Agyeiwaa is your average girl next door, she absolutes loves to connect with people, she is what you call a social butterfly. If there is anyone who has been affected more than ever by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s Agyeiwaa, her wings have effectively been clipped, she is now more or less a homebody just to be safe. The transition has told on agyeiwaa, some of her friends struggle to contend with the change. While the pandemic may have a direct cause, our home settings also accelerate the deterioration of our mental states.
On average we spend 90% of our time indoors, and with buildings having a direct impact on our environment and our wellbeing, we all, like Agyeiwaa, need to reassess the impact of certain features and fittings in our homes. One of these, which Agyeiwaa may not have paid attention to is lighting. It will amaze you how bad lighting can affect not only your mood bad actually make you sick. One study, looking at living in a dark home found health worsened by 50%, with headaches, insomnia, depression, Seasonally-Affected Disorder (SAD) and even breast cancer and suicide among the reported effects.
So to all the Agyeiwaas out, come with us on this short journey to discover how correct home lighting positively affects our moods and wellbeing. Shall we begin?
Boost energy levels
Sunlight has natural healing powers, so in setting up fixtures or doing décor, keep in mind and ensure that the key spots in the house where you spend a lot of time is exposed to natural light. For instance, try to position your desk close to a window with views of the outdoors.
Natural light is essential to your mental and physical health, and not getting enough sunlight can drastically reduce your energy levels and negatively influence work performance. Studies have shown that exposure to natural light during the working day leads to 46 minutes more sleep each night40, demonstrating the importance of bringing healthy light into our homes.
Vitamin D boost
Studies have shown that exposure to sunlight can increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin (associated with making people feel calm and focused). So if you are looking at being less irritable, being focused on that proposal that you need to deliver working from home, let in enough sunlight from all openings in your home, doors, windows or any light tunnel as this boosts the Vitamin D levels in your body and ward off depression as well.
Now this one will be particularly dear to all foodies out there or in particular “foodians” as well call them in Ghana. Here is the breaking news – bad lighting can affect how much food we consume, how fast we eat, the types of food we desire and our perception of flavour.’
According to research, dining in bright interiors will typically make you eat faster, while dim lighting will cause you to eat slower. So indeed, while shopping for lights as your prep to move into your new home or refurbish an existing one for your dining room, keep these tips in mind.
Lighting plays an important role in heightening our emotions. A recent study conducted by the Journal of Consumer Psychology, discovered that when lighting at home is more intense, it can result in feelings of both positive and negative emotions. Bright light, for example, can make people feel more uncomfortable, while dimmed lighting helps to increase levels of relaxation.
Regulate sleep cycle
Research from the University of Oxford found that green light helps to promote sleep the most while blue light (from being outside during the day) helps accelerate the relaxation process quickly after stressful situations.
That was a super short trip and even before we could say dark, we are at the end of the tunnel. With this new gospel, do go out into your various homes and light up your world. Who is in? Agyeiwaa surely will be the first to the tape.
The writer is the Executive director of Yecham Property Consult & Founder of Ghana Green Building Summit.
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh