06 Jul 2024

How Different Light Wavelengths Affect the Body

You’ve probably experienced days when you’ve spent most of the day wrapped up in bed with the curtains closed and minimal exposure to light. The next day, you feel tired and grumpy and struggle to get out of bed. Whereas other days, you’ve woken up early and jumped out of bed because the sunlight has streamed into your room making you feel energised.

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How does light impact our bodies?

Natural light has numerous benefits on the body. It makes us feel happy by increasing our serotonin levels, we feel energised and productive, and it helps to regulate our circadian rhythm - our body's biological clock which helps determine when we go to sleep and when we wake up.

Our body’s hormonal reaction to the sun’s wavelengths is what regulates our circadian rhythm. From sunrise to sunset, we see different colours in the sky throughout the day. These changes in colour occur because the sun is low on the horizon. Light must pass through more air and more atmosphere means that there are more molecules to scatter the blue and violet light away from your eyes. Red has the longest wavelength of all visible light, this is why sunsets are often yellow, red, and orange.

When blue sunlight streams through in the morning, our body’s produce cortisol, a natural steroid. It signals to the body that it’s time to awake and be alert. Blue light keeps us working throughout the day. It keeps us focused and elevates our mood.

During the day, we are surrounded by blue light. From TV screens, computers and phones, the blue light these devices produce keeps us awake. That’s why it’s important NOT to use these devices just before we go to sleep because it prevents our brain from producing melatonin, a natural chemical that aids with sleep. People who suffer from lower levels of melatonin are more prone to depression and can develop disruptive eating habits which affects the hormone which controls hunger.

When sunset arrives, and the warmer colours blanket the sky, you start to feel tired because the energising blue light is slowly fading. Yellow, orange, and red evoke feelings of calmness and you feel relaxed. They help the body prepare for sleep.

How does this fit into lighting my home?

If you’re thinking of installing LEDs, it’s important to first think about what rooms in the house need lighting and where you like to relax. Lighting experts suggest using artificial lighting in warmer tones, especially in the rooms where you like to relax more. For example, the bedroom and lounge and other areas of the house where you like to relax. Cooler shades of light, which contain more blue light, work best in the bathroom and in the kitchen.

There’s a better alternative

Nothing beats natural light and all the great benefits it has on our health and wellbeing. With Solatube’s Daylighting System, you can enjoy natural light that will keep you feeling energised throughout the day and relaxed in the afternoons right until you need to use warmer red lighting before you go to sleep.

For a free quote and consultation, contact one of our specialists today on 0800 765 288 or click here.