When we consider the purpose of a light, it becomes simple to consider the primary purpose and overlook the potential.
What does a light do? It obviously illuminates an area and allows us to see.
What does light make you feel? This question becomes a bit harder to answer, but with an understanding of the potential of light, you should be able to simply answer this question after you read through this guide!
When dealing with lighting in a room, it’s important to understand the lights aren’t always just white and bright. By using different tints or colors of lights, you are able to complement the colors in the room to change your mood.
Red. The color red is an emotionally intense color, known to represent power, passion, or anger. Used as an accent, red is known to help people make quick decisions. Bright reds are known to create feelings of passion, love, or excitement, while the color pink is known for creating a feminine feel to an area. Brownish red is known to create a feeling of masculinity or stability, while dark red creates a feeling of sophistication. Red as an accent is also known to provoke hunger, and can be used in areas of cooking and eating.
Yellow. The color yellow is known to create a feeling of happiness or energy. This color is known to create a feeling of enjoyment, similar to seeing the morning sun, allowing individuals to be more active and happy. Yellow is often caught by the eye first, and should be used as an accent to dark colors. Gold yellows are known to create a feeling of wealth or prosperity.
Orange. The color orange brings the passion and depth from red, and allows the happiness of yellow to shine. Often associated with a sunrise and the tropics, orange is known to bring out an excited happy feeling. Orange is a great color for creating a very active productive environment.
Green. While green is the color of nature, it is often associated with the idea of healing in a natural healthy manner. Dark greens are often associated with wealth or success, while bright yellow-greens create a creative energetic environment.
Blue. The color blue has the ability to play many sides of the emotional spectrum. Dark or dull blues are known to be associated with sadness, while bright blues are associated with the bright sky creating a happy and energetic environment. Light blues are associated with softness or healing, while strong dark blues are associated with power or knowledge.
Purple. The color purple is very rarely found in nature, and this rarity creates a feeling of prestige or royalty. Purples which are too dark are known to create feelings of gloom or sadness, while bright colors of purple bring the energy of red, with the stability or smooth feeling of blue.
White. The color white is often associated with cleanliness and purity, often referred to as the color of perfection. White is often used to represent a new beginning, clear of the past. White could also have a cooling feeling as it is associated with snow or ice, and becomes a great color in hot climates.
Black. Black is another color with very controversial meanings. When too much black is used, it often represents death or evil, while black could also represent prestige or upper class, such as a black suit. Black also has the ability to create the feeling of the unknown or mystery, reminiscent of a dark cave. Black used as an accent is known to intensify other colors.
Understanding colors allows you to surround yourself in an environment that best fits your intended mood. You should design and color your bedroom to allow your mind to relax, while your workspace should utilize colors best fit for energy and productivity.
Another important aspect of a room is the shadows.
With colors playing such a large role in our mood, it is simple to see why it's important to keep a color bright or dark to control our moods. While we may paint an accent wall red to promote energy, the shadows and corners of the wall will be a dark red to black color, which can promote anger or negativity. It’s important to keep a room well lit, and accent lights allow you to brighten the corners of a room to keep a bright and happy attitude.
Colors themselves are often created by mixing colors together. A cream painted wall for example is a mix between light browns, whites, and yellows. A cream wall surrounded by browns may bring out an earthy feel, creating a calming environment, while the same wall well lit by white lights surrounded by bright colors will illuminate the yellow and create a happy excited environment.
This use of internal colors is called complementing, or using complements to a color, and is why objects which are wood grain often complement reds and yellows, and contrast colors such as white or blue (although contrasting colors are a great way to bring out specific aspects of your room).
Brightening the corners and ends of a room also creates a more open feeling, so while you will be feeling happier with the brightness of color, you can also feel happier that your home now appears larger.
Additionally, adding lights under shelves or counters reduce the amount of dark space and brighten a room as well.
Quick moving shadows create a feeling of activity, and may help you stay active or motivated to complete tasks. This can be done by using fans or small moving objects displayed in your windows.
On the contrast, slow moving shadows in a dimmed room create the feeling of relaxation in front of a fire, and may create a relaxing environment great for sleeping. This can often be done by burning candles in a darker room, or turning your fans on the lowest setting with a dimmed light.
You may also enjoy aiming accent lights at objects of certain colors to brighten items within your vision. For example, to promote happiness you may place a yellow flower vase in front of a light or window which is within your vision throughout the day. Your eyes will naturally grasp the bright color within your sight and make you happier.
The brightness of a room allows you to take colors which may be calming, angry, or sad, and bring out the happy excitement aspects. Bright colors are known to create happiness and excitement when exposed to natural sunlight, or natural colored lighting.
With this in mind, you should orient your room to focus on the daylight. If you know you will spend most of your time in the kitchen in the early morning or mid day, and you have the option, choose to put your bright colors near natural lighting.
On the other hand, if you know you will only be in the living room in the late evening as you are trying to relax, avoid bright colors and focus on relaxing colors.
For rooms that may be multi-purpose, consider the value of dimmable lights. A dimmable warm light may provide a bright yellow light to promote happiness and energy in the early day, while in the evening the lights could be turned down to a dull yellow to promote relaxation.
This is where tinted colors come into play as well, where the previously discussed cream could be bright white and yellow during the day, and dimmed to earth tones in the evening.
With light and colors playing such a major role in our mental wellbeing, it’s often important to consider the mental state of each room as you’re preparing your home.
For example, you may want your bedroom to be focussed around calm and relaxation to promote deep sleep, while your office may be focused around energy and focus to promote workflow.
It’s also important to create an environment which feels correct to us as individuals, so if you’re cooking natural foods in your kitchen, you may want to utilize natural wood tones and designs to create the atmosphere.
These ideas of lighting and colors should also be utilized outdoors, creating well lit areas to entertain and create an intended environment to fit our mood.
Colors play a large role in our lives, and the color of lights can be altered to change our environment and emotional focus.