Advice

The Importance of Light on Wellbeing

3 July 2019

NW5

Light can have an astonishing effect on wellbeing, but it’s something that many of us are lacking in London homes. As a lot of us work and live indoors, we simply aren’t able to spend a significant amount of time outdoors. In addition to this, poor internal light conditions mean we don’t get the benefits associated with good lighting. As a result, your wellbeing can suffer significantly, and you may not realise why. 

With innovative lighting solutions, however, you can ensure that you’re exposed to sufficient light throughout the year. As a result, you’ll notice numerous physical, emotional and physiological benefits as a result of your modified environment.

Why is a lack of light harmful?

Light has a significant impact on mood and circadian rhythms. If you have trouble sleeping or constantly feel fatigued and tired, it could be due to overexposure to certain lights and lack of exposure to others. 

Furthermore, when people live, work or relax in poor lighting conditions, they can experience physical symptoms, such as headaches, visual disturbances, eye strain, and even certain skin conditions. With such negative consequences arising from poor lighting conditions or limited lighting, it’s important to take steps to improve the lighting in your environment.

Minimise harmful lighting

Certain types of light can have negative effects, particularly if you’re exposed to them for long periods of time. If you use a fluorescent lamp while working, for example, having it situated too close to you could result in UV exposure to your skin. By using alternative lighting solutions, switching to LED bulbs or minimising your use of fluorescent lamps, you could negate these effects.

When you use electronic equipment, such as a television or laptop, the screen can give off an unsightly glare. Similarly, if lights or lamps are positioned in the wrong place, you may notice an irritating glare coming from them. If this isn’t rectified, it’s likely to lead to headaches and eye strain, so it’s important to reduce the glare from these appliances. Rearranging your appliances and visual displays can have a significant impact on the amount of glare that’s produced, and it could reduce any unpleasant side effects as a result.

Make the most of natural lighting

Natural light is associated with a wide range of physical and mental benefits. The body can only absorb vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight, for example, so a lack of natural lighting can lead to dangerous deficiencies and subsequent symptoms. Associated with bone and joint pain, hair loss, fatigue and depression, vitamin D deficiencies could be avoided if you’re able to increase your exposure to natural light. 

Furthermore, natural light is a natural mood booster, so spending time in the sun could help you to feel happier, healthier and more relaxed. Of course, in the winter months, you may struggle to see any sunlight at all, as it tends to stay darker for longer in the mornings and night falls early in the evening. 

However, your mind and body can benefit from natural light even if you’re indoors. If you’re sat close to a window or your room is basked in sunlight, for example, this could have a beneficial effect on your health, even though you’re indoors, rather than outside.

With savvy design and innovative lighting solutions, architects can help you to make the most of the natural light which reaches your home. Regardless of whether you have a sunny, south-facing garden, a covered yard or a mid-level apartment, there are plenty of ways to increase the amount of natural light in your home. 

Vertical Open Plan filled with Light

We were asked to refurbish a terrace house in Highgate, bringing our characteristic life-enhancing architecture to this typically Victorian dark and enclosed home. We created a double height space that connects the ground floor to the reading area upstairs. Plenty of natural light coming in through the double height window, which can also be seen from the staircase landing and hallway.

Our work as architects, Highgate is a regular neighbourhood for us with properties being built in the early 20th century. The basic street pattern today is still that of the Tudor settlement that grew up round a tollgate, and with this history of the area, most homes are ideal for our approach to enhance homes with the natural qualities of light.

Increasing lighting sources in your home

If you’re buying a new home or renovating an existing space, it may be the perfect time to consider enhancing the natural lighting in your home. We have the expertise to find innovative ways to increase natural light in any property, so you no longer have to deal with the negative consequences of poor lighting conditions and limited indoor lighting.  

With expert advice, you can ensure that a sufficient amount of natural light is able to enter your property and that you and your family benefit from it. Whilst we will make sure that the amount of light in your home is increased, we will also ensure that this increase in natural light will occur in commonly-used and high-traffic areas. As a result, you’ll have a stunning and functional home, and reap the benefits associated with natural sunlight and improved internal lighting conditions.

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