Autumn doesn’t feel that far off and soon we’ll be reunited with darker evenings and gloomier, if not cosier, days. Some people relish the change in season, but I’m not one to look forward to winter. I find that sunlight has such a big impact on my mood. It can really change how I feel when I wake up in the morning and how I’ll approach the day. If it’s sunny, I know I’ll have a positive spring in my step. It’s like as soon as it turns to Spring, I come alive again. But when it gets dark at 4pm, or even dare I say 3pm, I get just a little bit of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and feel my mood flatten. With my new extension, I also now value natural light so much more. Even if it’s a little grey outside, living and working in a bright, airy space has the power to uplift my mood and make me feel calm and at peace.
I’m not the only one. The NHS predicts that around 2 million people in the UK suffer from SAD or the winter blues. In Northern Europe it effects more than 12 million people. Seasonal affective disorder can result in low mood, a lack of pleasure in everyday activities, a feeling of lethargy or trouble concentrating. For some people like me, it can just make them feel a bit low, for others it can be a lot more debilitating.
I really believe that our homes can help us feel better. We might restyle a room according to the latest trends or because of something we’ve seen in a magazine, but rarely do we adapt our homes to suit our mental health. With the launch of Lumie’s new Task light therapy lamp, I’ve taken the opportunity to reassess my workspace and make it work better for me. For the darker months, I’ve moved my desk down to the lightest space in the house.
For this blog post I’ve created two set ups using two of the five colour options for the Lumie Task lamp. The first, centred around the Sage Green lamp, takes inspiration from Biophilic design to create an uplifting space. The second, featuring the White Mist version, creates a calmer setting with neutral tones and textures. I’d love to know which is your favourite?
[Ad – this is a paid partnership with Lumie]
Lumie’s new Task lamp is backed by over 30 years of experience and research into light therapy. You might already be familiar with the British brand’s wake up lights that mimic natural sunrises and sunsets. I’ve been using one for a few years now and for me it was a game changer. Instead of being abruptly awoken by a harsh alarm clock and blinding myself by turning on the ceiling light when it’s still dark outside, I can instead wake with a slow steady glow and the sound of birds tweeting. It makes for a much gentler start and really helps make the darker mornings feel a little easier.
The new Task light therapy lamp takes this idea from the bedroom and introduces it to the home office with a clever design that can improve both your mood and visual comfort. The streamlined form is ergonomically designed and intuitive to use, fitting discretely into a space without cluttering a room. I love that the Task lamp feels tactile to touch and subtly playful at the same time. I think the curved form and adjustable features creates a really characterful design that lends a little cheer to a workspace.
Task’s high end, broad spectrum LEDs closely mimics natural daylight. Not only does this help keep you alert and focused when you need it the most, it also makes the lamp gentle on the eyes, reducing eye strain. The tone of the light also means that you can see objects, colours and textures as they really are, which is especially useful for me as an interior designer when I’m looking at colour swatches and fabric samples in low light levels. Alternatively, you can also reposition the head of the lamp to illuminate your face during a video call.
The brightness of the lamp is adjusted using a capacitive slider. This means you simply touch your finger to the Lumie brand logo and slide it along to dim or brighten the light. It couldn’t be easier to use. Even a child would have no problem figuring it out!
It’s also really easy to adapt the light to where you need it to be. There’s three points where you can adjust Lumie’s Task light therapy lamp – you can twist the stem of the lamp around, you can tilt the head of the lamp from side to side, or you can move the head up and down to transform it from desk lamp mode to light therapy mode. Sometimes I might be sketching out some ideas for a shoot, other times I will be creating mood boards on photoshop or writing articles up on my laptop. Every work day looks a little different so it helps to have something that can work with me, whatever I’m doing.
I thought I would end my blog post with a few simple tips for creating a workspace designed to support your wellbeing:
– Add a plant or two – research has shown that plants can reduce stress levels and improve productivity in work spaces, plus they’ll make your rather ordinary workspace come to life
– Get organised – tidy space tidy mind, right? I have a handy desk caddy for organising clutter, but I also use a big cabinet to hide away all the things I don’t want to see so my desk can remain clear. If you’re lacking in space or work at the dining table, it could just be a big basket that you chuck everything into at the end of the day
– Maximise natural light – Consider moving your desk to the brightest spot in a room, for example next to a window rather than in a dark, uninspiring corner. Even better if you have a green view looking outside!
– Think about the little rituals – We all have little things that help get us in the zone, perhaps it’s lighting a specific scented candle, journaling before you begin work or setting the scene with a cosy lamp
– Surround yourself with things that bring you joy – yes a workspace needs to be functional, but you also want it to be inspiring too. That might mean you also have a stack of your favourite books, a jam jar of flowers or a cork pin board with inspiration
– Keep things tonal and cohesive – I tend to feel calmer in spaces that are monochromatic and cohesively curated, so at my desk I’ll make sure that everything matches and looks aesthetically pleasing. Below you can see how I’ve matched the Sage Green lamp with a similarly coloured candle and used green accessories to expand on a theme
I hope that’s inspired you to curate your workspace for the change in season and think about how light impacts your working day. What’s great about a working from home is that you’re completely in control – you have the power to create a space that works better for you.
Lumie’s Task light therapy lamp is available from Lumie.com and John Lewis & Partners, priced at £249 [Ad – affiliate link]. It comes in Steel Blue, Charcoal Blue, Golden Yellow, Sage Green and White Mist.