I am soooo happy the winter solstice is behind me; the darkness diminishes in this higher latitude place, and though the rains continue unabated and a sea of grey unbroken clouds greets me these days, I can feel the light returning; there is hope yet again. The cats smile inwardly.
There is something about the sun setting before 4PM that never sits right by me. I cannot get home early enough to take the cats on their second walk of the day, so they get cabin fever and decide to explore every corner of the place, tossing all the small objects onto the floor: pens, small books, coins, watches, etc.
Like you I measure the end of winter by the increasing light levels. I will be happy to turn off all the lights.