Don’t Worry Be Happy: Changing your light could change your life

Several years ago we acquired a shop-light with OTT fluorescent tubes to use for seed sprouting and growing seedlings.  OTT lights were specifically developed to provide a more natural light spectrum and seemed like a good idea for seedlings. The fixture was incidentally installed next to the computer and was oftentimes my light source when I sat at the computer.

I quickly realized sitting at the computer improved my mood as long as the light was on the entire time. The light was on a timer for the plants and sitting in the dark after the light shut off was not conducive to my mood. In the middle of the winter, the new green seedlings probably helped the overall environment as well.

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a problem for a significant fraction of the population, but I suspect that a majority of us suffer from a milder version which could be easily corrected with better lighting. If you are still using actual power-hungry incandescent or halogen light bulbs, changing over will improve your mood when you get your electric bill as well. I would start by buying bulbs for your most-used lights. The impact on mood and electric bill should encourage you to convert the rest of the lights in your home quickly.

OTT lights are available in compact fluorescent and standard fluorescent tubes. We are currently successfully using a cheaper alternate sold as Ecosmart True Color Compact Fluorescent. If you have more than a mild case of SAD I would spend the time and money to get actual OTT bulbs for your most-used fixtures. If changing to OTT lights does not have an immediate positive impact on mood, I would recommend talking with your doctor about your specific situation.

Bulbs sold as “daylight” are not what you are after. You should look for “OTT light”, “true color”, or “full-spectrum” in that order.

One Comment on “Don’t Worry Be Happy: Changing your light could change your life

  1. Pingback: Dreams of Spring | Backyard Ecosystem

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