Did you know that the light — or lack thereof — in your home (or anywhere else, for that matter) can have an effect on our emotions and our moods?

In days of yore, sunlight determined when we got up and worked, and the lack of light meant it was time to stop working and go to sleep. The lack of light actually causes our bodies to create more melatonin, which is a hormone that helps make you feel sleepy.

But did you know that lighting can change mood? And did you know that department stores and restaurants use lighting to create a particular mood? Go into a fast-food store and the lights are bright. They want you in and out of there quickly. A restaurant that wants you to linger, and these are usually the more expensive ones, will have more dim and atmospheric lighting.

Differences in intensity of light affect home design. A good interior designer will be able to add ambience in different rooms with lights. When soft light is used, shadows are reduced and there is a restful feeling. Too much soft light, however, can make things dull and gloomy and even depressing, so combine the soft with hard or direct light to create areas of brightness.

For example, in a kitchen, hard light is used for working while in the evening, when dinner is cooked, a soft light is all that is needed for ambience.

So go around your house and check to see how the lighting reflects the mood you intend for the different rooms.

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