Sometimes, depending on the room we’re in our moods change for reasons that we cannot explain. It turns out that lighting may be the factor that is changing how we feel.


Lighting plays a huge role in our lives, subliminal or not, no matter what your profession and lifestyle. However, not everyone realizes that one of the main ways that lighting impacts our lives is on our emotions throughout the day.  A study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology shows that the more intense and bright the lighting, the greater the impact on your emotions, both good and bad.

Other evidence shows that natural lighting has an optimistic impact on how we feel. Sunlight through windows has a very calming and peaceful effect on our mood. On the flip side, lack of light and even poor artificial lighting can trigger depression and have a negative effect on our immune system. Serotonin levels go down on dark days and in darker rooms, causing negative changes in mood and emotions, whereas daylight is proven to cause a spike in serotonin and induce happiness. This is part of the reason that depression rates actually go up in the Winter time when there’s fewer hours of day-light. Poor lighting can also cause eye fatigue and headaches, which make us feel depressed or ill in those rooms. The colour temperature of the lighting has an impact as well. Lighting towards the orange-ish end of the spectrum is often called ‘warm’ and is associated with emotionally positive feelings. ‘Cool’ lighting at the other end of the spectrum is more blue and is associated with higher alertness.

You may have heard buzz words such as “circadian lighting” or “human centric lighting” which is technology that’s growing in popularity due to the ability to replicate the pattern of the sun outside. For example, mid-day the lighting will automatically be producing bright light with a high colour temperature, and later in the day a lower colour temperature to match the sunset. Reach out to Flux if you want to learn more about this technology!

Having bright, consistent lighting in the workplace is said to actually increase worker’s productivity levels. LEDs can mimic sunlight which as previously mentioned, improves our mood and helps align our circadian rhythms so having LEDs in your workplace will in-turn improve the effectiveness of your business – now that’s music to any employers ears.

Unfortunately, a study conducted by the American Society of Interior Design indicated that 68 percent of employees complain about the lighting situation in their offices. So when it comes time to choose or upgrade the lighting in your home or office, it’s something that should be done carefully. Consider the space and how you want to feel in that room because your choice will effect your overall emotional health. Use lighting like LEDs that simulate daylight wherever possible (they’re also more environmentally friendly – win-win), and avoid using dim fixtures where tasks are regularly completed (such as the kitchen and office).

With light being a key component of vision, and vision being responsible for 80 to 85 percent of our perception of the world around us, it’s an investment that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Sources can be found here.

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