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Though it may sound counterintuitive, recent studies suggest that blue tinged LED lights can have a positive effect on the human emotional state. This comes as part of a wider study looking into the impact different colored lights have on human emotion. As part of a look into human-centric lighting, different light colors are being explored throughout various environments and times of the day to understand how such a simple, yet prevalent aspect of our everyday lives can have far-reaching consequences on our mood, feeling and emotional state.

One would imagine that the color blue, normally signifying a sad, melancholy state, wouldn’t be an ideal hue to shine down on others to lift their spirits. Not true. The Gatwick airport in the United Kingdom installed blue LED lights in commuter rail station platforms to actually combat and reduce the number of suicides at the station. This strategy was adopted after a similar experiment found massive success in Tokyo railways, where suicide rates dropped by a staggering 74% where blue LED lighting was installed.

“The potential effects of lighting on humans have been known for a long time, but actual practical applications have started more recently,” Fabian Hoelzenbein, lighting and LED analyst with IHS, said.

For 13 years, the Japanese study monitored 71 railways and tracked data from before and after blue LED lighting was installed. Comparing the data, they found that once the blues had shined down, the massive drop in suicide rates came down with it. Observing five other neighboring stations without blue LED lights, the study noted that the rate of suicides in those stations did not systematically increase.

Researchers hope that studies like this will prove worthy enough to see far-reaching advancements in human-centric lighting, bolstering the market and leading to more widespread applications. The field is still in its infancy, but as these studies illustrate, the color of a light can have dramatic effects on the human mindset. Different colored lighting setups are even being installed in workplaces and offices to combat the harsh, fluorescent glow of surrender. Wasting away in a cubicle is punishment enough; the lighting shouldn’t make someone look like an office goblin as well. If all it takes is a different colored bulb or lighting fixture to brighten up someone’s day, then we should definitely be getting our shine on!

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