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In Lighting tips and advice
Varia and Fun

By Caroline Van Wouwe

The Effect Of Coloured Light On The Human Body

On 19, Jun 2013 | 9 Comments | In Lighting tips and advice, Varia and Fun | By Caroline Van Wouwe

Artists and interior architects have long understood that colours can affect our feelings, emotions and mood. This is why the rooms in a hospital are often green – green calms and reduces stress. Other colours such as red, orange, yellow, blue, etc., have a different effect on the body. Chromotherapy, a.k.a. colour therapy studies these effects.


Chromotherapy or colour therapy is based on the premise that colours and light can be used to correct physical ailments. Depending on the location and nature of the ailment a specific colour may ease it.

One of the first scientists to consider the effect of colours was August Pleasonton. In 1876 he published ‘The Influence of the Blue Ray of Sunlight and of the Blue Color of the Sky’ in which he studied how blue can stimulate the growth of plants and cattle. He also mentioned that this colour can help make the human body better. This book introduced chromotherapy into modern medicine.

Color therapy

Colour therapy should not be confused with light therapy. In light therapy a person is exposed to a bright white light over a certain time. Light therapy is often used to treat skin diseases (more specifically psoriasis), sleep disorders and certain psychic problems.

Colours and their meaning

Studies have shown that people are able to distinguish approximately 10 million colours. These colours can be broken down into three primary colours: yellow, red and blue. Usually in chromotherapy, the secondary colours are added, more specifically orange, purple and green. Each of these colours has a certain meaning:

Primary and secondary colours

Red – The libido booster

Red is a warm colour linked to the kidneys, backbone and sense of smell. This colour gives more energy and is ideal for people who are often over-tired. Active people can use red light therapy to combat muscle and joint stiffness. And finally it also boosts sexual desires.

Yellow – The depression killer

People with a difficult digestion can treat this with yellow light. This colour is associated with the stomach, liver and intestines. People with a depression could also benefit from yellow colour therapy.

Blue – The bringer of peace

Blue is the counterpart of red. It can be used to lower high blood pressure or calm people down. Blue light can also help in the treatment of migraine. Your throat, ears and mouth are linked to this colour.

Green – The strength provider

Green is the colour of nature. Green light therapy stimulates the creation of growth hormones and strengthens muscles, bones and other tissues. It can also boost your body’s immune system.

Blue light

Blue light helps lowering blood pressure

Purple – The Nightcap

Purple light can help you fall asleep. It also reduces emotional and mental stress. The nervous system and eyes are linked with this secondary colour. Contrary to red light, purple light decreases sexual desires.

Orange – The creativity source

Does your job demand a lot of creativity? Then orange can help. Orange stimulates the creative thought process and helps you come up with new ideas. This colour is linked to breathing. Breastfeeding women could benefit from orange light because it stimulates the production of breast milk.

Purple light

Purple light to catch sleep

Add colour to your house

Coloured lighting cannot only create a certain atmosphere, it also affects our body. If you want to add colour to your house, our webshop has everything you need. We already created a number of atmospheric shots:

dmLights RGB LEDstrips

Thanks to Absinthe RGB LED strips dmLights’ RGB LED strips you can change the colour of your lighting in no time. This lighting combines the three primary colours (red, green and blue) to produce all colours of the rainbow. In combination with an RGB-dimmer / controller you can easily choose the perfect colour. LED strips are ideal to add warm accents to your interior which have an effect on your mood.

dmLights LED-strips

Luceplan Synapse

Luceplan, the Italian designer and producer of design lighting, launched the ‘Synapse’ earlier this year. This innovative system was designed by Francisco Gomez Paz. It is made up of a number of separate ‘cells’ which you can combine as much as you like. The different parts easily click into each other allowing you to create any conceivable shape. Thanks to the built-in RGB LED lamps you can quickly change the colour of the light.

DeltaLight Nebel

Nebel is a design of our Belgian pride in architectural lighting. The DeltaLight Nebel is a suspended lamp in a flat cylinder shape. The shape and method of suspension make it ideal for distribution in spaces where you want to add a playful touch. The Nebel RGB’s dynamic light colour makes it even more playful.

DeltaLight Nebel

Philips LivingColors

A more flexible way of adding colourful lighting is the Philips LivingColors family. This is part of the Philips Mood Lighting collection and contains spherical table lamps with directional variable coloured light.

The LivingColors Cars and Princess versions for kids were recently released. They make going to bed fun.

Philips LivingColors Cars

RGB-LEDs has made the creation of coloured light as easy as pie. And the application radius will only increase. RGB-LEDs are perfect for adding that ultimate touch of atmosphere to a shop, shop window, bar or restaurant. And this is perfectly possible in residential applications too of course.

Your opinion

Do the aforementioned colours effectively result in the described effects or do you experience this differently?

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  1. Susan Miller

    My question is which color of light stimulates the production of oxytocin? Does orange light do that? You wrote that orange light stimulated breast milk, but that could be a prolactin function. I would really appreciate an answer. Thank you so much for posting this info.

    • Kristof

      Hi Susan!
      Thanks for your question. A couple of sources say that the color blue will stimulte the production of oxytocin.
      Kind regards

      • that was a great question me and elsa are thinking of buying a lamp elsa wants a blue one and I want a red one for when jack visits which one will make elsa’s husband happy? ;0

  2. Anjali

    Hi..I’m searching to know which coloured light improves skin texture in real and which has adverse effect. I’m gradually thinking yellow light is harming my facial skin and has increased pimples.
    Thanks, I really enjoyed reading this post.

    • Kristof

      Thanks for your question.
      The only light that can damage your skin is sunlight and a tanning bed, due to the ultraviolet beams.
      To improve skin texture, you can think about a light cure. A blue LED light can handle superficial complaints, like pimples. Red LED light improves your skin in a deeper way. Your skin will become more tight, the skin structure and elasticity will improve. Also, it will stimulate the blood circulation, what will help to treat pigmentation.
      Kind regards

  3. Silky

    I love the different coloured lights. However, for some reason they hurt my eyes. I try to dim but my eyes hurt & I feel like my head is going to explode. What can I do to stop this.

    • Kristof

      Hi Silky

      Too bad to hear this. Maybe different levels of white will help you along? It will certainly help you to relax more.

      Kind regards

  4. very good article thank you :)

  5. This is because they require love having LED spotlights in their small kitchens and bathrooms, because they not only make the space appear larger, they also last a long time which is great as

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