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(Above: Torrington Lamp Ensemble from Anthropologie.)

Last month when I was in my Naturopath’s office for a physical I noticed something off in the space. You know… that feeling when something isn’t right but you can’t quite put your finger on it–that thing you feel in your body?

Yeah that.

I looked up… and instantly I got it.

It was a super simple fix—the overhead track lighting needed to be adjusted.

A few bulbs had burned out and others were pointed to random areas in the room, while more important areas (like dark corners and beautiful artwork) remained in the shadows.

Here’s the science behind artificial lighting in spaces:

We humans automatically love layered artificial lighting in rooms because our body clocks naturally respond to the shadows and varying degrees of light in the same way we respond to the changes in natural light throughout the day.

(Btw, layered lighting is artfully using multiple light sources like overhead spots, table lamps, and floor lighting. The opposite of layered lighting is the flat, even lighting that ceiling fluorescents provide.)

When the lighting in a space is just right, our bodies feel kinda like liquid honey spreading over a piece of warm toast. We can relax easier and let our guard down.

Here’s an example of layered lighting in my client’s staff lounge:

Studies have shown that when a single overhead light (like a fluorescent light) creates a flat even glow throughout a room, the human brain responds with melancholy as if it’s gray and cloudy outside.

After I shared this with my ND, she jumped up to replace the bulbs and (with my assistance) adjusted each spotlight to light up the corners, her beautiful Goddess statue and exquisite artwork.

In less than 2 minutes, the space went from feeling a bit drab to instant fab. The energy was lifted and I felt cozy in my body.

We laughed and gave each other hi-fives.

So tell me, “What’s the lighting like in your healing space?

Do you have a mixture of floor lights, table lamps, an overhead light fixture, a wall sconce… or perhaps something else?”

Read this if you need help revamping your wellness space now.

Yours in Health,
Interior Designer Mill Valley, Marin County, San Francisco, CA