World's Largest Selection of Decorative Switch Plates

Day and night, lighting can alter a mood beautifully

Day and night, lighting can alter a mood beautifullyDay and night, lighting can alter a mood beautifully

What do candlelight and roses have in common? They set a beautiful mood, perfect for a romantic dinner.

While this isn't the only way to create a mood, romantic or otherwise, lighting is an excellent place to start, since it covers everything from dimmer switches, to switch plates, to chandeliers and sconces.

Since we've mentioned romantic dinners, let's start with the dining room. Candles can range from high-quality beeswax to man-made and battery-operated, and how you use them is determined by the proportions of the room. An elegant candelabra, for example, might look lovely in a large, elegant dining room but rather silly in a small one.

Dimmer products, on the other hand, make a statement regardless of the room or its size.

"People's biggest mistake with the dining room is getting all their light from overhead sources," New York City-based interior designer Bunny Williams told Real Simple magazine. She recommended softening the mood and adding intimacy by dimming chandeliers. Another mood-brightening idea is to replace standard switch plates with versions that are fun and whimsical, a trick that works in virtually any room of the home.

Light at night
Now, have you given a thought to your night light? A new study shows that the color of your night light can make a huge difference in your mood. The study used hamsters, and researchers found that blue light had the worst effects on mood, followed by white light. Red light, however, made the hamsters happier, with less evidence of depression. 

Randy Nelson, Ph.D., is a professor and chair of the Department of Neuroscience at The Ohio State University Medical Center and co-author of the study that appeared in The Journal of Neuroscience, and believes these findings could have important implications for humans, especially those who work night shifts and are prone to mood disorders.

"Our findings suggest that if we could use red light when appropriate for night-shift workers, it may not have some of the negative effects on their health that white light does," Nelson said. Study co-author Tracy Bedrosian, a former graduate student at Ohio State currently doing postdoctoral research at the Salk Institute, concurred, and has found that research suggests these light-sensitive cells also send messages to parts of the brain that play a role in mood and emotion.

"Light at night may result in parts of the brain regulating mood receiving signals during times of the day when they shouldn't," she pointed out. "This may be why light at night seems to be linked to depression in some people."

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