NICEIC and ELECSA campaign, linking good lighting and mental health

With 2020 hailed by many as ‘the worst year ever’, a record number of Britons have said their mental wellbeing is at an all-time low this Blue Monday, a new study has revealed.  

According to stark new research by NICEIC and ELECSA, for many homebound Brits working from makeshift offices in kitchens or spare bedrooms since last year, poor lighting in the home is making matters worse. Two thirds of respondents (66%) admitted poor home lighting was negatively impacting their concentration levels and making them feel more stressed.

Luckily, as record spending on home improvements continues, lighting has become a priority as almost one in four (24%) of those surveyed stated good home lighting made them feel better during the winter months and almost one in three (27%) said good lighting made them happier and more energetic.

In response, and just in time for Blue Monday, the most miserable day of the year, NICEIC and ELECSA have launched their ‘Watt’s the Matter?’ consumer campaign. The campaign highlights the positive impact improvements in home lighting can have on the nation’s collective mood – while warning the public of the importance of using a registered electrical contractor for any planned electrical work.

Paul Collins, NICEIC and ELECSA’s Technical Services Manager, comments: “With 2020 being one of the most challenging years in recent history, it’s unsurprising that just weeks into January, the mental wellbeing of a record number of Brits is at an all-time low this Blue Monday.

“With the national lockdown and the fact that huge swathes of the population are still working from home, often in makeshift offices, the problem is clearly intensifying with many experiencing the detrimental impacts poor home lighting can have on mood.

“As our electrical contractors are keenly positioned to help our ‘Watt’s The Matter?’ campaign aims to address the problem and provide safe solutions, guiding consumers to registered electricians such as those registered with the NICEIC and ELECSA.

“To help amplify the message we encourage all NICEIC and ELECSA registered contractors to take this opportunity to talk to their customers about effective lighting in the home. Through education and good advice collectively we can do our part and help lighten the mood this winter”

Today’s findings come as a quarter (25%) of homeworkers admitted that the lighting in their home office was either too dark or too light, with just over a half (52%) revealing they regularly suffer from headaches, migraines or eye strain when working.

Despite this, although almost a half (47%) of homeworkers bought a new desk, laptop, screens, or printers, just 9% have upgraded their lighting to make their home offices as comfortable as possible.

This looks set to change, however, with around 65% of Brits surveyed saying upgrading lighting is now just as important to their home as painting, laying new carpets, and buying new furniture.

The survey of 2,000 consumers reveals the nation’s collective weariness this winter, with some surprising disparities:

  • 70% of 45-54admitted upgrading lighting was just as important to their home as painting, laying new carpets, and buying new furniture
  • Brits located in Yorkshire and Humber regions have reported worst deterioration in their mental wellbeing and feel the gloomiest about spending the winter at home.
  • Those living in the West Midlands are suffering most from poor lighting, with a fifth (20%) confessing it is making them feel depressed and moody.
  • 46% of women said the coronavirus pandemic continues to make them feel anxious/fearful, compared to just 28% of men.
  • In terms of mental wellbeing, the pandemic is having the worst impact on those aged 18-44, with 21% revealing they are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

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