Sunday, February 6, 2011

SNOW bright BUT not light :(

While being cooped up in my apartment over this last week of SNOW SNOW SNOW in Northwest Arkansas I have become extremely aware of how much light and lighting can affect one’s mood and productiveness. Usually when I am home it’s for lunch or at night near time for bed, but this week I had A LOT of spare time to do school work and reading. Yes I had a lot of time but as much as I wanted to, getting things done was next to impossible. In my apartment I have few sources of natural light; two windows, one in the bedroom and one in the living room. I also have few sources of artificial light; in the living room and kitchen there is only one overhead light/fan combo in each space and one small spot light over the sink. Trying to work in these conditions just put me in a dull lazy mood. There was very little light making me just want to go to sleep, even with the window open the amount of light coming in mid day is just not sufficient for reading or tasks.

My apartment kitchen-bad lighting.

“THE LIGHTING IN A WORKPLACE can influence the occupants in many ways. At the most basic level, the lighting will determine what can be seen and, hence, how quickly and easily visual work can be done. Lighting can also affect the occupants' health--in extreme cases through tissue damage, or, more generally, through eyestrain. It is important for the safety and health practitioner to be able to identify what constitutes good and bad lighting and to have some idea of how bad lighting might be made good.”  -Publication: Safety & Health Practitioner (The)

I have always known because I have been taught in school how important lighting is, but now I have conscientiously experienced the effects of it. One day last week we actually had school for a few hours in the morning. I had two classes and then because it started snowing again my third was cancelled. While I was at school I was energized and very motivated to work and get things done. The lighting in the class rooms were good, and the snow outside even provide a lot of light outside because of how reflective it was. After classes I came home and walking into my apartment felt like walking into a cave even with all the lights on. I began doing some school work and e-mails, soon to find myself just feeling so blah and wishing I was in the library where the is an abundance of light! I wish the lighting design in my apartment was as bright as the SNOW outside!

The lighting in this kitchen is very adequate. It has some under cabinet lights very critical tasks, there is general lighting from the can lights in the ceiling, and there is ambient lighting via the pendants over the island.

What’s the lighting like at your home?


  1. We have good natural light in the 2nd story of our townhouse; the sun peeks in through the blinds even when it isn't wanted, but downstairs it's pretty dark. I'm always so much more productive when I work upstairs especially when it's warm outside and I can open the windows. It's funny though the struggle we go through needing enough natural light to keep us energized but enough shade to take the glare off our computers. You just can't ever win!

    P.S. I have never seen a ceiling fan in a kitchen ever in my life :)

  2. The sun peeking through and opening windows sounds amazing! And until I moved into my old apartment I hadn't either; its quite weird!

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