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(image: vramak)

Have you ever noticed how taking a stroll on a sunny day can do wonders for your mood? You’re not imagining it. The benefits of sunlight to the environment are widely known. Despite dire media warnings about covering up in the sun, sunlight is equally beneficial to the human body, and it goes beyond inducing a good mood. Studies link natural light to health benefits such as lowered blood pressure and a reduced risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

A sense of well-being

It’s not just natural light that can lift your mood. Twinkling fairy lights, scented candles, and garden pathway lighting can all invoke a sense of well-being. Whether you want to create a relaxing ambience or add an air of romance, it’s enough to make you want to dig out the Christmas lights. You may wonder whether using extra lights in your home is entirely eco-friendly. After all, there is — quite rightly — much concern surrounding energy efficiency.

Thankfully, there are several ways to enjoy the health benefits of light and remain environmentally friendly.

Maximize your enjoyment of natural light

Before you rush off to install new lighting in your home — or unearth the Christmas lights — take some time to consider whether you can let more natural light in your home. Not all homes have designs that maximize natural light, but you can take step to counteract poor design. While some projects need DIY skills, it can also be as simple as giving your home a fresh coat of white paint.

Choose light bulbs wisely

Societies across the globe are waking up to the negative consequences of using incandescent light sources, with many countries choosing to phase out their use entirely. The go-to replacements are usually compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), but while these bulbs are better for the environment, concerns exist about their effect on human health. A better alternative — at least until more is known — might be to use LED lights.

Creative home lighting

You undoubtedly have ceiling lights in your home, and perhaps a few standing lamps dotted around, but you don’t have to stop there. A custom-made eco lamp might be the perfect solution to increasing the light in your life, remaining eco-friendly, and upping the style stakes in your home while you’re at it. These projects also play on the current trend to re-purpose and transform existing items.

Switch off at night

Lighting is a great natural way to get a mood boost, but it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Make sure you give your body a rest by sleeping in complete darkness. This will help your body to produce the antioxidant hormone Melatonin, which fights inflammation and can help prevent cancer. Using blackout blinds can help.

These tips show that you can enjoy more of the benefits that light offers, and you don’t have to harm the environment to do it. How will you light up your life?

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.