The Effect Of Coloured Light On The Human Body
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.
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:
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. 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. Coloured lighting cannot only create a certain atmosphere, it also affects our body.
Correctional Facility LED Lighting
Correctional facilities place a high priority on safety, security, and operational efficiency. LED lighting systems, can help meet or exceed performance standards in all three of these areas. Due to the instant-on and dimming capabilities of LED systems, new control methods are now practical and promise to allow even greater performance.
In Stockholm, AF Lighting has designed a media facade that reflects the weather, and helps build the brand of a major insurance company.
The head office of Swedish insurance company If sits directly above a busy motorway just north of Stockholm. It has always been an imposing building – but rather an anonymous one, with an unlit facade. ÅF Lighting was asked to do something about that.
The resulting solution is characterized by a soft, welcoming light, which matches the recently updated visual guidelines of the insurance company, and its concept of being “close to the people”.
For many years, the one distinguishing feature of the building was an old digital clock sitting on top of it, which also displays outside temperature, as a service to passers-by. ÅF Lighting kept this in mind when creating the lighting concept, which involves LED strips being fitted to the entire facade, with a dynamic light flowing through them like changes in the weather. The lighting scheme also reflects actual local weather conditions, enabling the public to experience the façade lit according to natural conditions such as wind, snow, rain, sun and clouds as well as the seasonal changes. The work also included to update the old clock with a new design and new media logo.
Apart from conveying a message about the weather, the lighting also gives the building a lighter, more dynamic feel, and provides an aesthetic experience for car-borne commuters on an otherwise eventless motorway.
”The project has presented challenges to which we have found innovative solutions”, says lighting designer Francesco Guastella. ”As part of the creative process, we worked closely with the customer to develop mood boards, inspired by their brand message about closeness to people. Eventually we decided that nature and its changes is something that everybody can relate to. Who has not gazed into the flames of an open fire, for instance, or at the waves lapping at a shore? This is what inspired us when creating the lighting programme that now flows along the facade.”
Installing the light rods proved to be the most challenging part of the project. As the façade faces a motorway, building cranes could not reach to all the necessary installation areas. Instead, climbers were hired to perform the work.
”It looked absolutely terrifying, but the results are extraordinary”, says an evidently pleased Francesco Guastella.
Now commuters are met by a beautiful façade each day, reflecting the weather in that particular moment. In other words, the lighting helps communicate the If brand, and adds value to people in their everyday lives.
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