How to Look Good with Lighting Upgrades
If you live in a home or apartment built after the 1950s, you likely cope with one of the most unkind and unflattering forms of interior lighting. Recessed lighting, or “can” lights, create a harsh glare that can make your home feel far from welcoming. It can also cause eye strain, headaches and trigger migraines.
According to the US Department of Energy, there are over 510 million of these annoying sources of harsh interior light in use today. These ubiquitous “can” lights were created and installed to satisfy the required “light and air” residential construction ordinances. Unfortunately, recessed lighting unavoidably creates an unsettling ambience in our homes. How often do you find yourself either dimming the lights or turning them off completely? Simply stated, “can” lights ruin the mood and sense of well-being in our homes.
The bare bulb glare of recessed lighting not only accentuates every tiny flaw, but also forces people to squint unnaturally. This can eventually lead to premature crow’s feet and has the potential to trigger headaches and migraines. This is the exact reason why professional fashion photographers and cinematographers always use “soft” light sources when working with their models. Soft light gently envelops their subject in a kind and flattering way. In fact, the only time a cinematographer will use direct, hard light is in lighting a horror film – what better way to make Frankenstein look more frightening!
Not only is the “soft” and calming quality of light important, but so is the source. Our innate eye and mind sensitivity tells us that light naturally originates from above (the sky). Hence, while the strategic use of shaded floor and table lamps to provide “accent” lighting can be helpful, “natural” soft ceiling light sources are critical. Unfortunately, as previously discussed, the bare bulb glare of ceiling “can” lights are the worst incarnation of an overhead light source.
This is especially true if you paint your walls any color other than white or off-white. Darker colors tend to make your room feel smaller and more confined, which means you need natural ambient light to counteract this effect and “open up” the room.
Ask any Feng Shui advisor and they will tell you to remove all of the harsh, overhead “can” lights. If renovating your entire lighting system is not an option, you can use a diffusor to filter the bare bulb glare to create a “softer” form of light. This will generate the proper “ch’i” and improve the quality of life and light in your home.
A reusable light diffusor not only softens harsh lighting, but will also save you money by allowing you to use the product to its fullest extent and reduce waste. Making a new product requires a lot of raw materials and energy. Instead of revamping your entire lighting system every time you move, a reusable light diffusor is an effective and sustainable way to save natural resources and protect the environment.
Fun fact: Light does not exist until it hits something. We only see a beam of morning sunlight because the light is hitting the particles of dust in the air. For instance, you could shine a super strong flashlight into the black abyss of outer space, but it would not see it until the light hits a planet, asteroid or gaseous particle.
About Mitch Teller
Softlites creator, Mitchell Teller, is an award-winning director/cinematographer of “Fashion and Beauty” TV commercials who, in order to aesthetically illuminate interior locations, created a prototype diffusor which clipped on to existing recessed ceiling “can” lights, thereby softening the otherwise harsh light. When crew members started asking to take the prototypes home with them, he knew that he had created a useful solution for a widespread problem.