By Mark Sait (pictured), CEO, SaveMoneyCutCarbon
Studies into the way traditional lighting affects our mood and wellbeing have been ongoing for many years.
However, breakthroughs in research appear to suggest that emotional intensity could be greater affected by light and colour than previously thought.
Studies undertaken across the US and elsewhere have found that low lighting doesn’t always have a negative effect on our spirits – and that intense, bright light may do just as much to increase negative emotion as positive feelings.
However, the general consensus is, according to studies carried out in North America, that warmer light encourages warmer feeling.
This, according to a series of tests, occurs regardless of existing temperature in a room, meaning that the effects could be purely psychological. In any case, it is extraordinary to think that something as fluid as light balance could have such a huge effect on the way we operate.
With this data, people may be able to start making more informed choices as to the lighting they choose for their homes and businesses. LED lighting, for example, is not only environmentally-friendly, delivering dramatic energy savings, but possesses none of the light intensity of less efficient systems.
Many of us perhaps don’t understand how much of a difference light can make to our daily lives. These studies show that not only is intense light a massive drain on resources, it may also be impacting the way we work and how easily we unwind. Therefore, switching to LED isn’t just environmentally sound, it is a cost-saving measure – and, it seems, one which could help to stabilise mood intensity.”
At SaveMoneyCutCarbon we help organisations and homes alike to use water and energy in more sustainable ways, reducing their bills and improving their carbon footprint
The company’s mission is to help everyday people cut carbon emissions, but without causing detriment to their daily routines – we call it “sustainability without compromise”. We see moving from traditional lighting to LED to be one such switch people can make without detrimental compromise.
I’m keen to propose that LEDs get an unfair rap as far as light intensity is concerned. Not only does this study data confirm that we can be negatively affected by light strength, it may give weight as to why so many people are restrained in their pursuit of energy-efficient LEDs.
There continues to be misinformation circulating regarding the difference between older energy savings fluorescent bulbs, cheap poor quality version one LED and the quality LED products. Many people believe that switching to LED lighting means having to put up with sharp, piercing light. However, providing you make informed choices, you’ll never be subjected to this kind of intensity. LEDs are gentle both on the environment and on the user if you know what to buy.
The idea that less light could create negative feeling is unsubstantiated, however, studies continue to suggest that lowering light intensity could turn down your emotions, too. The same may apply to making the switch to LED technology. It’s worth noting that the effect of lighting is already well-observed across public buildings and healthcare systems.
For example, in hospital environments, gentle LEDs may be installed to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety in patients awaiting treatment. The same will apply to boosting productivity in office or work spaces, as well as in classrooms.
The human body is amazingly complex, and this study on light effects is just one piece of a larger puzzle that we are only just starting to understand. Therefore, it remains to be said that research will likely be ongoing. Even the most cool-headed of people are still affected by emotions during intensive tasks, and it appears that metering this could be as simple as making the leap to LED.
It’s another reason why we feel that making the switch from everyday lighting to softer, energy-conserving LEDs is an all-around fantastic choice.
Not only will it save you money, it’ll likely help to improve your mood. What’s more, it’ll help to reduce the amount of carbon being pushed back out into our atmosphere. There are no negative takeaways.
Download the LED Lighting guide here.