Lighting’s Effect on Mood

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Our lives can often feel very hectic and busy, particularly since the introduction of smart phones and the ‘always connected’ mantra we now have. This often causes us to neglect one very crucial aspect in our lives, our mood.

How Lighting Affects Your Mood

There are many contributing factors that affect your mood and it’s almost impossible to list them all, but here at Lyco we took a look to see exactly how light can affect your mood through your average working day.

From using F.lux on your phone to a SAD florescent tube at work there are a range of tools and activities that can help your everyday wellbeing, so take a look below and see what you could do to help live a happier lifestyle.

For a visual explanation of how lighting can affect your mood simply click here or on our infographic below.
Are you looking for more lighting news, inspiration, or information? Check out our Lighting Advice

Daylight Tubes Explained

Daylight tubes are fluorescent lamps that emit light with a natural daylight colour. Daylight seems neutral to our eyes, especially in the middle of the day, but in fact it’s a cool bluish white. It has a colour temperature of between 5000K and 6500K. The higher the figure along the kelvin (K) scale, the cooler or bluer the light is. Most daylight bulbs and tubes are rated at around 6500K.

Daylight benefits

A chief benefit of using daylight tubes is that the light looks brighter and more natural than other artificial lighting and is less likely to cause eyestrain. Cool white light also increases alertness and concentration, making it ideal for offices and schools. It’s a good choice for high productivity and exam success. You’ll find it in city cafés, too, where fast customer turnaround is needed.

An example of how light colour affects us is seen in a computer screen. This is effectively a 6500K light that upsets sleep patterns if used late at night. The reason we have warmer lights in the home, generally, is that they help us unwind at the end of each day. Daylight is for our busier times.

Daylight tubes v SAD tubes

You can think of SAD tubes as enhanced daylight tubes. They’re used to help or prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder: a form of depression caused by lack of exposure to daylight.

Like regular daylight tubes, SAD tubes emit a daylight coloured light, but they are more consistent at bringing out natural colours in surrounding items. This superior colour rendering also makes them useful in settings such as art studios, photo labs or print shops.

Tube sizes

The most popular fluorescent tube sizes are the T5 and T8. The ‘T’ tells you the lamp is tubular, and the digit indicates the tube’s width in eighths of an inch (e.g. the T8 has a 1” diameter).

Fluorescent tubes generally increase in energy efficiency the thinner they get, to the extent that some compete with LED technology. You can see that in the G.E. 28W High Efficiency T5 Daylight Tube, which produces an impressive 87.5 lumens of light per watt.

T8 tubes are popular partly because they replace phased-out T12 tubes in older fittings. The two use identical caps for connection. To extract the best possible performance and lifespan from a T8 tube, modern high-frequency (HF) fittings are recommended.

Positive light

Poor lighting is dismal in a home and creates a downcast mood in a workplace. Daylight tubes or SAD tubes produce lots of natural-looking light for work or pastimes and will put you in a better place. They’re also cheap to buy and run.

Why not take a look at our current range of daylight tubes.

For more advice, inspiration and news take a look at our Lighting Advice section.

Solar security lights: The Sun protection factor

What do you think about a light fitting that is cheap to buy, free to run, and protects your home or business? It sounds too good to be true, but LED solar security lights offer all that and more.

LED technology has made many things possible in lighting. It is the ideal partner to solar energy. LEDs use little power and are naturally low voltage, so they work well with the 12V output of a solar panel. These two ‘clean technologies’ will help protect your property for only a small initial outlay.

Technology benefits

Besides low cost and convenience, LED solar security lights have other benefits:

  • Up to 8-10 hours of light when fully charged (direct sunlight hastens charging)
  • On/off switch often included to preserve charge and override sensors
  • LED lighting performs reliably in cold temperatures (down to about -20°C)
  • LED lifespan can last for decades, especially when used with a PIR sensor
  • Solar lights don’t need a mains connection, giving more freedom in where they are positioned
  • LED lighting is directional, so less likely to spill onto neighbouring property
  • Compact nature of LEDs allows slimmer designs than other technologies

Sensors and controls

There are two types of sensor typically used in security lights:

  • PIR sensor triggers light when it detects movement. It saves the battery charge as well as LED lifespan. Adjustment of light time, lux sensitivity (i.e. how dark it needs to be for the light to come on) and detection range may also be included.
  • A “dusk-to-dawn” sensor measures ambient light and automatically turns on the security light when it gets dark. The light switches off again at dawn.

Both types of sensor often have an on/off switch, so you can disable the light if desired.

Sample products

We sell various solar security lights, each with its own set of features. Here are some for you to consider:

The Lutec Sunshine is ideal for lighting an entry point such as a doorway or garage. Dark hiding areas near entrances attract intruders.

Matching a 100W halogen bulb for output, the Eye 42 Solar Security Light with PIR is nothing if not bright. This fitting has a remote PIR sensor (mounted separately) with digital control.

The Selene Solar Spotlights come in a set of two with a shared solar panel. They automatically switch on at dusk and off at dawn, though this feature can be disabled if you want. These small spotlights can light an area of up to 25 metres.

Agreeably priced, the Thea Solar Garden Spotlight is made from tough polycarbonate. This ground or wall mountable spotlight has a dusk-to-dawn sensor to automatically control overnight lighting. Wall mounting is useful for security purposes, as you can put the light out of easy reach.

For more advice and inspiration take a look at our Lighting Advice section.