Hygge and Light: Part 2

Meik Wiking, the hygge master, says:

“Lighting is not just about candles. Danes are obsessed by lighting in general….Danes select lamps carefully and place them strategically to create soothing pools of light.”

As indicated in last weeks post, light is essential for a hygge atmosphere. There is the warm glow of a candle but also lamps that are not just there to provide light but to create a soothing and inviting feel. Light is a critical element in the hygge approach. Lighting design is the quickest, easiest way to create a warm and cozy atmosphere.

George Clarke discusses lighting as part of his 3 part YouTube series on hygge:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFSuQGlpg5o?start=100&w=560&h=315]

If you want bring the coziness of hygge into your home, make sure you have multiple sources of light: floor lamps, table lamps as well as wall lights and pendants lights. That will give you plenty of options for different moods and settings. You can play around with the combinations until you find the perfect hygge setting for every occasion: crisp mornings, rainy afternoons, winter evenings.

One “rule” I read over and over again was to limit overhead lighting.

To quote the Swedish fashion and lifestyle Youtuber Jenny Mustard:

“Ceiling lighting is where hygge goes to die.”

Hygge, of course, being the Danish word that describes that calm, cozy, joyful feeling that you get from gathering with close friends around the campfire. Creating mood lighting is very important in making a room hygge and nothing is less hygge than stark overhead lighting that makes you feel like you’re being interrogated. There are a few ways to make your electric lighting warmer and cozier.

In a wonderful article “11 Scandinavian Lighting Tricks to Add a Cozy Glow to Your Home,” written by Jesica Versichele for the home website Curbly,  you can find a lot of great advice for lighting your home. Some of Versichele’s tricks are listed below, and the full article elaborates on each trick. You can find the full article here.

  • Using floor and table lamps instead of overhead lighting
  • Install warm colored light bulbs with a low lumen number
  • Dimmers create cozy, warm light.
  • Use Fairy Lights to Create a Romantic and Festive Atmosphere.
  • Bring the Outdoors in Through Lighting

This past Christmas my nephew gave me a wonderful and unexpected gift. It was a small version of the leg lamp from the movie “A Christmas Story.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzht2_41caU?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Last week after taking down my Christmas decorations I found the perfect spot for my lamp – right next to my hyggekrog. I already had a floor lamp there and was really seeing it as more of a decorative object. But when I turned it on, with it’s low lighting (25 watts) and amber shade I found it gave me the feel of hygge. Now it may not be the lamp that a lot of people would want but not only is the lighting very hygge, it gives me a cozy feeling and makes me smile.

If you want to learn more about lighting in general, this is a video you may find helpful:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65YtG4Ly57E?rel=0&start=100&w=560&h=315]


“The perfect antidote to dark, cold and creepy is light, warm and cozy.”

Candice Olson

Written by Mary Hirsch