It’s winter here in the West Village, bringing with it cartoonishly long shadows and that wonderfully clear, bright sky over the Hudson River. Winter light is one of our favorites, but it dawns late and fades early. This is why properly adjusted indoor lighting is essential at this time of year.
We’re all affected by diminished daylight hours, so, first, turn up the dial on ambient light settings. You’ll get a burst of light whenever you switch on overall/general room lighting.
Next, swap out those yellow-cast bulbs in floor and table lamps for full spectrum bulbs, such as Chromalux.
Why? Well, it may be a surprise, but sunlight is actually “cool” light (it has a high Kelvin temperature). So, even though we are typically drawn to the coziness of low-temperature “warm” light at home (think: candlelight), it’s important to augment our daily intake of “cool” light during winter months.
Last step: timers. Set up at least one timer to go on just before you arrive home, so you are not greeted by darkness. And if daylighting plays a role at work, set a timed light to go on around 3pm instead of waiting until it occurs to you that it’s too dark to see your desk.
So, enjoy that bright winter light whenever you can. Meanwhile, embrace all that darkness when you’re ready for bed—true darkness makes for a healthy sleep. And here’s our favorite lullaby—except we sing, “The dark days are over….”