Lighting Is a Game Changer: How Lighting Affects Our Health

We give relatively little thought to lighting and its effect on our health. Picture this…you’re outside in bright sunlight and you walk into a store with fluorescent lighting overhead, the kind where you feel like a gray fog has descended upon you as soon as you step past the sliding doors. Not a good feeling. You feel drained, deflated, dull, dim.

What if you work in an environment like this?

Imagine a space where you walk in and there is a host of lighting. There are sconces, pendant lamps, floor and table lamps, overhead lighting and desk lighting. What a difference! This is not only an energizing and inspiring environment; it is also a soothing and relaxing place to be.

Where would you want to work? To go to school? To live? To shop?

Lighting affects both our mental and emotional state and our physical health. Lighting significantly impacts our overall well-being.

My middle schooler says the solar mirrors they use bring in massive light to one of their classrooms and has a tremendous effect on him…his energy and focus. On the flip side, two staff members at my other kids’ school say the overhead fluorescent lighting contributes to their migraines. I suggested they put the overheads in their office on a dimmer, diffuse the glare coming from their windows, add task lighting and table lamps. This would improve their mood, and hopefully headaches, and the parents, teachers and kids who visit the office would also benefit. Lighting is powerful.

Lighting is also an art. And research supports the notion that lighting affects our health. The latest catchphrase is circadian lighting, which we’ll discuss in next week’s blog. You don’t have to have a degree in anything, though, to appreciate the power of an effectively lit space.

photo source: anankkml/

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