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Mood Lighting and an Introduction to Chiaroscuro

Mood Lighting and an Introduction to Chiaroscuro

The Italian term chiaroscuro, literally “light-dark,” is certainly not unfamiliar to those in the visual art space. This technique has been employed by painters for centuries to create the illusion of three-dimensional volume through emphasis on light and shadow. Many of history’s most renowned artists, from da Vinci to Caravaggio to Baglione, used chiaroscuro to create a striking juxtaposition of bright and dark colours in their work.

However, you might be surprised to learn that the same elements of light and darkness have immense significance in interior design as well. The same tactics used by Renaissance painters in ancient times is now increasingly favoured by designers who understand that light has tremendous influence over mood and wellness.

More specifically, natural light is recommended over artificial bulbs—especially candlelight, which provides the exact balance between light and shadow that is so breathtaking when captured on canvas.

Natural Lighting


Lighting has been scientifically proven to impact everything from our circadian rhythms to long-term cognitive ability. The goal with mood lighting is not to minimize natural light, but to allow it to guide your biological cycles while minimizing external distractions.

These often come in very subtle forms, such as harsh artificial light, which typically has negative impacts on sleep and wakefulness patterns due to the blue undertones. This type of lighting is commonly used in offices to keep workers productive, which might explain why you find it difficult to wind down after coming home from a long day at work.


Benefits of Candlelight

Maintaining a consistently bright home or workspace might seem appealing if you’re rushing to finish deadlines, but over the long term, it will be very disruptive to your sleep and potentially dangerous to your physical health. If you’re determined to get to sleep faster, stay asleep longer, and feel more energized, ending your day with a few hours of candlelight might be the best way to do so.

While we don’t expect anyone to voluntarily revert to living in the Dark Ages, there are nevertheless a wealth of advantages to using the flickering, inconsistent mood lighting provided by a lit candle than by an artificial overhead bulb. Try turning the lights off and placing a candle by your bedside tonight.

There are countless aromas available, no matter what your personal preferences might be. Essential oils are chosen not only for their scent but for the psychological and physiological benefits they provide. Reach out with any questions or talk to your doctor if you have specific health concerns.

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