How Your Home’s Lighting Affects Your Mental Health


By Chi Whitley of for



Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects roughly 6% of the population. This is a direct correlation between light and mood. In winter, the days are shorter, leaving us in the darkness longer. Too much darkness can put humans into a mental health spiral, which is why it is so important to have the right lighting in your home. 


Humans need 10-15 minutes of sunlight per day for peak happiness and energy, but this is hard to come in the winter months. Luckily, we can use artificial light to make up for the natural light loss. The right light can completely change your mood.


Your home’s lighting directly affects your mental health. In order to help you combat seasonal affective disorder, as well as the winter blues, we have curated a guide to using different types of light to improve your mental health.

Color Temperature and Mood


When choosing lighting for your house, it is best to consider the kelvin color temperature. There are four main colors on this scale and they all bring out different moods and emotions in people. Here are the four main colors as well as the moods they bring out, who they tend to work best for, and where they are often found in the home. 


Candlelight (1,000 Kelvins-2,600 Kelvins)

Candlelight is the warmest light. It gives off a soft glow that is perfect for reading nooks or desk space. This lighting is more for ambiance than actually brightening a room. Older people tend to like to read by candlelight, as it is known for soothing anxiety. In general, people often use candlelight to relax and trigger the release of melatonin, causing them to fall asleep easier.


Warm White (2,600 Kelvins-3,000 Kelvins)

Warm white lights are extremely cozy. These are best for overhead lights in the main rooms of your house- such as the bedroom, living room, or dining room. This light also promotes relaxation and is great for keeping your house lit during long winters. The warm white light will keep your whole family relaxed and happy throughout the snowy months


Cool or Neutral White (3,500 Kelvins-4,100 Kelvins)

This bright and vibrant light is perfect for those who need to focus, but don’t want the light to be too harsh. This light can trigger the release of serotonin, which increases energy. Serotonin will also help the body’s circadian rhythms.


Blue or Daylight (5,000+ Kelvins)

Blue or daylight light bulbs produce extremely sharp light. These are often used in areas where lots of light is needed, such as garages or task areas. Lightbulbs that are higher on the Kelvin scale, like blue light, are known for increasing people’s cognitive abilities and making them more alert. 

Our phones and computers produce lots of blue light, which is why we are often told to stay off of the right before bedtime. They will energize us, rather than provide us with melatonin. If you are looking to be more energized when working, consider adding blue light bulbs to your office rather than drinking an energy drink. 


Overall, it is best to make an informed decision when lighting any room in your house. Depending on your personal preference and what will be happening in each room, there are recommended light choices. 


You may want blue light in your home office to keep you from nodding off, but candlelight in your bedroom to help you nod off. Lighting in our homes can directly affect our moods, preventing us from developing seasonal depression even in the darkest of winter.

Consider hiring a lighting professional near you to help you install your new lighting throughout your home.




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