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The Best Type of Light to Use in Each Room of Your Home


LEDs require less energy, last for years, and slash bills. Use them to brighten your home and mood. Here are the three best types of light to use in each room of your home!

In the living room: Go soft

When it comes to spaces where you want to relax, zero in on bulbs that cast a soft light. Just look for lumens, which indicate the level of brightness, on the package. The lower the number, the softer the glow. “Aim for around 1,500 to 3,000 lumens total from all the bulbs in the room,” advises Daniel Walsh (

“If, for example, you have three lamps, consider getting three 500- to 1,000-lumen bulbs to light the entire space.”

Mood boost: Using soft light to create a relaxing ambience — a Danish practice called hygge — is one of the main reasons researchers believe the Danes rank in the top three of happiest people on Earth!

In the kitchen: Reach for blue

Straining to see the onion you’re dicing in the kitchen or the eyeliner you’re applying in the bathroom? Go for a bluer light, which enhances details. The color of a bulb is measured in kelvins on the package — the lower the number, the warmer or yellower the hue; the higher the number, the cooler or bluer. “Kelvins at 3,000 and up will give you more blue light,” says Walsh. “It’s best for kitchens and bathrooms, where you want to see clearly without a harsh glare.”

Mood boost: Not only does light in the 3,000-kelvin range make it easier to see details, it’s also energizing because cooler light is similar to daylight, which suppresses the sleepiness hormone melatonin.

In the home office: Look for focus

If you’re lighting a room where you work on a computer, tablet or other device, make sure the lighting is easy on your eyes. To do that, reach for lower kelvins that cast a warmer light. “Bulbs with a cool color can produce glare that makes your eyes work harder,” explains Walsh.

“Also consider LED bulbs labeled ‘unidirectional,’ on the package, which are designed to focus light on a single point rather than diffuse it around the room — this significantly cuts harsh light.”

Mood boost: Reducing computer glare slashes the occurrence of migraines, decreases vision problems and dramatically enhances productivity, according to a Cornell study. No wonder using the best types of light in your home can dramatically improve your health and well-being!

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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