Lighting

Quick and Easy Hacks to Make Your Living Space Smarter

Your home should be a place of comfort and ease. Yet between space constraints and the absurd pace of modern life, our living spaces can get a little chaotic. Here are 11 ways to make the most of what you’ve got.

Studies have shown that both natural and artificial light can interfere with our ability to fall and stay asleep. Most curtains filter the glare but don’t prevent it. Invest in a set of light-blocking curtains and get ready for some seriously satisfying snoozing.

2. STOP VACUUMING.

You have better things to do than pushing around a noisy, heavy beast. Today’s robotic vacuums are easy to program, fun to watch, and are serious time-savers.

You’ve got so much more room than you realize; all you have to do is change your orientation. Clear space on your kitchen counter by installing magnetic strips on the wall for your knives. And hanging organizers, the kind you generally store in your closet, can sort more than just shoes—think dry goods, kids’ toys, or tools.

4. MAXIMIZE YOUR WI-FI.

The placement of your router has a huge effect on the strength and success of your wireless internet. Routers are sensitive to all kinds of surfaces, including glass and brick, so the best spot is often in an open area at the center of the house, as high off the ground as possible.

Not only will mirrors create the illusion of a larger space,…

How Lighting Causes Our Bodies to React

Humans have a wide spectrum of reactions when it comes to light sources. If you’ve ever wondered how changes in color, intensity, or exposure can affect you, take a look at these 9 illuminating facts about the human body and its fascinating responses to light.

1. A TYPE OF SKIN CANCER CAN BE SENT PACKING.

Actinic (also known as solar) keratoses are bumpy, precancerous lesions that develop as a result of sun exposure, and approximately 10 percent of these growths can become squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated. To prevent that from happening, dermatologists look to blue light therapy. When the lesions are treated with a photosensitive chemical and exposed to the wavelength, oxygen radicals are created that destroy problematic precancerous and cancerous cells.

2. LIGHT CAN WAKE US UP.

Exposure to blue light can also help us feel more alert, according to one 2006 study. Study participants were divided into two groups, exposed to either blue or green light, and then asked to rate their energy levels. The subjects shown blue light described themselves as feeling more awake, and demonstrated quicker reaction times and longer attention spans than those exposed to green light.

3. IT CAN ALSO COMBAT SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER.

When the human eye is exposed to a bright light, cells in the retina connected to the hypothalamus region of the brain (which controls circadian rhythm) are stimulated. For people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), those rhythms can become disrupted once the days get shorter and there’s less sunlight to take advantage of. Artificial light exposure can help restore the balance, offering relief to people who experience symptoms of depression as a result of that disruption.

4. LIGHT MIGHT BOOST MEMORY.

Some exciting research…