Lighting Guide 10: New Year, New You – lighting for a healthier life

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The lights in your home, and at the office, can make a difference to the way you feel and can even affect your health according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (2011).  Light is critical to human functioning in that it allows us to see things and perform visual tasks, and important because it affects human beings

  • psychologically – by affecting mood and perception
  • physiologically – by controlling the body’s circadian system and by enabling critical chemical reactions in the body.

Lighting Matters

Several studies have documented the importance of light in reducing depression, decreasing fatigue, improving alertness, modulating circadian rhythms (our internal ‘body clock’), and treating conditions such as migraine, depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), myopia, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

Eye strain, headaches, low mood, poor concentration are just some of the early warning signs that we may not be listening to the needs of our bodies and succumbing to the pressures and stress associated with modern life.

The more aspects of our life that are out of balance the more symptoms we are likely to develop.  Being continually exposed to something that isn’t a positive experience for you stimulates a negative effect and reactions that can have cumulative, and long-term, consequences.

Give yourself an energy M.O.T.

Anxiety and worry can stimulate the release of low levels of stress hormones. This is a primal, physiological response that is triggered by perceived harmful attack or threat to survival. It originates from an unconscious or autonomic act in our brain (and parts of the nervous system) that triggers the release of a number of different hormones and

  • Increases blood flow to muscles
  • Increases blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar and fats to provide extra energy
  • Speeds up blood clotting to limit excessive blood loss in case of injury
  • Increases muscle tension to give extra strength or speed

It isn’t hard to see how these processes happening regularly aren’t helpful to us. Through habitual stress this response can become sensitised and rarely/never properly ‘turned off’. Many things can contribute to this state developing over time and we may need help to ‘re-set’ the dial – especially if it becomes so severe that it interferes with all aspects of our lives, such as:  anxiety; mood changes; sleep deprivation; digestive problems; physical symptoms including pains and tension, high blood pressure and eventually other illnesses.

The Good News

Many of these problems are reversible if we start to make different choices, take better care of ourselves and invest more in our health and wellbeing. Small changes to internal and external factors can make a big difference:

managing external and internal factors

If you find yourself struggling to make the changes you need, sometimes a professional is required… for help to re-set your dial – or sort out your lights!

Ira Blake           `
Dr. Karen Janes

The team at Light My Space can help with all aspects of lighting from design, planning and project management to selection and installation of your new lights. For a no-obligation, free chat about your lighting project, contact us at

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Category: B Positive