Lightmaster News – How coloured light can affect our moods

Lightmaster News – How coloured light can affect our moods

Colour changing light

It’s become a well-known fact recently that lighting can affect our well-being. Dimmed lights can create a relaxed atmosphere while bright sunlight is supposed to brighten our mood.  Sometimes we can go for days, if not weeks in the UK without seeing any sunshine and so to combat this, we might invest in a natural daylight lamp; anything higher than 4000K will help combat any symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

It might be that you want to go one further, and purchase a range of colour changing Philips Hue lamps so that you can bathe whole rooms in a colour of your choice.

Red as a colour is usually associated with anger or love. And red light is usually associated with danger (Billy Ocean even sang a song about it). Think flashing red lights on fire alarms, red warning lights on your car dashboard and red lights on the tops of cranes and air turbines to warn planes etc. However, red light can also be used as an energy booster and red light therapy can be used to combat muscle and joint stiffness. At home, you might want a red-ish tint in your living room while you’re watching television in the evening. Red can also be a good light to have on in the bedroom just before you go to sleep. It can create a kind of womb-like feeling of coziness. It lets your eyes and therefore your brain, know that you’re winding down.

colour changing light

Blue is a tricky one – it can be relaxing and calming after a long day; think ocean waves crashing against the sand or a cloudless blue sky. But offices often use a blue light to increase productivity in their staff. A pale, white-ish blue’s main effect is to suppress melatonin, the brain chemical that can make us feel sleepy. If you need to pull an all-nighter, increase the light intensity and the quantity of bluish white light in the room. Almost done with your work? Change the setting on your Hue lamps to warm, low-intensity lighting, which will calm you down. You might also have experienced that when you work late on a computer or tablet it is difficult to sleep afterwards. The cause of this is the high blue content of the backlit screens. Blue light at night causes an out-of-phase circadian rhythm, and is a health hazard. There are some applications you can install that correlate the screen’s brightness and colour, to the daylight of your location. F.lux, for example, works on most systems, or the Twilight app reduces the amount of blue lighting on your Android phone.

The effects of green aren’t as well documented as the other colours but evidence showing that green is in fact the easiest colour on the eyes is based more in physical science than most. There are millions of tiny cones and rods in our eyes which are designed to pick up three different specialized colour categories: blue, green, and red. The blue cones primarily only pick up blue light, while the green and red tend to overlap a bit, picking up a large range of colours from red to green. When this overlap is taken into account, the majority of the cones that are found in the eye will detect green over red. That means that our eyes are hardwired to see green easier than any other colour, making it the colour that creates the least amount of eye strain.

Yellow and orange lights are great mood boosters. They remind us of the sun and of warmth, especially useful in the depths of winter. Migraine sufferers use yellow tints over computer screens and glasses to combat exposure to harsh, blue/white lights. There’s a reason why babies nurseries are often painted in pastel yellow shades – they’re extremely calming. Yellow light therapy is a proven treatment for depression. Orange light is often seen as a warning – amber traffic lights or orange cat’s eyes on the motorway, but orange is strongly associated with creativity.

Philips Hue lamps are available to purchase via Lightmaster Direct, a Philips partner.

01608 682 115

Apr 5, 2018