Light and Moods
Have you ever walked into a room or outside and noticed your mood changing? Ever spent a nice sunny afternoon outdoors, and come home feeling refreshed and relaxed? Most of us don’t put much thought into it, however, it is no coincidence. Light, and how much of it you are exposed to, does have an impact on our mood and emotions.
Bright artificial light has been known to heighten our emotions. Picture an interrogation room, there is often one extremely bright light positioned above the subject. The subject will experience a sense of intensity, having literally been put on the spotlight. Same can be said for brightly lit hospitals. I am sure that if there was a very busy, but dimly lit wing, you may think that was a bit odd, and assume the workers may have a more relaxed disposition.
Not only can bright light influence intensity, but an absolute dark room can inflict the same emotion. As we all know, it is quite common to be afraid of the dark.
Blue light is a common obstacle we face with technology. Most experts say that it is healthier for you to disable the blue light on our electronics at night, in order to get a proper sleep. Blue light has the tendency to make us feel more energetic, so being exposed to it during the day will promote productivity. However, nighttime exposure will keep you alert, and suppress the bodies’ production of melatonin, making it difficult to fall asleep.
Catching a few good hours in the sun during the day can make a massive positive impact on our mental health. I am sure everyone can recall a day spent outdoors that made you feel on top of the world. This is because natural sunlight will help our bodies stick to its natural circadian rhythms. Not only can natural light help with your mental health, it can also increase productivity and alleviate the tendency to become sluggish throughout the workday.
When we think about design, we incorporate light into spaces. First, think of what purpose the space is going to have, then create an atmosphere where those activities can be supported. For example, a kitchen or living room that has been exposed to large amounts of natural light, will promote a comfortable family setting.
When designing a bedroom, we eliminate any possibilities of blue light exposure, so that the people sleeping can get a good nights rest. Likewise with an office space, we will heighten blue light exposure to promote productivity. Finally, think of a dimly lit dining room, dim lighting has a calming effect, creating a nice atmosphere for dinner conversation.
Which ever kind of light you prefer, make sure that you are happy, and getting the most out of your space.
ROD L. ROWBOTHAM, OAA, MRAIC
CEO, President, Principal Architect