Winter has its advantages. Any skier will attest to that. But for many, the shorter, darker days seem to last forever, making it hard to stave off depression.
“The winter blues are real!” notes an article by the website freshome. “They’re actually called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms can run from fall through winter, “sapping your energy and making you feel moody.’”
Fortunately, there’s a way out of the gloom: better use of light. Here are 5 ways to improve your winter light—and your mood at the same time, suggested by freshome:
Let the sun shine in: Make the most of any sunlight coming through your windows by placing a mirror on a wall facing the window to magnify its effect. Similarly, place reflective items (anything made of glass, mirror or metals) near windows to help bounce light around the room.
Make wise paint choices: While white might seem the best color to lighten your room, this isn’t always so. “If your room is naturally dark, the white will end up looking dull and lifeless,” notes freshome. Instead, choose light colors “with some pop to them,” such as pale blue, “butter” yellow, or mint green.
Replace old lampshades: Lampshades can yellow over time. Check your lamps and replace old shades with white ones. “They’ll look crisper and diffuse brighter light better,” according to freshome.
Choose light bulbs with care: Not all light bulbs are created equal. Fluorescent lighting is generally unattractive, and bulbs that claim to replicate daylight might appear too cool during winter. “Remember,” notes freshome, “winter is about warm and cozy.” Choose a warm bulb. In LED lighting, the lower the K (or Kelvin) value, the warmer the light quality. Freshome suggests 2700 K.
Lighten up dark corners: Don’t let darkness loom on the fringes. Place a torch floor lamp in gloomy corners. The light will be reflected upward and bounce off the ceiling, compounding its effect.