Fire is a microcosm of the Sun, and bringing this kind of charge into your home, or your garden, will uplift your environment. Lighting is symbolic of the element of Fire. In Feng Shui Electric lights, candles, chandeliers, crystals, uplighters and even mirrors all fall into this category
Getting your lighting right isn’t difficult – sometimes it’s just a matter of common sense. For example, you should put extra light in all working places to stimulate your brain, but avoid direct light over your bed as it will probably make it harder to get to sleep!
As a rule of thumb, you should always work to avoid harsh shadows. One way of achieving this is to banish single, central sources of light instead, play around with combinations of lamps. Floor lamps are one option, or you might opt for less expensive desk lamps – especially those with flexible stems, so that you can experiment with the direction of the light.
One quick fix is the range of pastel bulbs stocked by most supermarkets which can instantly ‘soften’ a room. You should match the tone of the light to the room’s general colour scheme.
Dimmer switches will allow you to vary the amount of light according to the mood you’re trying to create.
You should steer clear of flourescents. In Spirit of the Home: How to Make Your Home a Sanctuary (Thorsons, 1998) Jane Alexander recommends natural daylight tubes. ‘Fluorescent lighting is not a great idea: it can make you tired and irritable.’ She also recommends that you use light coloured paints and furnishings to help to create light. If you can’t afford to redecorate, you could find some light coloured throws, or lengths of fabric for your lounge or bed.
Candles must be one of the most effective ways of changing the atmosphere in a room. We use them to signify important life moments – birthdays and deaths; we use them as tools (a romantic dinner for two won’t work without them); and we use them to make ordinary events into something special (a Sunday night bath becomes an almost religious experience!).
According to Tina Ketch, author of Feng Shui Candle Lighting it is all about using the appropriate candle in the right place, at the right time. ‘There is a guiding force behind us all, an inner wisdom that we allow to make decisions for us on a subconscious level.’ A book from Marie Claire Style, called Fragrance, recommends scenting your candles for added atmosphere. While scented candles sometimes contain synthetic aromas, you can buy your own, unscented candles and lace them with essential oils.
Feng Shui lighting tips
- Light is yang and can be used to open up yin areas
- Uplighters under beams can help to deflect the downward pressing ch’i that these produce
- The clear area or Ming Tang in front of the front door is most important in feng shui as that is where the ch’i gathers before entering the home. Lighting it helps this
- Mirrors are also important feng shui tools. Never place lights closely in front of mirrors
- Make sure lighting is subdued in the bedroom – this room should be more yin than yang to promote sleep
- Where a house does not form a complete rectangle, the ‘missing corner’ can be made by placing an interior light on a pole positioned where the corner of the house ‘should’ be
- Use light to energise otherwise dark corners
- Lights should not be hung so low that they get in the way of people
- Light diffused through crystal improves the ch’i or an area, hence chandeliers are beneficial