Homework has become the only kind of work most of us are doing these days. As we write this, the country (and the world) is still coming to terms with the coronavirus pandemic. These are difficult and worrying times for all of us but, as a family firm that’s proud to be part of the local community and also has many customers across the globe, it’s heart-warming to see how this unprecedented crisis seems to be drawing so many of us together. Wherever you are, we’re sending you our very best thoughts and hoping that you and your loved ones remain safe and well.
For the safety of our customers and our team, our new shop will be closed until further notice. However, the lights will always burn bright at Oliver Lamps and we’re still available to answer enquiries, give advice, or take orders via phone and email. You’ll find all our contact information at the end of this blog, and we’ll regularly update our Facebook page to keep you informed. In the meantime, we hope our blogs will continue to provide you with a little bit of much-needed escape and plenty of inspiration!
In our last blog, we talked about a few different ways you can light your child’s bedroom. Today we wanted to expand that topic to discuss how carefully chosen lighting can help older children concentrate better while studying and doing their homework. Of course, all the advice included here can be applied equally well to your own home study or office, you just need to examine how you’re using the space and choose the lighting combinations that work best for you.
WHAT IS THE BEST LIGHT FOR STUDYING AND HOMEWORK?
Back in 2016, research conducted by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology found that dynamic lighting (i.e. lighting that can be adapted to meet various needs and moods) helps students perform better in the classroom. But that’s not all the research showed, because when the classroom lighting was subtly altered for various activities – everything from general learning to reading to test-taking – the changes in CCT (Correlated Colour Temperature) didn’t just improve the student’s performance, they also had a positive impact on their physical health and mental wellbeing. More proof that LED lighting isn’t just practical and necessary, it also makes us feel good!
WHAT IS COLOUR TEMPERATURE?
Colour temperature measures how warm (orange) or cool (blue) the light source is. A bulb with 1000K (Kelvins) colour temperature is comparable to the range of light we’d experience during a sunrise or sunset when we’re either waking up in the morning or winding down at the end of a busy day. For obvious reasons, that’s probably not the temperature of light that will encourage your child to study or do their homework. Daylight/Cool White light bulbs with colour temperatures between 4000K and 6500K will keep your child focused on what they’re doing, increase their concentration, and reduce the chances of eyestrain.
While overhead lighting is always recommended for a child’s bedroom, other lighting options like table lamps, floor lamps, bedside lamps and desk lamps are important too. You might also want to think about ceiling lights (either recessed or flush-mounted) to keep the entire room well-lit and help you and your child perform practical tasks, like tidying up or getting ready for school in the morning. Smart ceiling lights will let you control the colour temperature using a phone app, a dimmer switch, or via your smart home voice assistant.
Whatever forms of lighting you choose, don’t forget that LED bulbs are brighter, more energy-efficient, and far more versatile than traditional incandescent bulbs. If there are incandescent bulbs in your child’s room (or anywhere in your house) and you want to update them to LED, it’s easy. All you have to do is check the wattage and cap type of your existing bulbs and find a LED equivalent. Alternatively, bring your bulb into our shop and we’ll do the rest. We can even show you how much money you’ll save when you switch your old bulb to LED!
Just as importantly – especially for a child’s room – LED bulbs are much safer. LED bulbs don’t burn hot like incandescent bulbs do, which means they’re perfect for lighting fixtures that are within your child’s reach: desk lamps, for example.
And while we’re on the subject of desk lamps…
WHAT MAKES A GOOD DESK LAMP FOR HOMEWORK?
No matter what time of year it is, a desk lamp is indispensable. It should be compact enough not to take up unnecessary room on your child’s desk, and it should have a pivotable head so that your child can direct the light precisely where they need it. If your child is right-handed, the desk lamp should be placed on the left side of the desk so that your child doesn’t cast any distracting shadows while they’re writing. If your child is left-handed, place the lamp on the right.
It’s even better if the lamp allows your child to dim the light while working on their tablet or computer. That’s because the brightness caused by the screen could tire your child’s eyes, especially when contrasted with the desk lamp’s ambient light.
Remember what we told you about colour temperature? When you’re choosing a LED desk lamp, pair it with a bulb that will help your child to keep working. If they’re doing their homework in the evening, a 3000K neutral white LED should provide the best balance between keeping your child alert without making them so energised and wide awake they won’t be able to get to sleep a few hours later. A neutral or warm white bulb is conducive to better learning, especially late at night. Also, a warmer colour bulb in your bedside light is much better for sleeping.
At Oliver Lamps, we’ve got a selection of fantastic desk lamps that you and your child can choose from. One of our most popular is the simple but stylish Där designed desk lamp that would look terrific on your child’s desk or in your home office.
DON’T FORGET LIGHT LAYERING VS. TASK LIGHTING
If you want your lighting to look sensational, no matter which room it’s in, you should think very carefully about light layering. To put it simply, light layering means combining different kinds of light (usually ambient light, accent light and task light) to create a particular mood or atmosphere. Where your child’s bedroom or your home office is concerned, light layering is especially useful because it lets your child comfortably use their practical/task light (like a desk lamp) during the evening without being surrounded by a bedroom full of darkness. Of course, if you’re using smart lights you could set everything up to continuously adjust the overall lighting without even having to think about it! We talked about smart lighting in our February blogs. If you’d like to know more, get in touch!
BEWARE OF BLUE LIGHT AT BEDTIME
Don’t forget that the blue light emitted by electronic devices like computers, smartphones, laptops and TV’s can badly interfere with your sleep. That’s why health professionals recommend turning off all electronic devices at least thirty minutes before bedtime, even earlier if possible. Also, if your device offers a ‘night shift’ or ‘night phase’ option that fosters better sleep by filtering out the blue light between sunset to sunrise, consider using it. It can help you with studying, reading, or even watching a video, with the added bonus that you may actually feel tired when your head hits the pillow.
If you’d like to know more about lighting your child’s bedroom, selecting a practical and good-looking desk lamp, creating the perfect lighting layers, or discovering how colour temperature LED bulbs can totally transform your home (and who doesn’t want to feel cheered up and cosy at times like these), give our friendly team a call on 01328 855028 or drop us an email at [email protected]. Whether you’re lighting an entire house, a children’s bedroom, or a home office – Oliver Lamps have done your homework for you!