Many people think of Feng Shui as an ancient Chinese furniture rearrangement plan, but there’s much more to it than that. According to Feng Shui consultant Ann Bingley Fallops, Feng Shui is the art of how you are affected by your environment. Good Feng Shui makes you feel nourished, comfortable and secure in your space, allowing you to live a happier and more stress-free life. The benefits of Feng Shui include creating positive energy for your health and finances, attracting romance and healing troubled relationships, helping you get promoted and find a job you love, and (if you’re a woman) becoming pregnant and nurturing your child. So how does this ancient art relate to lighting?
Feng Shui and Light
The goal of Feng Shui is to balance the life energy, or “chi” of your surroundings. This can be achieved in many ways, from adding to or detracting from the kinds of objects in your room to manipulating the direction your rooms are facing in their initial construction. However, a simple way to manipulate the chi energy in your home is by making any of the nine essential Feng Shui Adjustments, one of which is lighting.
According to Fallops, well-designed lighting is essential if your home is to have good Feng Shui. Light represents the fire element, one of the five elements that bring harmony and balance to every space. Good lighting also balances the darkness of Yin energy (intimate, cool, quiet energy symbolized by the moon and by nighttime) with the brightness of Yang energy (lively, social, hot, dry energy symbolized by the sun and by daytime) as appropriate to each room, whereas poor lighting contributes to clutter buildup, which slows down or even stops chi energy.
Most importantly, Feng Shui is all about energy, and light is the strongest manifestation of energy. Thus, your home lighting has a dominant influence on the quality of your chi. Experts agree that smart lighting, along with good quality air, are the very basics of Feng Shui and should always be at the top of your Feng Shui priorities for any space, be it home or business.
How to Balance the Light Energy of your Space
1. Identify lighting problems.
Poor, inadequate, or harsh lighting can affect the way you feel, how well you see what you’re doing, and your mood and overall well-being. Good Feng Shui is all about balance, yet these negative effects are a result of an imbalance of your lighting; and consequently, the chi energy in your room. Some problems to look for include large patches of glare or shadows, lack of vertical lighting on the walls, and lighting with a low color-rendering index (CRI). Mitigate these problems by evening out your lighting schema, adding more table lamps or wall sconces, and using lights with a higher CRI.
2. Let in the natural beauty and positive energy of sunlight.
Light emitted from the sun is the greatest source of light energy and therefore crucial to maintaining balanced chi energy in homes, studios, and offices. Pay attention to how much sunlight you enjoy throughout the day, as well as to the quality and number of indoor light sources you have in your home or office. When and where it’s practical to do so, light your spaces with sunlight through windows or skylights rather than with your indoor sources. If sunlight isn’t abundant, supplement it with full-spectrum lighting.
3. Take advantage of color.
Lights with a low CRI make it difficult to differentiate between colors such as navy and black. Using more color in your home can help you use light energy more effectively. Think about how many colors you are you actually enjoying in your space. Although you might not want to create an absolute rainbow of colors in your home, many spaces are starving for beautiful, pure colors, and hence more light energy.
4. Use warm-toned lights in restful spaces.
The right lighting is vital to a room’s purpose and function. Light in a warmer color temperature (below 3000K) creates a more relaxed, comfortable environment whereas light in a cooler color temperature (above 3000K) creates a more energetic ambiance. Using warm-toned lighting for rooms dedicated to rest, and bright, cool-toned lighting in more active areas will help maintain harmonious chi levels in your home. If you have wall paint in a more “relaxed” setting that would be better complemented by cool-toned light, make sure your light control has a dimmer switch to mitigate its energizing effects.
How do you feel about the chi energy in your home? What rooms do you think could benefit the most from these tips? Let us know your thoughts or if you have any questions below in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, or Pinterest!