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Flick of a Switch: How Lighting Affects Productivity and Mood

We all know that light is important. Whether it is natural daylight or bright, clean task lighting; it all affects how we interact with our environment. Without high-quality lighting, interior spaces look dull and dim. This strains the eyes and puts unnecessary pressure on the optic nerves, which can lead to headaches.

It is a common problem for those who try to read, write, or perform other precision-based tasks without sufficient illumination. Yet, it isn’t just the eyes that are affected. Great lighting is a simple way to sustain positive moods and keep productivity levels high. If you work from home, this is something that you should consider when shopping for new light fixtures and fittings.

This guide to the importance of high-quality lighting will explain why skillfully designed products can have such a big impact.

Match the Function to the Form

According to the experts at Elstead Lighting, one of the most common causes of headaches and eye strain is not that homeowners don’t have high-quality lighting, but that they’re using the wrong kind. There are distinctions to be made between things like table lamps, uplighters, and chandeliers. Spotlights are not the same as sconces and strip lights aren’t identical to recessed can lights. Most homes need a combination of light fixtures.

For instance, think about your lounge or the area where you relax after work and watch television. Soft, dim light from lamps and wall sconces might be suitable for unwinding, but they’re not the best option for productivity. What happens when you need to read, write a letter, mend a hole in a jumper, or help the kids with their homework? Open, unshaded fixtures – like this Tabby Pendant Light, from the Elstead Lighting collection – are ideal sources of bright, task lighting.

Follow Your Circadian Rhythms

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioural patterns which follow the natural course of our day. So, the most obvious example is that you start to get tired after the sun goes down because your body knows to expect sleep soon. When disrupted, as they often are in this fast-paced age of a thousand distractions, our brains find it hard to adjust. This affects not just sleep, but productivity levels too.

You’re likely to feel tired during the daytime, instead of alert and energetic. Then, when you get to the evening, you might struggle to fall asleep, because you haven’t given your body and brain the workout that it needs. Poor quality lighting disrupts Circadian rhythms by providing the wrong type of light, at the wrong times. During the daytime, use bright, broad fixtures and save softer illuminations – like this Paola Silver Leaf Wall Lamp – for later hours, when you need to unwind.

Why Investing in Great Lighting Makes a Big Difference

The good news is that there are light fittings and fixtures out there to suit all needs. You can transform the mood of a space using nothing but light. Think carefully about how you want it to behave. Should it be dramatic and work with the décor to create new shapes and textures? Or, are you looking for something open and warm, like a rustic, country-style chandelier for the dining room?