If you're like most people, the fall and winter months usually equate to less overall energy and mood. Although most of us turn to full spectrum light bulbs or bright light therapy to help with mood, sleep, and energy this time of the year, there are a few other lighting hygiene items to take care of to ensure you feel your best this season.
Read on for some of our top lighting tips to feel your best this fall and winter!
1. Get some sun every morning
Get outside every morning for your daily dose of awakening/nourishing sunshine!
While we recommend getting outside first thing every morning every single day of the year, it is an absolute non-negotiable this time of year when we'd otherwise want to stay indoors as much as possible!
The benefits of getting natural sunshine every morning are manifold: not only are you kickstarting your circadian rhythm by allowing the blue light wavelengths from the sun to enter the eyes, but you're also allowing for the production of Vitamin D. Contrary to popular belief, full spectrum light bulbs do not help you get Vitamin D, only UV bulbs (like those from a tanning bed) can help with that!
Connecting to the outside world - or nature if you're so blessed - is so helpful in keeping us in tune with the changing seasons and the cyclical nature of everything. True wellness comes from realizing your part within the larger whole. The moment we try to segregate ourselves from the natural world, we no longer feel at ease.
So get outside every morning, take a brisk walk and soak in the sun to clear your mind before starting your day!
2. Use light therapy
For those overcast or rainy days, we highly recommend using bright light therapy to supplement your daily dose of bright sunshine.
While light therapy devices such as light pads or lightboxes are traditionally used by those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), you don't need to have a clinical diagnosis of SAD to get the benefits these light therapy units provide.
For example, we love to use light therapy for a quick morning boost: set it on your desk at work or by your side while enjoying your morning cup of tea or coffee!
Just like natural sunshine during the early parts of the day, the light from these devices is very bright, daylight white, and full of the higher energy blue color wavelengths you need to stay motivated and alert during the day!
Light therapy may be helpful for those needing a little help getting going in the morning!
3. Minimize blue light and bright light exposure at night
For the same reason we get sunlight (or use light therapy devices!) in the morning and throughout the day is the same reason we need to stop using blue light in the evening: it's stimulating, keeps the body awake, and prevents our body from circulating melatonin, a hormone whose best-known function is inducing sleepiness.
Proper sleep plays a significant role in how we feel the next day, so pay attention to your daily bedtime and wind down routines!
To fall asleep faster at night, you'll want to start swapping out those bright daytime white light bulbs for something warmer in color. Whether that means warm white full spectrum LED bulbs or color balanced incandescent light bulbs is up to you!
Another factor to consider in the evening is light brightness. Ideally, you'd want only as much as a mere candle flame at night, so we recommend using low-wattage/low-lumen light bulbs or, better yet, dimmer switches to turn down the brightness of any overhead lights gradually during the evening.
4. Soothe with incandescence
Incandescence is the emission of visible light through heat energy. As you may already be aware, incandescent light bulbs are the safest and healthiest light bulbs (along with their brighter, enhanced halogen sisters).
While incandescents might not be the most "efficient" source of visible light, throwing off as much, if not more, heat energy than light, we don't believe that's truly energy wasted -- especially during these colder months!
There's nothing cozier than reading or working by incandescent light this time of year. In many ways, we view an incandescent as a wellness tool as much as a light bulb!
Incandescent light bulbs are an excellent option for nighttime lighting and during the day to help support your well-being, energy, and creativity. We especially love this Chromalux® 100W incandescent light bulb in clear glass to work by during the day!
A great idea any time of the year, setting up a cozy and beautifully lit interior space is somehow doubly as effective during the fall and winter!
To wrap up...
Remember, light is a powerful and necessary tool for good health and overall well-being. So make it a point to get outside every morning, soak up some life-affirming bright blue light, use light therapy as supplemental bright light, and get your evening lighting dialed in!
Again, that means:
- Getting bright blue light from nature during the morning and day
- Short supplemental bursts of bright blue light from light therapy
- Reducing blue light and light brightness during the evening
- Using more incandescent light to soothe and nourish
While the spring and summer are more about doing, action, and motivation, the fall and winter months are more regenerative and introspective.
It's normal to feel a shift in behavior and overall character this time of the year, but that's why there exist supportive lighting tools to help you!
So, get outside every morning, and set up a cozy interior space with healing and healthy lighting for when you are indoors. Very soon, you should start to see this season in a completely different light!