Lighting and Your Emotions (Part One)

Do you feel unhappy in your home and you don’t know why? Maybe you need to let the light shine! Add new light to your rooms for an instant uplift.

Lighting affects you more than any other design detail in your home. Your choice of lighting fixtures, light bulbs, and color of light makes a difference in your emotional and physical comfort. Lighting is both an art and a science.

Correct use of lighting benefits you in many ways. Besides allowing you to see, lighting sets the emotional atmosphere. You spend most of your day in activity. You need good lighting for these activities, to see clearly, to prevent fatigue, and to support your happiness.

Lighting helps change a room for different uses more easily than any other design detail. We can light a room for the occasion or the activity of the moment. The change and variation provided by lighting enhances the rhythms of our daily lives.

From flickering candles and twinkling party lights to advanced micro-lighting systems, lighting gives us either a comfortable or a miserable emotional atmosphere. Understanding the effects of different lighting helps you select the exact fixture and light source to create the desired emotional setting.


1. Poor lighting causes eye fatigue and headaches.

2. Absence of natural daylight triggers depression and poor immune defenses.

3. Bright light stimulates us, while low levels of illumination quiet our senses.

4. Dim lighting or harsh contrasts produce eyestrain.

5. Too much artificial light and overly-bright rooms hurt our eyes and make us feel jittery.

6. Insufficient lighting is linked to emotional stress and to physical ailments.

7. An excess of unnatural light does not replace the calming effects of natural daylight.

8. Uncovered light bulbs cause irritation and disturb tranquility.

Notice how too much artificial lighting or too little supplementary light bring about the same harmful side-effects. Choose your lighting design carefully to assure emotional and physical comfort. Look for types of light fixtures with covered light bulbs. Use daylight-like light bulbs in combination with colored light to set the mood.

Consider another fact: people feel more comfortable with lighting from many sources. Combinations of lighting add variety and vivacity to our lives. Contrasting mixtures of brightness and darkness cause dramatic and lively changes in our home ambiance. Uniform lighting is good for working, but it is boring. Blending light sources halts insipid monotony in our rooms and in our lives. Selecting from a gentle radiance, a warm glow, to a bright, intense light involves understanding the effects of lighting on our emotions.

For these reasons, take care when selecting your lighting. Choose varying lighting effects to bring about your changing harmonious space.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see