Skip links
Room with big windows and table

The psychology of light: How to get the right mood for your rooms.

Ever walk into a room and instantly feel energised or relaxed? No, It’s not magic, it’s lighting! The way a space is lit plays a surprising role in how we feel and function. Here at First Gate, we’re all about creating the perfect atmosphere for your commercial or corporate space, and lighting is a key player.

Understanding the Power of Light

Empty Conference Room

Imagine this:

You walk into a brightly lit office with cool, crisp light bathing the workstations. You instantly feel alert and ready to tackle your day. Now, picture yourself in a cozy break room with warm, inviting light emanating from lamps and soft sunlight streaming through the windows. You feel a sense of calm wash over you, perfect for unwinding after a productive meeting.

Lighting has a profound impact on our mood, productivity, and even our well-being.

Here’s how it works:

Natural vs. Artificial: A Balancing Act

Both natural and artificial light have their strengths. Natural light is a natural mood-booster, known to enhance creativity and focus. It helps regulate our circadian rhythms, the internal clock that governs our sleep-wake cycle. If you’re interested in knowing how to optimise natural light within your office design click here. On the other hand, artificial light provides consistency and control. We can use it to create specific moods regardless of the weather or time of day.

Color Temperature:

The colour temperature of light, measured in Kelvin (K), plays a significant role in how we feel. Warm light, with a lower Kelvin value (around 2700K), is like a warm hug. It creates a cozy and calming atmosphere, perfect for relaxation areas or living rooms. In contrast, cooler light (around 5000K and above) has a higher Kelvin value and evokes a sense of alertness and focus, making it ideal for workspaces or areas where concentration is key.


The brightness, or intensity, of light also affects how we perceive a space. Bright light makes a room feel open and expansive, while dimmer settings create a more intimate and cozy atmosphere.

Creating the Perfect Mood for Every Space - Which lighting do I use for which spaces?

Office Interior with black chairs
By understanding the interplay between natural and artificial light, color temperature, and intensity, we can create specific moods in different areas:
  • Light for Productivity and Focus: In offices and workspaces, cooler daylight-like lighting with task lighting for specific areas is your friend. It keeps minds sharp and focused throughout the workday. Studies have shown that optimized lighting in workplaces can increase employee productivity by up to 20%!
  • Light for Relaxation and Comfort: Break rooms and lounges are for de-stressing. Use warm, softer lighting and maximize natural light with big windows and sheer curtains to create a calming ambiance.
  • Light for Collaboration & Creativity: Collaboration zones and creative spaces thrive on a balance. Combine warm and cool lighting for an energising yet comfortable atmosphere, and don’t be afraid to experiment with decorative fixtures to add personality!
  • Light for Well-being: Exposure to natural light during the day is crucial for regulating circadian rhythms. Consider using biophilic design elements like indoor plants to connect people with nature and boost overall well-being in your workspace.

DIY Lighting Tips

DIY lighting tips
Now that we’ve explored the basics of lighting and the psychology behind how it affects us, let’s move on to practical DIY tips for achieving the right mood in your rooms:
1.) Layered Lighting:
  • Combine ambient, task, and accent lighting to create depth and flexibility in your room’s illumination. Use dimmer switches to adjust the brightness as needed. Find inspiration here: Layered Lighting.

2.) Choose the Right Bulbs:

  • Opt for LED bulbs with adjustable color temperatures. This allows you to switch between warm and cool lighting to suit different activities.

3.) Maximize using Natural Light:

  • Keep curtains and blinds open during the day to make the most of natural sunlight. Use mirrors strategically to reflect and distribute natural light throughout the room.

  • In the world of interior design, lighting isn’t just about aesthetics – it’s a powerful tool for shaping our emotions, boosting productivity, and even saving money. If you’re wanting to maximize using natural light in your office space , read more here.

Lighting is the secret sauce in the world of design. It can shape emotions, boost productivity, and even save money. By understanding the psychology of light and using these DIY tips, you can create the perfect mood for any space. At First Gate, we take commercial and corporate space lighting seriously. We can help you design an environment that maximizes worker experience and productivity, all while staying within budget.