How Lighting Affects Your Mood
Light and mood, while seemingly unrelated on the surface, have a deeply rooted relationship that can be the deciding factor for whether we spend our days walking on sunshine or consumed by sorrows due to winter blues. It’s no coincidence that the two analogies use light and color (tunable white), as both have a direct effect on our emotions, and the more research is conducted, the more conscious and aware we become of how both the lack and excess of light can impact our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
While most of us don’t place much emphasis on the way light affects our well-being, learning how different light factors directly impact our well-being can help you curate your home and work lighting to optimize your productivity, comfort, and well-being. Below are the different ways lighting affects your mood.
Our brain recognizes three distinct factors when it comes to light; various combinations of these characteristics result in specific reactions in the body. It is all a part of the body’s natural clock, also known as the circadian rhythm.
The color (tunable white), intensity, and saturation of light are the three factors that directly influence the synchronization of your body processes to the natural sleep-wake cycle. The circadian cycle relies on light absorption to control sleep, wakefulness, body temperature, mood, digestion, and cell renewal in your body; therefore, understanding how these three factors influence the circadian rhythm is key to living a balanced life.
Bright Light Heightens Emotions
Similar to how shining a light on an object makes it more defined, so do our feelings and emotions when placed under a bright light. According to a study conducted by the University of Toronto, bright light intensifies the emotional reaction we have to a stimulus. Both positive and negative emotions are heightened, impacting our logic and decision-making skills.
A sufficient amount of bright light can help you feel more confident and decisive, while an excess of bright light can exaggerate the feelings of anxiousness and stress. To ensure that you’re benefiting from the bright light without amplifying the negative emotions, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy balance, especially in places that require decision-making, such as a work office.
The primary motivation behind the lightbulb’s invention was the extension of productive hours past sundown, allowing you to work longer and participate in various activities despite the fast-approaching sunset. Little did they know that while the lightbulb will enable you to work longer, it will not increase the limited supply of productivity we’re gifted with each morning. But there is a light variation that can
Blue light has been shown to increase feelings of productivity and alertness. In a recent study, participants exposed to blue light were able to complete tasks more efficiently and accurately than those not exposed to blue light at all. Blue light increased participants’ alertness for up to 30-minutes after the exposure ended, resulting in an overall increase in energy and concentration.
While more energy and concentration sounds like a pretty exciting benefit, blue light does come with drawbacks that should limit its use to daytime only. Blue light lowers the level of melatonin, the sleep hormone, and can be a contributing factor to insomnia. The majority of the blue light comes from our electronic devices, so while it can give you the much-needed pick-me-up in the morning, the use of electronic devices should be reduced in the evening time to guarantee you the well-deserved rest that your body needs.
In contrast to the productivity-inducing cool light, warm light creates the opposite effect of comfort and relaxation. Warm lighting is also associated with increased melatonin production, the hormone responsible for helping you wind down and enjoy a good night’s rest.
Warmer dim lights, particularly yellow and orange hues, are ideal for homes and provide a healthy counterbalance to the harsh light you are exposed to throughout the day.
To provide a well-balanced amount of lighting every time of the day and optimize your well-being through the natural benefits of lighting, consider a customized lighting system for the home. Achieving the perfect level of intensity, color (tunable white), and softness doesn’t have to be complicated.
AmbienTech’s versatile lighting systems allow you to create the desired effect on yourself and those within your environment. Increase your productivity, improve your sleep, and promote a feeling of overall comfort unique to your home or office lighting. Contact us today to learn more!