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Mood lighting is more than lighting that affects moods. The lighting helps create calm and warm settings. The possibilities are endless with mood lighting.
You can use mood lighting by pairing types of lights. Learn more about mood lighting with our complete guide.
What Is Mood Lighting?
Mood lighting influences the mood of a room. To adjust mood lighting, change its color, dimness, and angle. But that isn’t all you can do.
Mood lighting also influences your mood. The impact is subtle, so you may not realize it. You’ll find mood lighting in public settings where people gather.
The most common settings where you’ll find mood lighting include restaurants, spas, libraries, and medical offices.
History Of Mood Lighting
Lighting has a history that reaches back to 125,000 BC. It began when humans lit fires to control light. This was the source of light for over 50,000 years. In 75,000 BC, lighting became rocks that had animal fat on them.
In 4500 BC, oil lamps were invented followed by candles 1500 years later. From there, lighting evolved in a slow manner. There is a gap spanning almost 5000 years with little change in lighting.
It wasn’t until 1780 that Aimé Argand invents a new type of oil lamp. The progression of lighting progresses from there and we see new ways to control lighting at least every ten years.
Warm White Vs Cool White Mood Lighting
Warm white and cool white are color temperatures. Color temperatures range from ultra-warm to daylight. The color is measured in Kelvin (K). Lower numbers indicate warmer temperatures.
Light bulbs measured in degrees of Kelvin are lower than 2,700K. Around 2,000K is the lowest color temperature.
Here are the three color temperature ranges available over the counter:
- Warm Light – less than 3,000K – warm light is the color of light that incandescent bulbs produce. It is soft and calm. Warm light is good to set the mood for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms.
- Cool Light – 3,000K to 4,500K – cool light is joyful and bright. Cool lights coincide with cool colors like blue and green. It works out well for kitchens and rooms you want to brighten, like basements.
- Daylight – over 4,500K – daylight bulbs offer natural light. They are the brightest lights. Use daylight bulbs in rooms where you need a lot of light. Craft rooms, workshops, and display rooms.
How To Choose Color Temperature
Knowing different color temperatures and choosing them are two separate things. When you pick out lights, you need to choose which light to use in each room. This can overwhelm you, which is normal.
There are no rules for color temperatures, but guidelines exist. Choose warm color temperatures in rooms where you want to relax and focus on people. Choose cool color temperatures in rooms where the focus is task-based.
How Does Each Color Affect Your Mood?
Colors affect mood. It’s not about color temperatures in mood lighting. This is about how each color affects your mood mentally. There is a reason you choose a color.
What Each Color Means
- Red – increases appetite – red is the color of passion. It is the warmest color with two near-opposite qualities. Red is associated with love and anger. Be careful with red as too much isn’t good for a room.
- Orange – increases energy – orange is the color of creativity. As a mixture of two colors, orange has a few meanings. It takes energy from red and vibrance from yellow. Orange is good when you want to help people be creative.
- Yellow – lifts spirits – yellow is the color of joy. The sun is grouped with the color yellow. It means happiness and fun. Use yellow when you want a joyful room.
- Green – calms and grounds – green is the color of life. It is the color of nature and healing. Use green when you want to breathe life into a room and help people connect to nature.
- Blue – relaxes and takes one away – blue is the color of peace. Each shade of blue has a special meaning but they all relate to peace and relaxation. Use blue if you want a room to feel like an escape.
- Indigo – opens the third eye – indigo is the color of wisdom. Indigo and blue are rainbow colors, despite indigo being grouped with blue. Use indigo to bring wisdom and sincerity to a room.
- Violet – encourages pride – violet is the color of royalty. All the best parts of pride are found in violet with the pairing of red and blue. Use violet if you want the people to feel royal, dignified, and devoted.
Three Types Of Mood Lighting
Colors and temperatures control mood lighting. But there are three types of lighting that come together to create the mood of a room.
The three lightings work as three layers. Use them all to have the most control over the lighting of a room.
Ambient lighting is also known as general lighting. This is the lighting that offers light for the entire room. If you only have one type of lighting, it should be ambient lighting.
Ambient lighting provided light in a uniform manner. This is all you need to light up an entire room. It comes in many forms but is found in ceiling and wall fixtures most often.
Task lighting is practical lighting that lights up a specific area. This includes lighting over workbenches or tables. It provides a safe place to do tasks, hence the name.
Task lighting can be warm or cool, but brighter lights provide a safer workspace. Other places you will find task lighting are over desks, under upper cabinets, and nightstands.
Accent lighting is the ultimate mood lighting. This type of lighting draws attention to specific areas. It doesn’t provide practical light nor does it light up the entire room.
Instead, accent lighting allows you to control where people look when they enter the room. Accent lighting should be the last lighting that you plan as it is the top layer of lighting.
Mood Lighting Tips
Before you choose mood lighting, you need to know a few things. These tips on how to use mood lighting will help you make the most of your lights. Take a look at each tip and set the mood in your room.
Note: if you have a method not listed below, feel free to let us know in the comments. We love hearing about new techniques, tips, and tricks to help improve our indoor space. Everyone has unique ideas to offer.
Overhead Lighting Vs Angled Lighting
Overhead lighting can affect the mood of a room. It is good if you want to give your space a sharp and clean look. But if you use overhead lighting without any other lights, it may not be the best option.
Overhead lighting alone can pronounce wrinkles and cast shadows on your face. It also allows shadows to be cast in the corners of the room and ceilings. Pair overhead lighting with wall lights to take care of these issues.
If you create light in a room, you can control it. Instead of installing one large light, use multiple small lights. This gives you control over the light rays.
Using more than one light works in small rooms and large rooms. In small rooms, you can put the lights close together. But in large rooms, avoid using too many lights by spacing them out.
Backlit Mood Lighting
Backlights are attached behind objects. Backlit mirrors are the most common backlights. With glass objects, their impact is greater.
Backlit glass is more effective as the light reflects off of the glass. Mirrors make a room look bigger. When light reflects off the glass, the room will look bigger and brighter.
Adjustable Mood Lighting
You can buy adjustable mood lights. Some mood lights allow you to adjust the brightness or color temperature. Others allow you to adjust the color of the light.
Shop online at Amazon and Wayfair. They have large selections of mood lights that cater to your needs. Mix and match for best results and get creative. Any light can be a mood light.
More Than One Light Source
The last trick is using more than one light source to control the mood lighting. Add a light on the ceiling, corner, and wall.
To step things up, make your lights easy to move. Add lights behind a mirror, under the bed, and next to the windows. Hang fairy lights if you feel like it. Mood lighting is about making the room yours.
Types Of Lighting Fixtures
Before you choose the type of mood lighting you want, you need to know the options. The lighting fixture can make an impact on how people perceive the lighting in the room.
Chandeliers are more affordable than they once were. Some are more intricate than others, but the wide selection is refreshing.
Pendant lights are single-shade hanging lights. You mount pendant lights on the ceiling at a height chosen by you.
Floor lamps work as both accent lights and task lights. Because they are head-height, they are versatile.
A table lamp is common in the bedroom and living room. It provides task lighting for bedside reading.
Wall-mounted lights are common in all rooms. Sconces are wall-mounted lights, but there are many others.
Recessed lighting takes up the least amount of space. The main part of the fixture goes into the ceiling. The only visible part of the light is the bulb and rim.
Under-bar or under-cabinet lights are strips of lights that shine downward. They work well under cabinets and bars but you can also get creative with them.
Track lighting is hung as a bar with protruding lights. Each light is adjustable. This gives you a lot of control over where each light will shine.
Mood Lighting Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Color Temperature
Degrees of Kelvin (K) measure color temperatures. Kelvin units reveal the amount of light that a lightbulb offers. The Kelvin scale temperature range is between 1,000K to 10,000K.
In public buildings, for example, Kelvin temperatures range between 2,000K and 6,500K. A high Kelvin rating means the light will be more white.
Do Mood Lights Work Like Mood Rings?
Mood lights and mood rings serve different purposes. Rings react to the air temperature in the room and your finger’s temperature. Mood lights do not react to anything.
Is There A Best Mood Light For All The Time?
If you don’t want a different mood lighting for each room then play it safe. Cool light is the most common. Not warm light or daylight but cool light. White light is better than a colored one.
Can Mood Lighting Cure Diseases?
Light therapy may ease symptoms, but cannot cure diseases. They work better for increasing energy and improving moods than lowering symptoms caused by disease.
Is Mood Lighting LED Or Incandescent?
Incandescent lights are warm and comforting. The lights are not adjustable. LED lights are mood lights.
Mood lighting is not a feature of incandescent lights. For more info, click the link: incandescent vs LED lights.
Mood Lighting Conclusion
Mood lighting is all about creating a setting. You can control the mood of the room with light. Each color and color temperature affects the mood. When you learn which one does which, you can welcome guests better.
Make guests feel cozy by inviting them into a room lit with warm lighting. Make them feel relaxed by inviting them into a room lit with cool lighting. It’s up to you to ensure that you present your home in the best way possible.
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