Think back to the last time you were in a room not lit in ordinary whites or off-yellows. If you felt different than usual, that’s because ordinary lighting colors impact your mood differently than lighting colors you might not see every day. Below, we’ll walk you through all the ways your lighting design affects how you feel and act.
How does light affect human behavior?
According to a 2019 study in the German scientific journal Somnologie (1), “rhythmic variations in ambient illumination impact behaviours such as rest during sleep and activity during wakefulness as well as their underlying biological processes.” The study also found that “the availability of artificial light...may increase the risk of developing circadian rhythm sleep–wake disorders” in some situations.
Also according to the study, lighting “can be used as an effective and noninvasive therapeutic option with little to no side effects, to improve sleep, mood and general well-being.” All this scientific talk is a long way of saying: Light greatly affects human behavior, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. And not all lights have the same effects.
Eight ways that lighting can affect your mood
It’s not just behavior – lighting affects how you feel too. Here are eight ways that lighting affects your mood:
1. Heightened positive and negative emotions
A 2014 study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology (6) found that more intense lights can cause people to feel not just more intense positive emotions, but stronger negative emotions too. If you’ve ever wanted to leave a room that felt too bright, this study might tell you why, and it might also explain why you feel especially relaxed watching a movie in a nearly dark room.
2. Appetite fluctuations
According to a 2015 study in the scientific journal Appetite (7), blue light can sometimes suppress your appetite, though this effect may depend strongly on gender. The study found a correlation between blue light exposure and decreased appetite only in men – it found no such correlation for women.
However, a 2009 study in the Journal of Environmental Engineering (8) found exactly the opposite. That study came to no conclusions for men but showed that women’s appetites may decrease in blue and green light. If you’re interested in seeing how blue and green lights affect your appetite, we can help you get the right lighting here at BlissLights – a bit later on, we’ll discuss our blue and green lighting options (and some red ones too).
3. Better days and healthier lifestyles
We spend so much time in artificial lighting that it’s easy to overlook the power of natural light. If your daily work takes place somewhere with ample natural sunlight flowing through the windows, you’re more likely to sleep well and get a healthy amount of exercise – at least that’s what a 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (9) reported. These results may stem from natural light’s ability to make you more productive (10).
4. Energy levels
Although natural light is associated with productivity, chances are that natural light isn’t your workspace’s primary light source. Fluorescent lights are common in large offices, and their effects on our mood show why it’s important to not conflate artificial bright light with natural bright light.
Despite its brightness, fluorescent work lighting (11) is associated with disruptions to the circadian rhythm, leading to lower energy levels throughout the day. Fluorescent light exposure may also lead to irritability, anxiety, and inability to focus. It’s not like any of these symptoms will help you feel more energetic – and they might not be the worst byproduct of fluorescent light exposure.
5. More (and stronger) headaches
We mentioned earlier that green light can help alleviate migraine symptoms, but some lights –especially fluorescent ones – can actually trigger migraines and other headaches. Photophobic (12) people are especially prone to light-induced headaches and migraines, but one out of every five people (13) who get migraines are not photophobic. The big takeaway here is that harsh lighting can be not just an eyesore, but a headache, too.
6. Improved mental health
While some artificial lights might give you headaches, direct natural sunlight exposure can improve your mental health. That’s because sun exposure stimulates your body’s vitamin D production, and a 2013 study in the British Journal of Psychology (14) found that people with high vitamin D levels are less likely to have depression.
You can also simulate natural light’s positive mental health effects by working or sitting near a light therapy box (15). The light this box emits resembles the color of natural light, and exposure to it is recommended for some people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sleep disorders, and other conditions.
7. Impacts on autistic people
If you or someone you know is on the autism spectrum, it’s important to understand how lighting can have a positive or negative impact on mood. Autistic people may be more sensitive to sensory stimulants (16), such as flickering lights.
Two scientific studies – one in 1976 (17) and one in 2009 (18) – found that autistic people may be especially sensitive to fluorescent lighting. On the other hand, blue light and other mellower hues (19) can help to calm autistic children. In fact, for World Autism Awareness Month, people are encouraged to “light it up blue” (20) – which you can easily do with a blue BlissBulb, one of our mellow lighting specialties here at BlissLights.
8. Easier relaxation
With the right colored lighting, you can let your worries temporarily subside. That’s why our Sky Lite Laser Galaxy Projector is so popular: Reviewers regularly say that the nebulas, galaxies, and stars it projects in immersive blue and green hues are as beautiful as they are relaxing. A 2017 study in PLoS ONE (21) agrees: Blue light – another BlissLights specialty – can help to calm even the most stressed people.
Sky Lite Galaxy Projector
Shine a galaxy of moving stars and a blue nebula cloud.
Set the right mood with BlissLights
Whether you’re attempting to relax, fight migraines, or otherwise alter your mood, we here at BlissLights have the right lights for you. Our laser lights come in red, green, or blue (or some or all of these colors!), and since we use lasers instead of traditional lighting sources, our lights are especially strongly focused. Our laser use also enables us to create patterns, not just immersive single colors, for the ultimate mood lighting. Browse our laser light collection to get one step closer to feeling exactly how you want – call it a “big mood.”
You may also enjoy these...
Discover fun and unique lighting ideas on the BlissLights Lighting Blog!
13 Great Giveaway Ideas For Gamers
Fri, Aug 06, 21
Feeling Tired? 10 Ideas to Create Your Spa Day at Home
Wed, Aug 04, 21
14 Balcony Decor Ideas To Transform Your Outdoor Space
Mon, Aug 02, 21
Is BlissLights Worth It? Yes, and Here’s Why
Mon, Jul 26, 21
Why Are Color-Changing Lights So Popular?
Fri, Jul 23, 21
11 Best Lights For TikTok To Up Your Social Media Presence
Fri, Jul 16, 21
Staycation Ideas That are Better and Cheaper Than Going Away
Mon, Jul 12, 21
The Nine Best Stage Lights To Liven Up Any Performance
Fri, Jul 09, 21
Halloween Lighting Ideas That Create a Spooky Atmosphere
Wed, Jul 07, 21
Colorful RGB Lights For All Kinds Of Room Decor
Mon, Jul 05, 21
Home Music Studio Essentials Every Music Producer Needs
Fri, Jul 02, 21
12 Popular Lighting Ideas That Are Worth the Hype
Wed, Jun 30, 21
How Can You Use Your BlissLights?
Fri, Jun 25, 21
Game Room Ideas On A Budget That Won't Hurt Your Wallet
Mon, Jun 21, 21
9 Gaming Room Accessories To Add To Your Setup
Fri, Jun 18, 21
Where Should You Use Your BlissLights?
Mon, Jun 14, 21
8 Music Room Ideas to Get You in the Groove
Fri, Jun 11, 21
At-Home Movie Theater Ideas To Create an IMAX Experience
Mon, Jun 07, 21
Which BlissLight Is The Right One For You?
Fri, Jun 04, 21
Try These 15 Relaxation Accessories To Chill Out
Wed, Jun 02, 21
Space Themed Bedroom Ideas That Are Out Of This World
Mon, May 31, 21
Party Galaxy Games To Shake Things Up
Fri, May 28, 21
Best Colors For a Relaxing Bedroom You Should Try
Mon, May 24, 21
Bedroom Colors And Moods To Help Brighten Your Surroundings
Fri, May 21, 21
How To Choose The Right Lighting For Any Space
Mon, May 17, 21
Statement Lighting That Will Turn Heads In Your Home
Fri, May 14, 21
Fairy Lights Ideas That Create a Magical Environment
Mon, May 10, 21
Cool Room Accessories That Make Your Space Stand Out
Fri, May 07, 21
Gamer Must-Haves For An Unforgettable Experience
Wed, May 05, 21
Lighting For YouTube Videos To Jumpstart Your Creator Career
Mon, May 03, 21
7 Relaxation Techniques for a Calm Night’s Sleep
Fri, Apr 30, 21
14 Gifts to Help Sleep Better at Night
Mon, Apr 26, 21
Unique Gifts for Gamers for a Next Level Experience
Fri, Apr 23, 21
Studio Apartment Lighting To Help Brighten a Small Space
Mon, Apr 19, 21
Starry Night Lights for Bedrooms That Are Out Of This World
Mon, Apr 12, 21
12 At Home Gym Essentials That’ll Motivate You To Move
Fri, Apr 09, 21
Meditation Accessories That Encourage Deep Relaxation
Wed, Apr 07, 21
Video Game Room Ideas To “Level Up” Your Gaming Space
Mon, Apr 05, 21
How To Create A Pro Gamer Setup
Fri, Apr 02, 21
15 Cool Teen Gifts Every Teenager Will Love
Mon, Mar 29, 21
Home Lighting Ideas for Every Room
Fri, Mar 26, 21
Nursery Lighting for Babies and Toddlers
Mon, Mar 22, 21
Warm Lighting Basics To Try In Your Home
Fri, Mar 19, 21
Lighting and Wellness: An Introductory Guide
Mon, Mar 15, 21
9 Amazing Lighting Hacks to Try
Fri, Mar 12, 21
Home Office Ideas on a Budget That Won't Break The Bank
Wed, Mar 10, 21