The right light for your child’s room

By admin
30 May 2014

Whether for studying or sleeping, lighting plays an important role in creating the right atmosphere in your child’s room. Our experts weigh in on the right lighting for every situation in your child’s room – regardless of their age.

Create the perfect sleep zone

Establishing a good sleep routine can be tricky, and one should never underestimate the impact of the environment in which your child is sleeping. Sister Ann Richardson, a qualified nurse and midwife and author of Toddler Sense, recommends children have their own sleeping area by the age of two.

“It is important to regulate your child’s environment to ensure that his sleep zone supports sleep. Some ideas of creating a calming and nurturing ‘sleep zone’ include a darkened room at night with a dim night-light if necessary, and closed curtains for day-time naps.”

Martin Pallman, a Cape Town architect and self-professed DIY dad, agrees. “Firstly, make sure you have blackout blinds to darken the room completely if you need to do this during the day,” he says. “Also use standard light bulbs – not clear, but the “milky” variety – to avoid glare in your child’s room. Fluorescent bulbs are way too cold, even the warm-toned ones.”

Pallman says if the brightness of the ceiling light in your child’s room is problematic, the solution is to enclose it. “A creative paper lantern cover might work nicely, or any shade that will fit the room’s colour scheme.”

Floor lights also work wonders and can be combined with a reading light for bedtime stories. “Choose a standing light on a long pole, with a dish facing upwards,” says Pallman. “Make sure it has a heavy foot so it doesn’t topple if your baby tries to pull himself up against it. Standing bedside lights don’t work – they will eventually fall off whatever they stand on at some point.”

Let’s shed a little light on the studies      

Lisa Heald from Ellies Lighting says the perfect lighting in your child’s study area can help them concentrate. “Light has an amazing effect on people visually, biologically and emotionally. It can improve our mood, concentration, relaxedness, alertness and sleep.”

She recommends parents keep in mind once the child is older they’ll need a study light in addition to a bedside or night-light. “Choose a bright light that will improve concentration but avoid strain on the eyes, and that creates minimal glare and no flickering. Consider using lights that can be changed according to the child’s needs with a dimmer, or by changing the colour of the light. Remember to choose lights that will last long but that don’t contain harmful substances, like a compact fluorescent light (CFL).”

-Dalena Theron

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