Does lighting really affect our moods? In short, the answer is yes. From the way supermarket lighting has the ability to make the canned vegetable aisle appear to be some kind of glistening utopia, to the way the sun lifts our moods with the chemical reactions it promotes, whether we know it or not, lighting has a big impact on the way we feel. Here are just some of the ways that lighting works its magic.
The best things in life are free and sunlight very much falls into that category. Whilst all forms of light send signals to our brain, sunlight is the most positively powerful of them all. Your brain produces more serotonin when exposed to sunlight and you guessed it, serotonin is responsible for happiness. You’ll also find your body responding positively to the increase in levels of endorphins, which help form part of an important stress-response from your skin. Of course, too much sunlight can be a bad thing – it’s all about finding a healthy balance. The same can’t be said for artificial lights, as too much of it can have negative effects on your mood. That means less swiping and tapping before bedtime.
If you’re going to be stuck on a metal tube that’s hurtling through the air at 500 mph for the next thirteen hours accompanied by a screaming child and a passenger who doesn’t adhere to arm rest etiquette, the least an airline can do is get the lighting right. Thankfully, they’ve got your back. With new LED technology hitting the market, airlines are commissioning designers to create cabin sunrise/sunsets to help the passenger transition between sleep and the state of being awake, replicating the sun’s shift from faint pink to full on sunlight. In fact, there’s considered lighting for every occasion. Amber lighting commonly sets the mood for dinner and blue sends passengers to sleep. Red has been brutally canned due to its association with fire and garish green has been banned full stop on many airlines.
In-flight lighting is adjusted to help us relax and stay calm throughout our journey. This is how airlines lure you into making purchases as they catch you off guard having slipped into what can only be described as a lighting-induced coma crossed with the effects of one too many miniature bottles of booze.
Studies have shown that retailers with the right specialist lighting can boost their sales. A bold claim considering most of us zip around the supermarket with little to no attention paid towards the lighting. A bit like subliminal messaging, little do you know the lighting around you has been meticulously planned and designed to help you spend your hard-earned cash.
Many retailers choose to use high contrast lighting to attract your attention. Others opt for low-level lighting to help draw your eye to the low-level shelving where the dribs and drabs of the supermarket product hierarchy are piled high. Everything is considered, even down to the temperature of the lighting. Warm colours creating space and in turn, a more pleasant shopping experience. Next time you’re doing the weekly shop, wear sunglasses to avoid this form of mild indoctrination.
Do you think lighting effects your mood?