the bulbs sold as replicating the effect of sunlight might actually feel a little cold. This is because they will have higher Kelvin values. Warmer lights generally have lower k-values and appear less white and more yellow in hue.
Watch your walls – It’s not only the lights themselves that might need a rethink if you’re trying to shut out those winter blues; you might want to consider giving your walls and ceiling a fresh lick of paint too. Giving a dark room a fresh coat of white paint, for example, will make a world of difference when it comes to how the lighting in your home feels.