3 Ways Light In Your Home Can Improve Your Mental Health

July 23, 2021

Room with lots of natural light

It is widely known that seasonal changes can impact our moods and sometimes our mental health. But what is not widely known is that it's not always the weather that causes our mood to change, it's the exposure to sunlight.

The more sunlight we are exposed to, the more serotonin is produced in our bodies. Serotonin is the chemical in the brain thought to regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood. Simply put, warm weather makes for fun days at the beach, but extended hours of sunlight effect our mood.

For most people, spending your day basking in the sun isn't an option. The majority of Canadians can spend up to 80% of their days indoors and in the winter, it can be even more. So, to ensure we get our daily dose of nourishing sunlight, we need to adapt in the indoors and maximize the light in our daily lives. And with a recent shift in working from home, the need to let the sunshine in is more important than ever.

1. Evaluation

The best way to determine if your home has adequate light is to evaluate the natural light coming in. Take a walk through each room on a sunny afternoon. Assess the amount of natural light in the room and determine if there is enough light for the purpose of the space. For example, you will want plenty of natural light in an office but it may not be as important in your bedroom. Additionally, main living spaces such as kitchens and living rooms should always have plenty of natural light as these are spaces where families spend the majority of their time together. Next, focus on window placement, if you find the room is too dark it could be due to small or poorly placed windows.

2. Renovation

If you have determined a need for more natural light in your home, it may be time to explore renovations. If the thought of home renovations is overwhelming, speak to a professional. Home renovation contractors can be a valuable resource in determining the best options to increase the natural light in your home. For instance, where you thought you might need to increase windows in a room, they may suggest removing a wall to allow light from another room to flow through. Any renovations to increase natural light will not only add to the value of your home, they will be priceless on your wellbeing.

3. Fixtures

If renovations are not a viable option for you at this time, you will be surprised at the many ways you can increase the light in your home. The most important is lighting fixtures and bulbs, so be sure to do your research. With so much new technology in smart lights, it can be confusing choosing the appropriate lighting set up. If you are unsure about what you would like to buy, you may want to consult a home renovation professional. Their experience and expertise could save you money in the long run.

Additional Tips

And lastly, follow these simple tips to invite in more sunshine:

  • Orient your furniture to ensure it isn't blocking windows. South facing windows get the most light and north facing windows get the least. Also, strategically place mirrors to reflect natural lighting.
  • Trim trees and landscaping around windows
  • Choose lighter colors in general to reflect the light. You remember from art class, dark colors absorb light. So, for rooms with minimal light stick to light colored walls, natural materials, and light wood tones. Also, avoid heavy drapes and window treatments

Don't overlook the importance of natural sunlight in your home. Make a conscious effort to ensure your rooms have the light you need and you will improve your health, spirit, and quality of life.


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