What to consider when layering light for comfort this winter

Embracing layered lighting – a combination of multiple and diverse sources of light (Maison Maison)

After the long, delicious, sun-filled days of summer, the advent of bleak, cold winter afternoons and long evenings can be hard to digest. Nothing heals weary souls like an embrace of comfort. Transforming your home into a winter haven — full of warmth, comfort, and cheer — begins with elevating your lighting.

Every room should have a combination of lighting. Whether you’re designing a space that’s warm and cozy for evenings, carving out a corner bright enough to read, or work from home, the key is balancing these layers of light to help liven up the room and emphasize different aspects of the scheme for different purposes,” says Susan Doen, founder of Maison Maison – A global destination for bespoke lampshades.

Resist the urge to immediately click on bright flashing lights. A home shouldn’t be as stark and blinding as an Apple Store. Instead, embrace layered lighting—a combination of multiple and varied sources of light that, when put together, cast a pleasing glow around the room. Ornate, in the Rococo style, would include a gilded chandelier suspended from the ceiling, along with a pair of candelabra with small hand-woven lampshades on either side of the mirror, and a floor lamp with a curved brass stem, softly illuminating a dim corner.

“Think of lighting like the sun. Big and bright by day, then gradually becomes lower and softer by night,” advises Nikki Wright, co-founder of Lights & Lamps, an ever-evolving process for tailored lighting for every room in the home. “When ceiling lights aren’t needed for visibility beyond, switch to more subtle table and floor lamps. Mimicking the setting sun organically transforms your living space throughout the day, bringing peace and calm before bed.”

In addition to the primary function, a well-thought-out fixture design has the power to completely change the way a space is lit, changing the mood and adding a dose of personality to a room’s design. For example—besides the dark gray ribbed concrete base and antique brass accents, the Avero Lights & Lamps table lamp features a wide linen shade and top diffuser, which softens the lamp’s brightness, infusing the room with a warm, subdued glow.

Nitara Lamp, £119, Avero Lamp, £99, and Enza Lamp, £79, generate a soft glow (Lights & Lamps)

Nitara Lamp, £119, Avero Lamp, £99, and Enza Lamp, £79, generate a soft glow (Lights & Lamps)

Instead, the brand’s Orta table lamp exudes Scandi elegance with its simple, clean lines. The shallow conical white copper shade beautifully focuses the amber light on the table and the wall behind. Niki recommends placing several table lamps at different heights around the room to create a cozy atmosphere.

Dimmable LEDs are also key. Operated via app or via voice-activated technology (“Hey Alexa, turn on the lights!”), smart lighting systems like Philips Hue and 4lite take this one step further, with wellness in mind. They allow users to sync the lighting to their circadian rhythms, with colors that mimic a morning sunrise for a refreshed wake. Then, the lights dim slowly to encourage energy in the day, and finally, dim and warm to soothe the eyes and promote relaxation in the evening.

Kate Baker, light and wellness consultant at 4lite, explains: “Low levels of sunlight [in autumn and winter] It may disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to a feeling of sluggishness. For some, this can be a contributing factor to seasonal affective disorder.” She continues, “Our body clock develops over the course of a lifetime, using the color of the light around us to tell the difference between day and evening.” Smart lighting can be used to help regulate this.

For those wintry nights when you need a double shot, look no further than Malin + Goetz's Dark Rum Three-Wick Candle.

For those wintry nights when you need a double shot, look no further than Malin + Goetz’s Dark Rum Three-Wick Candle.

Finally, let’s get back to the basics. We can’t forget the humble, yet powerful, brilliant candle light. For those winter nights when you need a double shot, look no further than the Dark Rum Three-Wick Candle from Malin + Goetz. The bowl, which is an object in itself, is made of amber-colored heat-resistant glass that gives (okay) a nod to the soft geometry of a Bauhaus lamp.

The bestselling scent is sweetened with ripe peach and crisp bergamot, while notes of leather, rum and creamy milk blend into an intoxicating blend. The fragrance is inspired by the ancient rum that was first loved by sailors traveling through the Caribbean. This candle captures the essence of long days spent in the tropical sun and late nights with friends, practically invoking brighter, quiet days.

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