Color of Light
How it effects our mood, productivity and life
Light is everywhere around us, without light there can be no life- at least the higher forms that we are. Yet we quite usually ignore the effect of color of light on our mood, health, productivity.
Researches by many scientists have shown that light has a powerful impact on us. It not just enables visual effects (image, shape, intensity, perception, contrast, etc.); it also has biological and psychological effects that can impact the health and wellbeing of humans.
Light impacts us- biologically and physiologically, it can improve or disrupt our sleep, cognition and overall wellbeing. Circadian Rhythm is one such example.
Light can improve mood and stabilize our biological cycle, help us get a better and deeper nights sleep, mitigate depression and even increase cognitive performance such as reaction time and activation.
Does it not then become imperative that we become aware about how color of light effect on us and build an environment around us stimulating better growth productivity and effectiveness around us?
Light has three main components to play with namely – Saturation, brightness and hue.
Brightness is the amount of light given off by a light source, usually expressed in lumens or lux( Remember your 10th grade science?). Some studies have shown that brighter light can intensify emotions, while low light doesn’t remove emotions, but keeps them steady. This can lead to people having the ability to make more rational decisions in low light and find it easier to agree with others in negotiation.
Saturation is the intensity of a color. More saturated hues can have amplifying effects on emotions, while muted colors can dampen emotions. In art, saturation is defined on a scale from pure color (100% [fully saturated]) to grey (0%). In lighting, we can use a similar scale
Hue is defined as a color or shade. It’s been proven (through various studies) that natural light can make you happier, but colors created by artificial light can also evoke different emotions and have other effects on the bod
In this article we will understand how colors of the light effect us in various ways.
Let us dive in
1. Blue Light
Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum – what the human eye can see. It has the shortest wavelength and highest energy. About one-third of all visible light is considered high-energy visible, or “blue,” light. Sunlight is the most significant source of blue light. Artificial sources of blue light include fluorescent light, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, LEDs, flat screen LED televisions, computer monitors, smart phones and tablet screens.
Benefits: Blue light boosts alertness, helps memory and cognitive function, and elevates mood. It regulates the circadian rhythm, the body’s natural wake and sleep cycle. Sunlight is also important for the growth and development of the eyes and vision in children.
Harms: Since the eye is not good at blocking blue light, nearly all visible blue light passes through the front of the eye (cornea and lens) and reaches the retina, the cells that convert light for the brain to process into images. Continued exposure to blue light, especially through screen light( Phone, laptop etc) over time could damage retinal cells and cause vision problems such as age-related macular degeneration. It can also contribute to cataracts, eye cancer and growths on the clear covering over the white part of the eye.
2. Red Light
Red light, the longest wave length light is one of the lights which is used in many treatments. Red light therapy (RLT) is a controversial therapeutic technique that uses red low-level wavelengths of light to treat skin issues, such as wrinkles, scars, and persistent wounds, among other conditions.
Benefits: Red light wavelengths stimulate the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps you sleep. Your brain releases more melatonin as darkness falls and tends to release less when you’re exposed to light.
Please note that the type of red light that affects your sleep is light that emits red light wavelengths — not simply light bulbs that are tinted red. While red-tinted light bulbs can be quite soothing and put you in a good mood, they don’t actually produce red light wavelengths. Because of this, they likely won’t have the same effect on your sleep.
Harms: Being exposed in excess to too much of the treatment may cause tissue and cell damage. It may also lead to misuse, causing damage to the skin, burns, or damage to unprotected eyes.
3. Green Light
Green light constitutes a significant portion of the visible spectrum impinging on biological systems. It plays many different roles in the biochemistry, physiology and structure of plants and animals.
Benefits: Green, the color of nature, has been shown to enhance concentration, learning, and healing. Research conducted by Dr. Harry Sherman found that green lighting “reduces glare and compliments hemoglobin .It may decrease migraines and other types of chronic pain.
Harms: Green light, detected by the eye’s vision-producing rods and cones
4. Black Light
Although black lights emit light, ultraviolet light is not visible to human eyes, so the light is “black” as far as your eyes are concerned. A light that only gives off ultraviolet light would leave a room in apparent total darkness. Many black lights also emit some violet light. This allows you see that the light is on, which is helpful in avoiding over-exposure to ultraviolet light, which can damage your eyes and skin.There are incandescent lights, fluorescent lamps, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), lasers, and mercury-vapor lamps. Incandescent lights produce very little ultraviolet light, so they actually make poor black lights.
Benefits: Ultraviolet light is used to observe fluorescent dyes, improve the brightness of phosphorescent materials, cure plastics, attract insects, promote melanin production (tanning) in skin, and illuminate artwork. There are multiple medical applications of black lights. Ultraviolet light is used for disinfection; diagnosing fungal infections, bacterial infections, acne, melanoma, ethylene glycol poisoning; and in treatment of neonatal jaundice.
Harms: These lights can cause skin burns. Because this light has a higher energy than UVA or visible light, it can damage cells more quickly. Ultraviolet light exposure can damage the lens of the eye, potentially leading to cataract formation. or even cancer.
5. White Light
White light is what we stay in the most. Its the prominent light emitted from various LEDS, bulbs and tube lights.
Benefits: White light itself may be harmful but Cool white light contains more blue light and looks brighter to the eye (this is why cool white bulbs have a higher lumen output when compared to the equivalent warm white bulb.
Harms: White light isn’t the best for our biological clock, and studies have linked bright white light wit increased health risk Exposure to the light of white LED bulbs, it turns out, suppresses melatonin 5 times more than exposure to the light of High Pressure Sodium bulbs that give off an orange-yellow light. Melatonin is a compound that adjusts our biological clock and is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-cancerous properties.
6. Yellow Light
Yellow light is the light which we use often for mood lighting or creating ambience. .
Benefits: Yellow light will not harm our eyes. In fact Yellow Light Therapy is used to increase wound healing, collagen induction, skin hydration and the overall health of the skin.
Harms: Yellow light lacks blue wavelengths which can cause more glare and cause more symptoms. That is why activities requiring sharp vision – such as hunting or competitive shooting
Just remember the type of colored light that affects your sleep is light that emits light wavelengths — not simply light bulbs that are tinted.
While colored-tinted light bulbs can be quite soothing and put you in different moods. they don’t actually produce red/blue light wavelengths. Because of this, they likely won’t have the same effect on your sleep/body.
Now you don’t have to go around and buy all the type of lights. That is neither feasible nor pocket friendly. Then what do you do?
The latest technology makes it possible for you to change the color of light emitted from the bulb according to your day schedule.
Buy a wide variety of bulbs from N-lighten and make your life a better and more enlightened experience.