From Margaret Everton on April 13, 2010 in San Francisco
While the vast majority of the modern world depends on electrical lighting as much as food and water, most people dont know the best way to go about shedding light on certain areas of their home. But thats OK, because Pam Morris, a Sausalito-based lighting designer, knows just how to help. The general consensus is that lighting is a one-size-fits-all deal for every season. Not so, says Morris. Theres a science behind it. For example, in the fall, she suggests using 20-watt bulbs on your porch instead of those uber-bright lights youre used to. Why? Lower watts allow your pupils to remain open enough to see small details at night, thus enhancing the view and putting you at ease. 100-watt bulbs, on the other hand, make pupils close and increase the feeling of darkness, which makes most people feel tense. She also suggests keeping lights dimmed during the winter months to increase that primal desire for warmth and comfort. With the increase in our eco-consciousness, we have seen a greater push towards fluorescent lighting. Morris doesnt see this as bad, but she believes that these often harsh bulbs need to be offset with a glass or silver surface to add a bit of sparkle. Another change spurred by the times, in this case because of the recession, is a decrease in the number of MR16s, or two-inch recessed can lights. While her expertise could result in a novel of tips and tricks for lighting a home, Morris simply wants people to see this often-overlooked aspect of home design as a way to improve your mood and make every room look and feel more comfortable. Its always worth a try.