Brighten up your space with simple lighting changes
Every year across Canada, we experience the seasons’ change and the clocks going back in the fall. Yet every year, many Canadians find themselves surprised by how early it gets dark in the evening. While you can’t control when the sun rises and sets, you can chase away the darkness inside the house with some care and attention to home lighting.
Learn what you can do to make substantial changes to the lighting in your home without spending a lot of money.
Maximize natural light
The importance of natural light cannot be overstated. As many Canadians have transitioned to working from home this year, we are missing out on the exposure to natural light that even commuting to and from work provides. But daily exposure to natural light can help with everything from boosting your mood to improving the quality of your sleep. That’s why, before changing anything else in the home, it is advisable to do whatever is possible to maximize indoor access to natural light. Consider the following to get started:
- If re-painting is an option, consider choosing a light colour in the room where you spend the most time during the day. Light colours can reflect light, especially if you choose a paint with a gloss or semi-gloss finish.
- While you may still need window treatments to prevent being greeted by the sun a little too early in the morning, try getting in the habit of opening the curtains or blinds each morning and then closing them again before bed.
- Consider placing a mirror across from a window to double the amount of natural light in the room. You can achieve a similar effect with chrome fixtures and glass accents in the room.
Getting the most of available natural light is ideal, but not everybody has windows in the right spots to brighten things up at home. In that case, now may be an excellent time to consider making the home’s artificial lighting conditions appear closer to natural light.
Seek out the brightest bulb in the room
We have come a long way since Thomas Edison perfected the idea of the long-lasting lightbulb, and we no longer have to be subjected to the harsh yellow glare of the incandescent bulb. In fact, there are now indoor lighting options that can closely mimic the conditions of natural light. The two main options for reasonably priced ways to get bright light in the home are LED and CFL lights.
Light-Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs are energy efficient, don’t throw heat, and emit a bright light. While you can get LED bulbs in virtually every colour of the rainbow, when trying to simulate natural light, look for bright bulbs (3500 to 4000 kelvin) in bright or cool white.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) bulbs often conjure thoughts of the long, fluorescent light tubes of old. Though CFL bulbs are not quite as energy efficient as their LED counterparts, they come with a lower upfront cost. Also available in bright or cool white, these can be a good alternative.
You might also consider mimicking daylight by using a lightbox in the area where you work from home. Often referred to as “SAD lights” due to their use in the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (“SAD”), lightboxes may help to increase your daytime energy levels and sleep patterns until the season of longer daylight hours is upon us once again.
Simple, inexpensive adjustments to lighting conditions can make you feel more comfortable at home this winter. And by choosing a card with a cash back option, like the Home Trust Preferred Visa, you can earn rewards to help make your home a place where you’re happy to spend a lot of time this winter.
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