Color is all around us — but have you considered how colors might affect your mood, your workplace performance, and your emotions? Color psychology, the study of different hues on the psychology of the human, explores the power of the colors all around us. Throughout this series, we’ll be exploring how color can impact your mood, your workplace performance, and even your emotions.
The Psychology of Yellow
The color yellow is associated with warmth, happiness, the sun, and light. However, some hues some can trigger hostility, irritation, and frustration. Culturally, where is the color yellow seen? Traffic lights for example? Yellow is often used as a cautionary color, which can trigger anxiety in the workplace. It can also be too bright and over-stimulate the eyes. Depending on the tone and the hue of the color yellow, the color can also create a better mindset for confidence and self-esteem. A green tinted yellow usually causes more anxiety and hostility than an orange tinted yellow, which mostly creates the mood of warmth and safety.
Yellow in the Workplace
Yellow can be a great choice for a safe space–either for relaxing or creating a space to boost confidence and energy, which can be great for making large project decisions and problem solving. Similar to the color red, yellow can be very overpowering at times. It’s suggested that it’s used more as an accent color than a primary color for the room. Yellow is the brightest color on the spectrum to the human eye, so be careful of the amount of yellow you’re using in the workplace. There are so many different shades of yellow in the world, each with an individual effect on the human psyche, so use your gut when you’re choosing a color–and try to get some co-workers’ opinions on the shades. Don’t forget about the human perception of color. The size, placement, finish, pattern, and environment affects the perception of how humans react to and process the color.
Yellow Light vs. Blue Light
Light colors and rays can have a variety of effects on the human body. While sunlight may seem yellow at times, it’s technically a much cooler color. Try turning on an incandescent bulb while you’re near a window. The color difference will become instantly apparent. Since the human eye isn’t structured to block blue light, despite how good it is at blocking harmful UV rays. It goes through the retina to the back of the eye, meaning it starts to damage the light-sensitive cells and lead to vision loss.
However, not all blue light is bad. Because we’re constantly exposed to electronic blue light screens, it replicates day time. It can enforce circadian rhythm as long as you turn off the blue lights after the sun has set for the night. The effects of warm light are most likely learned behavior passed down from generations before electronics and electric lamps. Sunset and sunrise are both warm, as well as candles and firelight.
Using a yellow light, or a light with a warmer color is much more calming for the body. A study showed that using a red light actually calmed the brain more than any other color while trying to sleep.
When to Use Warm Light
Almost all businesses use cool light as it helps keep their employees awake and motivated. However, it might be what you need to add some warm lighting to specific places around the office. Think of where you’ve seen businesses with warm lighting. Maybe a furniture store? It provokes a calming mood, and a sense of luxury, urging customers to slow down, take a deep breath, and makes them feel comfortable in the store. A separate space for concentrated workers might be a great place to install some warm lighting, giving your employees a place to take some time to their self and regroup. Don’t forget that the psychology of warm colors apply to lighting too.
Connect with the industry’s most experienced team to learn more about adding yellow to your workplace!