Feng Shui and lighting

Lighting is a quick and effective way to change the atmosphere in a room. At the flick of a switch we can change the lighting of a dark room and as a result help change our mood. In this sense it is interesting to have a range of lighting options in rooms you want to spend more time in.

Lights and candles are generally associated with the five element, fire, which is associated with the south part of your home (north in the southern hemisphere) and their use will increase the presence of this midday, summer, sunny energy in your home. There are many different kinds of lighting and we can explore how each may influence the energy of a room.

Candles produce a warm orange light and have the unique feature of flickering. This brings a moving light with changing intensity. The shadows in a candle lit room will create a blurred, softer effect.

Sitting in a room with a single light source has greater clarity and a more natural feel in the sense you only have single shadows rather than the multi directional shadows created by several competing lights sources.

These produce an intense white light that is focussed strongly on one point. This light tends to be stimulating and can highlight interesting features in a room.

Table lamps and salt lamps create a cosier atmosphere. A lampshade makes the light feel softer and can introduce a warm colour. Consider a lampshade that creates interesting shadows in your home. A course paper shade with specks of dense material will form a speckled shadow on the walls. To bring the energy further down site the lamp on the floor.

Up lights shine onto a ceiling and make the ceiling appear brighter than the floor, as in nature where the sky is brighter than the ground. Try free standing up lights. You might position one in a corner and shine up into the corner to provide an interesting light source.

Wall lamps that reflect light onto the wall and then into the room can provide an interesting diffused effect where soft light emerges from various parts of the room. Here there will be no uniform light but gentle graduations in intensity.

To get new ideas for lighting take a powerful torch or light on a lead into a dark room and shine the light in different ways to get ideas on how different forms of lighting will effect the room. Use a large piece of card to help shade the light in different ways. Pay attention to the mood the different lighting effects have and how this influences your emotions. When you find an effect you like buy the appropriate lighting.

In addition you can use a strong lamp and hold pieces of coloured transparencies over the light to see and feel the effect of having different kinds of coloured lighting in a room. Also experiment with holding thin paper or fabric safely in front of the light to experience the effect of shading and diffused light.

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