Do you ever feel less motivated and down on dreary days and energetic and cheerful on sunny days? Or curious about why some rooms have a warm and inviting aura, while others are cold and oppressive? This is because of our response to the psychological effects of lighting, which can alter our mood drastically.
Our responsiveness to natural light is what’s known as the circadian rhythm or cycle, and is primarily influenced by light reception, though temperature and other stimuli also play a part in the process. But, how we respond cognitively and emotionally to light extends beyond sunlight, into your home and work environment.
The hypothalamus is a part of our brain that links to photoreceptors located throughout our bodies. These receptors synchronize our internal clock with the light we absorb throughout the day. An adequate amount of light can improve your mood and energy levels, whereas poor lighting can contribute to depression and other deficiencies. The amount and type of lighting you use directly influences your energy, concentration, appetite, digestion, temperature control, and even cell renewal.
Many overlook the importance of lighting. Yet, choosing the right kind to reflect the purpose of a room can make a world of difference to your perception and mood.
Brightness, Hue, and Saturation
The brightness of a light can change our perception of that space. A series of studies was conducted by The University of Toronto to examine the rather unusual paradox of light strength and human emotion. The results determined that bright lights "intensify our initial emotional reaction to a stimulus" and that "its effects can be both positive and negative."
Another research study discovered that red, saturated, and bright colors had the greatest emotional effect, while blue light only influenced emotions when highly saturated. It was concluded that interactions between hue, saturation, and brightness can affect our heart rate and emotions.
Hue is defined as a color or shade. Natural light is proven to make us happier, but as mentioned before, colors created by artificial light can also evoke different emotions and have other effects on our bodies.
Cooler lights can stimulate an environment causing the body to become more focused and alert, thus increasing one’s productivity levels. Blue or white light suppresses melatonin levels which can interrupt sleep patterns if exposed around bedtime. Smartphones are a good example of this because electronic devices typically emit this hue. Doctors suggest that utilizing sunlight in the daytime and avoiding blue light and other cool colors at bedtime, can boost sleep quality and improve your well-being.
Red/amber light is the least likely hue to impact our internal clocks. Exposure to this light in the evening helps increase the secretion of melatonin which leads to better sleep, improved cognition, and mental wellness.
In other words, our brain cells tend to be most sensitive to blue wavelengths than they do to red wavelengths.
Lighting at Home
Insufficient lighting is not only a contributing factor to depression and vitamin D deficiencies but also affects appetite and digestion. As a result, people were found to eat lighter meals slowly in well-lit rooms and overeat faster in spaces with dim lighting.
So, consider the purpose of each room before spending money. Twinkling Tree™ offers a variety of sustainable lighting options, that are as multifunctional as they are ‘enchanting’, for your home and workspace.
Blue light or daylight is best for a daytime workspace.
Dim lights with a red hue are recommended if you’re designing a more private setting used at night.
Lighting at Work
Poor lighting can be detrimental to productivity, focus, and motivation. Dim lights can strain the eyes and result in headaches and/or migraines.
On the contrary, harsh fluorescent lighting can also trigger headaches and/or migraines. Moreover, employees working in these conditions are generally found to be less satisfied with their jobs.
Cool, blueish light or daylight improves energy, attention, and productivity and is, therefore, effective in an office or brainstorming room.
White light is welcoming and suitable for entrances or conference rooms.
Warm, red to yellowish light creates a relaxed atmosphere and is ideal in break rooms.
Lighting psychology is complex, as perception varies from person to person. The impact of light and color often depends more on our personal experiences, situational trends, and cultural patterns than ingrained biology. Improve your space and connect with your positive state of mind by exploring our Magical Treasure Trove now!