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Light Up Your Life

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Among the most common questions both my residential and commercial clients ask me are about lighting. Most people know when a space feels dull, lacking sophistication or simply disjointed. This is particularly ironic after people spend thousands of dollars on renovations, only to fall short of creating the ambiance they want. Often, in my experience, this happens because they ignored lighting.

Did you also know that many recent studies have proven a connection with lighting to health, wellbeing and productivity?

So how can you use lighting to light up your life at home and at work?

Pay attention to selection  and positioning.

There are essentially two kinds of lighting: natural and artificial. Natural light comes from windows and skylights. Artificial light comes from lighting fixtures.

When you are designing or renovating a home, maximize natural light. There is a vast selection of energy-efficient windows that allow you to enjoy comfort and cost-savings without sacrificing natural light. Working with a professional enables you to select the type and placement of windows to capture different exposures and atmosphere.

In terms of artificial light, there are two basic types: task lights, such as table lamps, and accent lighting, such as ceiling fixtures. Both should blend in with the design, and, in some cases, be the centerpiece of a space. For example, we recently designed artisan glass lighting fixtures for a lake house. The colors and architectural design became artistic centerpieces of the room, matching the sunsets over the lake and complementing the modern décor.

Open up your workplace with natural light.

Numerous studies have shown that natural lighting results in increased productivity, happier workers, less absenteeism and fewer illnesses. One study, for example, found that office workers with more exposure to natural light had longer sleep duration, better sleep quality, more physical activity and better quality of life. Another study determined that windows were the number one factor in the level of satisfaction with a building.

Why is natural light so important? Natural light affects the human body in two ways: directly, in the form of what and how well we are able to see; and indirectly, in the form of effects on our mood, behavior and hormonal balance.

Select lighting with health, safety and wellbeing in mind.

Poor lighting can be a safety hazard, particularly in households with older people and children or in workplaces. For example, glare or shadows can cause serious accidents. It is vital that highquality lighting be used to eliminate trips and falls no matter at home or at work. Poor lighting can also cause Sick Building Syndrome and Seasonal Affective Disorder. These illnesses can make people extremely lethargic and often lead to depression.

As you can see, lighting is very important and can have a significant impact on your life through improving your lifestyle, health, energy and creating harmony in your spaces. So I say, LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE! In the end, you will be simply amazed by what the right lighting in the right locations will do to your productivity, happiness, health and wellbeing.