Have you ever wondered why some places make you feel a certain way, and others don’t? Imagine you’re in an enclosed, dimly-lit room with orange light. What do you feel? Relaxed? Sleepy? Peaceful?
This is all because of the psychological effect of lighting on people. Studies suggest that lighting can trigger emotional, mental, and even biological factors in our brain. This is why we’re able to feel a particular emotion depending on the lighting.
Even movies have recognized this effect. They’re color grading scenes to make the audience feel a certain emotion. You might have noticed red tones in a movie where the main character sits at home, trying to fight his conscience. The red lighting helps you feel what the character on the screen is going through. The color sends signals to our brain and helps emit a reaction or emotion.
Now you might be asking what kind of lighting you should have in your homes or workspaces. If lighting has a correlative effect on our moods, then what sort of lighting gives out positive effects?
Studies show that dim lighting can cause anxiety and even depression. Poor and dim lighting induces sadness and causes our energy to deplete. But lighting that is too harsh isn’t good either. It strains the eyes and induces headaches.
The right balance needs to be found between these two levels of lighting strength. Studies show that the best lighting is natural light. A room that enables sunlight to pass through brightens up the space in just the right amount. This natural source can help boost positive energy and reduce negative emotions.
The results of a study found that people who had windows and let in natural light lived more productive lifestyles. They exercised more, got more sleep, and were happier compared to those who often spent time in a space without windows.
Warm lighting is associated with relaxation and comfort. When we are in a space that has warm yellow or orange lighting, we feel more welcomed and at ease. The human brain associates this lighting with the sunset. This is why it’s ideal to have warm light in environments like restaurants, spas, and other places for relaxation.
Opposite to warm lighting, of course, is cool lighting. Cool lighting includes bright white or blue tones. This type of lighting is said to cause a stimulus in our brains. It makes us more alert, focused, and productive.
Cool lighting reduces melatonin levels in our bodies. Melatonin is the hormone that induces the feeling of drowsiness and sleepiness. That’s why we tend to stay up late at night and use our gadgets. Our screens emit blue light, which helps stop us from feeling sleepy. So think twice before you pick up your phone in the wee hours of the night unless you don’t plan on going to sleep soon.
Office spaces are often brightly lit with cool lighting. It keeps our minds awake and can help with focus and thinking. Thus, increasing the productivity and efficiency of employees in the office setting.
As seen, the color of lighting has psychological effects on people. It can influence our feelings and mood. Change how you feel every day by simply adjusting your lighting. If you can’t do it yourself, there are electrical services in Salt Lake City that would be happy to help.