Effects of Light Color and Light

By Avery Dietzen on 11/05/2020

Much of our daily lives involve lighting. We see lighting everywhere in office lighting, home fixtures, and even our phone screens. The lighting we use influences how we feel throughout the day. This can differ depending on what color temperature or wavelength the light gives off.

What is color temperature?

Correlated Color Temperature measures, in Kelvins (K), the color of the white light emitted by a light source. This color can range in appearance from a warm yellow to a cool blue hue.

Color temperature can measure between 1000K to 10000K. Most LED light bulbs fall between 2700K and 5000K.

How does light color affect you?

Bright or cool white lights in offices can boost productivity, while a soft, yellow color temperature creates a comfortable, cozy atmosphere at home. Why is that?

The separate wavelengths of light that a light source emits place differing effects on the body. This includes lamps, light bulbs, electronics, and even the sun! Blue wavelengths offer the most marked effect on the body.

Blue Light

Blue wavelengths, like those emitted by LED lights and the sun, can boost mood, attention, and reaction times.

During the day, use LED lights with a color temperature between 4000K-5000K at home or in the office to keep people focused and productive.

At night, however, the CDC warns that blue light can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Some researchers claim this is because light suppresses the hormone melatonin. They argue that while any amount of light at night will suppress melatonin production, blue light suppresses it the most.

This shifts our circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock. In turn, it can change our sleeping patterns and quality of sleep. Lack of sleep, or low-quality sleep, may increase risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Red Light

If you want to limit your exposure to blue light at night, consider using a red light bulb instead. The CDC says a dim red light has no effect on our circadian rhythm. Similarly, yellow and orange lights offer very little effect on the body.

 

What types of lighting can you use instead?

Turning off all lights as soon as the sun goes down may not be a viable solution. Instead, there are a few ways you can change your lights to make them more conducive to a productive daytime work environment and a better night’s sleep.

 

SMART Lighting

Brands like LEDVANCE Sylvania and Euri lighting offer Smart Lighting technology that is easy to use and energy efficient. Smart Lighting connects to your smartphone and can be installed in homes, offices, and commercial buildings.

Pros

Cons

  • Energy efficient
  • Over 10 million color options
  • Ability to change color
  • Select bulbs offer ability to change color temperature
  • Dimming capabilities
  • Easy to use by connecting to a Smart Hub (Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Zigbee
  • Programmable – program your bulbs to change color, color temperature, and brightness
  • Some offer control even when not at home
  • High initial costs

 

Dimmer Switches and Dimmable Bulbs

While dimming does not affect the color temperature, it can help lower the brightness of your lights before bedtime.

Pros

Cons

  • Adjustable brightness
  • Energy savings
  • 10% savings on utility bills
  • Variety of control options
  • Dimmer incompatible with a light bulb or fixture decreases bulb life

 

Tunable Lighting

Unlike a dimmer switch, tunable lighting allows you to change the color temperature of the bulb instead of the brightness.

Pros

Cons

  • Change color temperature to boost productivity during the day
  • Change color temperature at night to fall asleep easier

 

Browse HomElectrical to find a variety of Smart lighting and dimmable lighting options for your convenience!

 

Check out these blogs to learn more about lighting!

 


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