Does lighting affect your mood?  

There is no end to research, and the more you research, the more you get to know about a topic. The same thing happens when you search the effects of lighting on your mood. You will be surprised to know that lighting has an enormous impact on people’s moods, and it can make or break their mood. A common and perfect example of this is candlelight dinners. You need a romantic environment to experience the best feeling. Such an environment is created with the help of warm candles. Warm light is the essence of the evening, and candles are responsible for bringing in the right setting. 

The more you research, the more you’ll see that lighting can have significant consequences on your moods. Good and energetic lights also have a profound impact on our lives. A lot of research has been conducted, and it was concluded that lighting affects multiple mental, biological, and emotional factors. Proper lighting can contribute to boosting productivity and mood. In this article, we’ll explain some ways lighting can affect your mood in different environments.

At Home 

You must have heard this from your childhood: that you should not read in dim light. Poor lighting damages our eyes, and it is recommended to read with enough lights on. Apart from damaging our eyes, inadequate lighting at home can have other effects too.  

You may find the impact quite unbelievable, but believe it or not, insufficient lighting may also cause depression and contribute to a deficiency of Vitamin D. On the contrary, proper lighting is responsible for and helps improve mood and energy levels. Sufficient lighting plays a significant role in cheering your mood up.  

Studies have also concluded that lighting can also affect your appetite. In rooms that have bright light, people eating in that room are found to eat lighter meals and more slowly as well. However, spaces with dim lights are found to cause people to overeat. So, you see, lights can impact not only moods but many aspects of our lives.  

Significantly, lighting is also believed to affect circadian rhythms. This merely means that lighting can bestow awakeness and alertness in the morning. It will also help you stay awake all night or entice you to feel tired and do nothing. Many expect that brighter lights are responsible for making the mornings best. Daytime is also made with the help of bright light that adds energy for doing a lot of things. Dim lights are proven best for the evenings. The reverse of this rhythm will mess up your schedules entirely.  

Bright lights in the evening will make you feel energetic, and you may not sleep as well, whereas dim light during the day will make it challenging to find energy.  

At the Office 

A lot of research has been carried out to determine which type of lighting is best used for the office environment. The study was focused mainly on finding lighting that will produce a happy and productive working environment. The results concluded that poor lighting could have a detrimental effect on the productivity of employees at work. Dim lighting is not recommended at all. If you ever work in a room with dim light, you will feel the strain on your eyes. It may also result in headaches or migraines.  

Insufficient lighting in the workplace will cause drowsiness at work, and you will not feel like working. Difficulties are also faced in maintaining motivation and concentration at work. Whereas, harsh lighting can also prove to have detrimental effects. Excessive lights may also have the capability of triggering migraines and headaches. When employees work in such conditions, they get less job satisfaction and are less satisfied with their workplace environment. 

How Lights Affect Emotions 

Many people don’t believe that lights can affect their moods. However, when you feel more energetic and are found smiling on a bright sunny day or feel creative with lights turned low, don’t take it as a coincidence.  

Let us explore a few ways in which lights can affect your emotions.  

  • Blue lights ensure just the right amount of energy. 

When we are exposed to blue light, it provides more energy and makes people more alert. A study was conducted to test the effects of blue light, and it was concluded that people who were exposed to shorter wavelengths and high energy blue lights were more productive.  

They were capable of completing cognitive tasks rapidly. The tasks completed were also very accurate. Hence, blue lights will provide high-energy levels and accurateness in work. It has after-effects as well. Alertness in people increased not only during exposure to blue light but also for half an hour even after the exposure was over.  

  • Emotions are heightened with bright lights. 

Both negative and positive emotions are experienced intensely when a person is exposed to bright lights. A study was carried out in 2014 to observe the results. Overall, it was seen that people who were seated in a perfectly lit room found the objects more aggressive, and also, the women present in the room were more attractive. On the contrary, people who were there in a dim-lit room did not find such results. They didn’t find women attractive and the objects were less aggressive. When it comes to emotions, whether positive or negative, the reactions of volunteers are found more intense under brighter lights.  

  • Natural light can make people happy.  

Sunlight can bring a positive difference to your daily routine. Catching a few rays of natural sunlight can bring in a lot of difference in people’s lives. It is observed that people who have a window in their office are believed to exercise more and even get more sleep. Such people also had a greater sense of well-being than people who don’t have windows in their office. It is believed that if people are exposed to natural light that can easily keep up their natural rhythm. They will also have a sense of when to feel alert and when to sleep.  

  • Symptoms of Depression are reduced. 

Light may even help to reduce symptoms of depression. Increased exposure to bright lights can help people reduce their depression levels significantly. Several companies are developing lamps that can mimic natural outdoor light. Using such lamps will make you feel that you are exposed to natural light. Studies have shown that when depressed patients are treated with a mixture of antidepressants and light exposure, they recover fast. This combination is effective for treatment rather than antidepressants alone. However, light alone can’t treat depression. But light may be useful to alleviate the symptoms of depression. 

  • It can affect appetite.  

Light can affect our appetite. It can affect how much you eat, how rapidly you eat, perception of flavor, and also what mood you are in when eating. In general, you must have observed that at restaurants with dim light, you eat less and consume less. Moreover, in darker restaurants, people tend to order more unhealthy food. Studies show that all this happens because of dim light. Dimmer light makes people more relaxed, and they are less alert. It restrains people from thinking through their food selection. 

People are more likely to eat out at comfortable places, instead of scarfing the food down.  

  • Lights can become a problem for some during bedtime. 

We already know that blue light boosts energy levels during the day. But the same light can become a problem during the night time. Blue light will not let you sleep during the night, and hence, it is recommended that you should turn it off. When we expose ourselves more to laptops and smartphones before bedtime, the blue light emitted from such devices is harmful.  

The blue light suppresses the production of sleep-inducing hormones in our body, making it difficult for a person to drift off to sleep. Sleep deprivation can result in emotional side-effects. Hence, blue light during the day works as a pick-me-up essence, but it is intolerable at night. Therefore, turn off your laptop a few hours before going to bed.  

  • An adequate amount of light affects mood and energy levels in our bodies.

People nowadays are somewhat secluded in modern living. It entails people spending most of the day in closed rooms. The color temperature contained in colorful lights is believed to affect the human body significantly. The higher the color temperature is, the brighter and cooler the light is believed to be. Know that warm and cold doesn’t refer to the heat produced by the lamp, but it defines the color of the tone of the lamp. To make the environment more welcoming and relaxed, you will have to use soft and dim lights.  

On the other hand, to make the environment more stimulating, you will have to pick cooler tones of your lights. Brighter lights make us more alert and also enhance productivity levels. Computers and mobile phones emit a lot of blue light. Hence, you should not check that last email before bed.  

This merely means that you will have to be smart when choosing lights for different spaces. Use the appropriate tone of light for various corners of your home, such as guest rooms, industrial kitchens, factories, etc. Brighter colors are suggested to be used in places where high concentration is needed.  

Yellow tones of light used correspond to dawn and dusk, and they define the time when the human body feels more relaxed. The fact that humans are not exposed to too much light at night will make more sense now. At night, they are merely exposed to only the light of the fire and moon.  

Warm, indirect lighting is used to make people feel more calm and relaxed. Additionally, it also helps to make the environment quieter. This type of lighting is not a good choice for workplaces, since people during work hours need to stay charged up and full of energy. The work environment requires productivity and efficiency. Dim lights are beneficial for restaurants, bedrooms, and rest areas.  

People who are looking to enhance their productivity and well-being should opt to take maximum advantage by exposing themselves to sunlight during the day. Moreover, they should also reduce their exposure to blue lights during bedtime. However, people can’t control the lights used in several places, but they can always think twice before making a choice.

For instance, they may check before buying a lamp for sale in the supermarket. Some lamps may have a wrong selection of tone in the light bulb used. Determine the purpose you are buying the lamp for. Based on that, choose whether or not it will fulfill your requirements. Also, think before checking your phone one last time before bedtime. You may remain exposed to the blue light for long, and indeed, end up not feeling sleepy until it’s too late.  

Final Thoughts 

Different types of lighting can have a varied impact on the moods of people. On rainy and gloomy days, you feel lazy, whereas, on a bright sunny day, you feel energetic. The same phenomena goes for artificial lights as well. Different lights affect people. If you have not observed this before, then it’s time to try it. Based on the theory discussed, try out different lighting settings and observe the effects.  

You should develop a habit of discontinuing the use of devices that emit a lot of blue light. If you are using a device to read e-books before bedtime, ensure that the light setting is set to low. Light also plays a significant role in deciding the emotional response to a situation. Use the right type of lighting in different corners of your home to ensure that you do not use an incorrect tone. Inaccurate tones will have adverse consequences on your health. 


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