You never need an excuse to relax. Everyone craves time in a calm atmosphere free of work and other obligations – in fact, science has established relaxation as a human need (1). If you, like many people, struggle to find time and ways to relax, lights for relaxation might help.
The negative effects of lack of relaxation
When you don’t get enough relaxation, you can experience the following:
- Increased stress and anxiety levels. On most lists of ways to de-stress (2), relaxation is a top option. That’s because relaxation and stress reduction are strongly related. By that logic, when you lack relaxation, your stress and anxiety levels may increase. And for some people, high anxiety and stress levels mean interference with daily tasks (3).
- Poor concentration. The heightened stress and anxiety that often accompany a lack of relaxation can lead to poor concentration (4). If you’re unable to focus on work, conversations with friends, or other daily happenings, you might need to set aside some time solely to relax – no distractions, just yourself.
- Tougher decision-making. A 2006 study in the scientific journal Social Behavior and Personality (5) found “significant relationships” between stress (the opposite of relaxation) and greater challenges making decisions. Your life experience probably backs this study – the last time you felt unable to keep calm, you may have found it much tougher to make what would normally be simple decisions.
- Uncontrollable thoughts. Many mental health experts suggest actively taking steps to calm yourself (6) as a measure against racing, uncontrollable thoughts. That’s largely because, in a relaxed state, these menacing thoughts emerge less frequently.
- Irritability and feeling overwhelmed. The stress and anxiety that accompany a lack of relaxation are both associated with irritability and feeling overwhelmed (7). If stress, anxiety, irritability, and feeling overwhelmed sound like a whole lot to handle at once, well, they are.
How light promotes relaxation
Some people can create a relaxing atmosphere just by closing their eyes and drifting away. If you’re not this kind of person, you might want to consider incorporating certain lights for relaxation – here’s how.
- Color temperature. When we think of temperature, we think of bright, hot summers and dark, cold winters. Color temperature works differently – “warmer” colors such as red, orange, and yellow have lower color temperatures. A 2016 study conducted at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (8) correlated low-temperature, “warmer” light colors with deeper relaxation.
- Better sleep. We’ve all been there – it’s bedtime, but your mind is racing and you just can’t fall asleep. Talk about a lack of relaxation! You may find that much-needed relaxation with a red night light. Several studies have correlated red light with the relaxation needed for sleep – learn why on the BlissLights blog post about the best light color for sleep.
- Enhance relaxation apps. Sometimes, you might need a little help to relax, and that’s okay. Try a guided relaxation or meditation app alongside soft lighting effects that set an appropriate mood for your de-stressing session. If you’re wondering which colors to choose for your relaxation session, stick around just a bit longer – we’re getting to that in a second.
The eight best lights for relaxation
1. Blue light
According to a 2017 study in the scientific journal PLOS ONE (9), blue lighting “accelerates the relaxation process after stress in comparison with conventional white lighting.” This study found that stressed people immersed in blue light relaxed three times as quickly as in white light. Blue light has shown additional promise for calming people outside clinical settings: Some cities have correlated the installation of blue public lights with lower crime or suicide rates (10).
Blue light baths can be especially helpful if work or creative tasks are your main stress source. A 2016 study in the scientific journal Sleep (11) found that blue light has an “alerting effect, and enhances performance on cognitive tasks.” When work or creative stress hits hard, try some gentle blue laser lights – for example, our BlissBulb – in your workspace to shake off your nerves and get in the zone.
2. Green light
You can also buy our BlissBulbs in green, a color also associated with relaxation. According to a 2016 study at the University of Oxford (12), green light promotes sleep – which is one of the key ways our bodies relax – since it causes an especially strong reaction with the sleep hormone melanopsin (13) (different from the well-known melatonin!).
Additionally, in a 2009 Canadian Medical Association Journal survey (14) of green light’s use in medical settings, many experts describe green light as soothing. Prominent hospital architects whom the study cited said that green is “fresh in appearance and slightly passive in quality” and ideal for “rest and contentment.”
3. Red light
Green isn’t the only color associated with relaxation. We mentioned earlier that red light is prominently associated with better sleep. A few possible reasons for this correlation exist, and one potential explanation relevant to relaxation purposes deals with light wavelength.
According to this theory, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (15) endorses, the eye’s sensitivity to light decreases as wavelength increases (16). Red light has the longest wavelength of all the basic colors, meaning it won’t stimulate you, so it may make relaxation easier to achieve.
At BlissLights, we make gorgeous, mood-setting laser lights in a number of varieties. Read on to learn more about other light types.
4. Laser light bulbs
Wherever you’d use normal light bulbs, you can use laser light bulbs instead. Laser light bulbs easily fit into standard bulb sockets, but unlike standard bulbs, they project gentle patterns of softly colored blue, red, or green skies throughout your room. Our BlissBulb is a great example: Once you’ve set it up, you’ll enjoy delicate, colorful lighting that can help you drift away into that inner peace you seek.
5. Portable laser lights
If you’re lying peacefully in your blue soaked bedroom but want to relax in your living room instead, you can easily make this change with portable laser lights. When that urge to relocate strikes, just relocate your light too. For example, if you’re using a BlissLights StarPort Laser USB plugged into your laptop or mobile charger to relax, just take your device – and serenity – with you between rooms.
6. Sky lights
If you’re lying down and aiming to soothe your nerves, immersing yourself in lovely blue or green nighttime skies and nebulas can help you get there. With sky lights, you can project these stunning sights throughout your room, forget about your usual worries, and find yourself in a long-sought, much-needed state of relaxation. Our Sky Lite Laser Galaxy Projector projects starry skies throughout your space, with your long-sought calm potentially following.
7. Ambient lights
As with sky lights, ambient lights immerse your room in cool blue hues. Unlike sky lights, ambient lights also generate green auroras that move throughout your room. To distract yourself from your worries, try keeping track of the aurora generated by our Ark Ambient Aurora Light as this green light travels – relaxation will follow.
8. Projector laser lights
We’ve mostly discussed blue light in the last few relaxation light examples, but let’s talk about red and green lights for a second. Yes, that includes outdoor Christmas lights, and you can safely move your outdoor Christmas projectors indoors for relaxation. However, since these lights often cover thousands of square feet of wall space, you might think they would give you light too strong for relaxation. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
For example, the BlissLights MINI laser projector projects a relaxing aura from a far corner of your bedroom or anywhere you’d normally put a desk lamp. Bringing the BlissLight MINI indoors with a projector stand douses your room in just the right amount of red or green light to calm those frazzled nerves and guide you to bliss – it’s in our name.
Find lights for relaxation with BlissLights
Your relaxed self is your best self. You’ll feel less stressed, concentrate better, make better decisions, and minimize your irritability when you find time to relax. Lights for relaxation from BlissLights can help you achieve that relaxation and move toward these desirable emotional states.
Whether you prefer the simplicity of a laser light bulb, the portability of a USB-powered laser light, or the novelty of sky and ambient lights, you can find the perfect lights for relaxation at our online shop. Browse the BlissLights laser lighting collection to set the stage for a more relaxing journey ahead of you.
- Mental Help. “It’s Official: Relaxation is Necessary for Health.” mentalhelp.net; accessed November 2020
- Harvard Health Publishing. “5 ways to de-stress and help your heart.” health.harvard.edu; accessed November 2020
- Mayo Clinic. “Anxiety disorders.” mayoclinic.org; accessed November 2020
- Healthline. “What Makes You Unable to Concentrate?” healthline.com; accessed November 2020
- Engin, Deniz. “The Relationships Among Coping With Stress, Life Satisfaction, Decision-Making Styles and Decision Self-Esteem: An Investigation With Turkish University Students.” Social Behavior and Personality; 2006.
- Medical News Today. “How to stop racing thoughts.” medicalnewstoday.com; accessed November 2020
- Medical News Today. “What causes irritability?” medicalnewstoday.com; accessed November 2020
- Choi, Kyungah and Suk, Hyeon-Jeong. "Dynamic lighting system for the learning environment: performance of elementary students." Opt. Express 24, A907-A916; 2016.
- Minguillon, J et. al. “Blue lighting accelerates post-stress relaxation: Results of a preliminary study.” PLoS ONE; 2017.
- PsychCentral. “Can Blue-Colored Light Prevent Suicide?” psychcentral.com; accessed November 2020
- Alkozei, Anna et. al. “Exposure to Blue Light Increases Subsequent Functional Activation of the Prefrontal Cortex During Performance of a Working Memory Task.” Sleep; 2016.
- Peirson, Stuart et. al. “Lighting color affects sleep, wakefulness.” Oxford University; 2016.
- The Free Dictionary by Fairlex. “Melanopsin.” medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com; accessed November 2020
- Pantalony, David. “The colour of medicine.” CMAJ; 2009.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Interim NIOSH Training for Emergency Responders: Reducing Risks Associated with Long Work Hours.” cdc.gov; accessed November 2020
- The Energy Blueprint. “Is Red Light Therapy Good for Sleep?” www.theenergyblueprint.com; accessed November 2020