We’ve discussed at length before the various benefits that can be garnered from the application of a little colour in your working environment, and also touched upon the positive impact of certain forms of lighting. So, how about combining the two?

Img: Lighting Research Center/Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
A newly-released and extensive body of research conducted by Mariana Figueiro, a professor at the Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has revealed that by utilising some very specific colours and wavelengths, you could substantially boost the alertness of your team.

Figueiro and her team measured various biomarkers including brain activity, performance type and reaction times, alertness and self-reported sleepiness of workers when subjected to different wavelengths of coloured light. They found that a saturated blue at a wavelength of 460 nanometers (nm) affected the circadian system by simulating daylight, boosting alertness in the process. They further state that this is a particular asset for night workers, when natural daylight is obviously not an option.

They also found that saturated red at a wavelength of 460nm has a big impact on levels of alertness. They suggest that red may in fact have an advantage over blue, as blue light is known to reduce the hormone melatonin; this is not an issue with red light.

Figueiro said of the properties displayed by red light, “We have found having red light is like drinking a cup of coffee — it gives you alert effect without suppressing the melatonin. It’s novel and people are starting to think about these kinds of solutions.”

Beyond these two specific colours, human resources expert and co-author of “The Future-Proof Workplace”, Linda Sharkey, has long touted the benefits of a properly thought-out colour scheme. She says, “Colours like red foster excitement and build energy. Bright colours often help people spark ideas, while soothing colours like green and lighter blues help them relax.”


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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