How lights can make you happy

Lights make life that little bit brighter. To prove it, here are five ways lighting can make you happy...

Of course we all need lighting in our homes – but there’s so much more to lights than practical necessity. Get your lighting right and they can improve your mood, boost your wellbeing, and give you the sheer joy of creating your own beautiful, individual space…


1. Lights can boost your well-being

Natural daylight controls our body’s sleep-wake cycle, and during the day it stimulates our brains to produce serotonin, a ‘happy hormone’ which regulates our mood and sleep patterns - which is why a bright sunny day helps us feel positive and energised. Then as night approaches, the light levels drop, triggering our bodies to produce melatonin which helps us to get ready for sleep.

Bad weather, the change of seasons and modern environments can all affect our body’s internal clock, which can have a negative impact on our mood and energy levels. But you can create a happy and comfortable space – even when the sun isn’t shining – with some well-chosen lights.

There are three main types of lighting: ambient lighting (the overall illumination in a room, including the main light); task lighting (targeted practical lighting); and accent lighting (for creating highlights and accents). By combining these different types of lighting, and layering your light, you can create just the right mood and atmosphere in your home whatever the time of day, or the season.

Read more in our guide: How home lighting affects your mood and wellbeing.

roly alabaster wall lightRoly alabaster wall light

2. The right ‘temperature’ light can calm you down

Sometimes you don’t want to be energised but calmed….There’s nothing quite like the lovely warm, orange glow of an open fire or a set of flickering candles to help us feel all cosy and relaxed. Just as the amount of light we’re exposed to can affect how we feel, so too can the tone or ‘colour temperature’ of the light.

The colour temperature of a lightbulb refers to how warm or cool the light appears to us, and it’s measured on the Kelvin scale (K). Cool blue-white light sits towards the top of the scale, at around 6,000K, while warm, yellow-white light sits at the lower end, at around 3,000K and under. For a relaxing, intimate feel, aim for warm lighting of around 2,700-3,200K.

You can create a cosy, relaxing vibe in your home by banishing any harsh, overly bright lighting and including plenty of soft, low-level light at different points around the space. A combination of wall sconces, table lamps and floor lamps is perfect for helping to achieve a calm and soothing atmosphere – and you can adjust the light to just the right levels with some dimmer switches.

Find out all about warm lighting in our expert guide: Understanding warm lighting - plus a guide to colour temperature.


3. Visual beauty: Lamps and shades bring colour and texture into your home

Colour and texture play a key role in interior design, and lights and shades offer an easy, affordable and effective way of bringing both into your home and making it feel warm and welcoming.

Different colours are associated with certain moods, and choosing a colour scheme that works for you can help you feel happier and more relaxed within your space. As a general guide, neutral tones and soft pastels will create a calming vibe. Colours that are close to the blue spectrum, including blues, greens and purples, are cooler and have a soothing effect. Meanwhile, colours that are close to the red spectrum, such as reds, oranges and yellows, are seen to be more stimulating: red gives a vibrant, energetic feel, while yellow is a positive, cheerful colour. When choosing your colour scheme, ask yourself what kind of atmosphere you want to create.

Fabric lampshades are a quick and easy way of introducing a pop of colour and texture into your space without breaking the bank, and each material has its own unique qualities which affect not only the way it looks and feels, but also the way the light diffuses.

Pooky's lampshades are available in a huge range of different colours, materials and patterns, from sumptuous silk and velvet, to striking Ikat and gorgeous Arts & Crafts inspired designs, so you can transform your space in an instant.

pat table lamp in cosmo pinkPat table lamp in cosmo pink

4. Lights can unleash your creativity

Lighting is a great way of getting creative, adding character and stamping your own personality on your space. Whether you’re looking to create a calm, neutral space, or make a bold style statement, some beautiful designer lights can help to make your home truly inspiring.

When it comes to lighting there are so many different options, from show-stopping chandeliers and eye-catching pendant lights, to wall lamps and sconces, stylish designer table lamps and striking floor lamps... and no other items of home decor come in such a vast array of shapes, sizes, styles, patterns and materials. 

So mix things up and create a beautiful, impactful space that’s all your own... To inspire you, try: Five interior design conventions – and how to break them.

marco rechargeableMarco rechargeable table lamp

5. Lights can showcase your favourite things

Accent lighting is perfect for highlighting your most show-offable possessions and home features… favourite paintings, original cornices, quirky ornaments…You can also draw attention to your objets d’art, and create extra highlights and accents, with some rechargeable cordless table lamps placed on shelves, and in corners or alcoves.

Proper picture lights are the best way of showcasing your artworks while also protecting against the damaging effects of natural light. You don’t have to own an original oil painting to make it work – you can also use a picture light to show off a great print or photograph. Find out more about choosing and using picture lights to highlight your favourite pieces, and give your home extra wow factor, with our expert guide: Picture lights - how to illuminate your paintings and artworks.

blake picture light
Blake dimmable picture light in bronze

At Pooky, we make beautiful lamps for beautiful homes. Enjoy a lazy wander through our full range of lights and shades here.

See also:

Dopamine interiors: 5 ways to inspire your home with the happiness-inducing trend
How home lighting affects your mood and wellbeing
Home lighting design: A guide to layering light 
How to choose a lampshade - the complete guide
Mixing and matching lampshades for visual impact: 7 interior design tips
Interior design tips: Buying and displaying decorative art for the home