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Living Healthy in the Right Light

Posted on: November 16, 2012

Who knew that “The Right Stuff” could be boiled down to this one basic: The Right LIGHT. Sure, we all acknowledge the importance of the proper amount of light for reading, and the importance of keeping glare off TVs and Computer screens.

Here I am, sitting, facing a window with the sun smack in my face. It’s a November day and the five minutes the sun actually shines feels terrific; yet, I can’t sit with the light in my eyes. Despite the lovely warmth, I pull down the shade – which is, of course, a shade made by our Williston, Vermont Company.

Summer nights, with my windows open, light from a neighbor’s front lawn “lamp” beams right into my bedroom window. I have already experienced, firsthand, what “lighting” reports target as concerns worth investigating. The excellent houzz article “Get Your Light Right for a Healthy House” makes the following points:

The Benefits of Darkness

  • From The American Medical Association: “excessive light … at night can disrupt sleep or exacerbate sleep disorders, especially in children or adolescents.”
  • The Ohio State University Medical Center “found that sleeping in a dimly lit room can lead to depression and weight gain.”
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has data that “night-lights in children’s rooms could predispose them to myopia” (nearsightedness).

Author Mike Elgan‘s thoughts on this: “Almost everybody is doing it wrong. TV, video games and eBook reading [sources of “blue light”] just before sleep are bad. Light coming in from outside at night is bad. Gadget lights on everything you own are bad. Night-lights are bad.”

What to do??

The first suggestion was right up our alley:

  • Block outside light with GOOD SHADES.”

Other suggestions include,

  • Don’t watch TV just before going to bed.
  • Use an eBook that requires an external light source.
  • If you can’t unplug electronic products, then cover status lights with electrical tape.
  • With night-lights, try those that “fade to black” after a while.

Let the Sun Shine In

  • Australian National University Researches find a correlation between myopia and the lack of spending time in natural light. Scientists believe that “developing eyes in young children need the body to produce dopamine, which is triggered by direct sunlight going into the eyes.”
  • Lack of sunlight also can lead to Vitamin D deficiency — which, in turn, has been linked to an “increased risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s and other diseases.”

So what does this mean for your home design?

Houzz touts a new-fangled, GPS-driven skylight; I will suggest a Light Filtering Cellular Shade: comes in a variety of colors, your choice of Lift Options – and, to quote houzz user Cordelia2003: “love the cellular honeycomb shades we have now for the amount of light we get during the day“. In response to Cordelia’s concern for privacy, Lizziegardens recommended the use of the Top Down Bottom Up cellular shade (also known as a Duofold, see the photo below): “This gives you complete privacy with a view and light out of the top of the window.”


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