How Blue Light Affects Your Health

As a color designer for interior design and architecture, I am always confronted with the problems of  light. I have recently been doing some research and would like to share my results with you.

Light plays, aesthetically, an important role in creating beautiful spaces. With light you can change the atmosphere completely from being gloomy to making it serene or adding excitement. Light animates space more than any other element.

Light is important in offices and in our homes, not only from an artistic perspective, but also as a contribution to our health. In fact, more and more scientific research is showing how inadequate lighting can affect our health considerably. Architects and the interior designer have to be aware of the importance of light on our health. They need to take this into consideration when designing lighting systems for interiors, such as homes, hospitals, schools and offices where people spend most of the daytime.

In an article printed in the “Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, Vol. 34, No.4 (August 2008)”, the authors and researchers observed how exposure to blue enriched white light affected the performance of office workers during working hours. Their results showed that “exposure to blue-enriched white light during daytime work hours improves subjective alertness, performance, and evening fatigue. “

For many years, Color designers have been arguing for the importance of a lighting system that includes all colors of the spectrum,  in order to create a healthy environment. Most lamps only include parts of the color spectrum, which means that the body is impoverished of certain colors that are to be found in sunlight,  but are not in some artificial lighting. However, the above mentioned article implies that blue light is particularly effective for improving performance,  and actually making office workers feel generally much better throughout the day. Actually, this fact corresponds very well with natural lighting. During the morning and midday, the blue spectrum of sunlight is more predominant.

Whereas blue light can add to personal well-being during the early parts of the day, it can be considerably hazardous to the health if predominant during the late evening or during night time.

In the article “What´s in a Color? The Unique Human Effects of Blue Light.” by David C. Holzman, published in Journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the author discusses the latest researches made on light, particularly blue light. Here he cites that “….. blues are the most important wavelengths for entraining the circadian system.” and “The blue wave length suppresses melatonin…” (page A26 of article). Generally, too much light at night time can suppress the production of melatonin, but the blue wavelengths are worst of all. It has been proven that blue light will suppress melatonin five times more than orange-yellow light. A blue light during the evening will activate the intellect. Actually, a dim orange-yellow light during the evening creates a much more relaxing atmosphere: just like natural light, when the sun sets to leave a rich, warm glow in the sky. This type of light prepares us for the night and helps us to sleep faster and deeper.

When blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, this has extremely negative effects on health. Melatonin is created by the pineal gland while we are sleeping. It is responsible for increasing the effectiveness of the immune system and enhances our well being. It controls the circadian rhythm, our body´s clock. Any one who flies to other parts of the world, will know how disturbing it can be when the circadian rhythm is out of order. It increases fatigue during the daytime and makes it difficult to concentrate.

Incidentally, according to scientific research, it is not only the  blue, which is predominant in lamps,  that is a problem. Here are some examples for light sources high in melatonin-suppressing blue light:  iPads, iPhones, computer monitors, laptop computers, LED televisions and LED digital clocks.

The human brain and light are so related to each other. Within a few years, we hope to have a light system in all living and working areas, that changes its color and temperature in the same way that the sun does throughout the day. Our modern environment will gain another step to being a healthier place to live in.

Research material from www.jestor.org

1.

“Scandinavial Journal of Work, Environment & Health, Vol. 34, No.4 (August 2008)”

Authors: Antoine U.Viola PhD, Lynette M. James, Luc JM Schlangen PhD, and Derk Jan Dijk PhD

2.

“What´s in a Color? The Unique Human Effects of Blue Light.” by David C. Holzman

published in Journal Environmental Health Perspectives,

Other articles:

http://pente.hubpages.com/hub/Mastering-Longevity-Melatonin

http://ergonomics.about.com/od/ergonomicbasics/f/What-Is-The-Circadian-Rhythm.htm

Colors Dancing To Music

The musician, Stephen Malinowski, has created a fascinating project with his Music Animation Machine. He uses harmonic coloring and animated graphics to visualize his music.

In this video, he beautifully represents Beethoven´s Symphony 7, Second Movement, Allegretto, with delicately animated, colorful graphics. It is almost as though the colors are dancing to the music.

Colors in Video Business Presentations Diminish or Empower You

I feel that a  casual conversation where you are talking to your customers via a video is just as important as when you are standing in front of a large audience. Choosing the right colors for your videos is very easy to do  and will make a big difference to the look of your video.  The right colors will not only set you in your true strength but also make the video aesthetically a pleasant experience.

I have added pictures where the models are in casual dress and still come over strongly. Obviously, they are fashion models. But, I can assure you that we will all look far more impressive if the overall colors are harmonious.   It is not a question of looking handsome or beautiful, but being who we really are. All of us have certain strengths, and a messages that we wish to communicate to enhance the lives of others. Colors can diminish this fact considerably, or underline  the strength of who we are and of our message. And you can still be dressed casual, if this is your style.

Here are a few easy tips for improving the quality of your business videos immediately.

  • What colors do you really feel good in? If it is black, be honest with yourself. Does it enhance your own looks or make you pale. Some people look great in black, others pale and tired. Actually this applies to most colors. So spend some time to identify the colors you really feel and look good in.
  • What is your niche? Are you for example in business where blue, gray and black may just be fine? If so, don´t  just have a boring white office for the background. By matching your background to your clothes and your own colorings, you will create a powerful expression of yourself and your message.

Colors in Video Business Presentations Diminish or Empower You

  • Decide on two or three colors to use for your clothes and background and continue using these until you have really managed to achieve the best combinations. You can even stay with these colors using them as your branding, and just varying the style and cut of your clothes.

Colors in Video Business Presentations Diminish or Empower You

  • If you study portrait photography, you will learn a great deal about using backgrounds and matching them up with your own colorings. Go through portrait photos at photo stock or another photo agency and see if you can discover portraits of people with similar colorings to your own. Notice the way photographers match up backgrounds, the color of the clothes and the colorings of the models themselves. This will help you on deciding upon the right colors for adapting to your own business videos.

Colors in Video Business Presentations Diminish or Empower You

P.S. I will be writing many articles in the future about using colors for business, including empowering colors for your videos, so do register for my blog updates if this information will be useful to you. I dislike receiving spam as much as you do. I promise not to pass your e-mail on in any way whatsoever.

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A Tiny Desk Is Your Office – Make it Bright, Bold and Beautiful

Many of us do have the tendency to think that when we only have a small desk in a corner of the room to claim as our home office, we don´t think it worthy of much attention. I certainly did. In fact, after many years I have just designed and decorated my office.  And what a difference:  Not only in the appearance but also in my sense of well-being and productivity. I must admit, instead of one desk, I now have three, all of which have their very own personality and beauty.

Through my own experience,  I am really convinced of how  important is to instill the spirit of your work in even the smallest space; to have it working like a yantra . In Eastern mysticism, a yantra, a Sanskrit word, consists of symbols or images that are consciously adopted to balance the mind and lead to a profound change in your attitude.

A bold little office corner can remind you to take your business seriously, even though your beginnings are very modest and may only consist of a tiny little desk.

By adding art and a little style, you can make your office desk fit beautifully  into your surroundings and at the same time be a powerful reminder for you to be productive  and successful in your business.

Below you will find a few examples of  how designers have transformed the smallest spaces into an invigorating tiny office.

I am amazed how they have  managed to transfer hardly more that one meter into an impressive office,  both bold and beautiful.

A Tiny Desk Is Your Office – Make it Bright, Bold and Beautiful

 

A Tiny Desk Is Your Office – Make it Bright, Bold and Beautiful

 

A Tiny Desk Is Your Office – Make it Bright, Bold and Beautiful

 

A Tiny Desk Is Your Office – Make it Bright, Bold and Beautiful

Here are a few tips on how to make  your little desk  area bright, bold and beautiful:

  1. Use pictures that inspire you.
  2. Make use of all the space above your desk. This can be for additional bookshelves or your art work.
  3. Try to have everything you use to be stylish. It is not necessary to have a large budget, but it will take a little time and effort to either make your own filing systems or find systems that fit into your concept.
  4. Add a little humor and fun to this creative area.

P.S. I would love to hear about your ideas or comments for making the best of your tiny office space on the comment section below.

An Ideal Color Scheme For A Small Bedroom – A Grayed Pale Pink For A Relaxing Quality

You want to paint your very small bedroom, but think it is too small for colors and reluctantly decide to revert back to white. On the one hand, you know how boring it is, but at the same time you appreciate the lightness it provides in this small space. I hear this problem from clients many times.

An Ideal Color Scheme For A Small Bedroom – A Grayed Pale Pink For A Relaxing Quality

White is in fact the lightest color effect but does not necessarily make the room appear lighter. On the contrary, if the windows are relatively small, white walls can look like a dowdy gray. If too much light is coming into the room, the walls can be glaring.

A great color to use for a small room is a delicate pink. It is only a little darker than white, however it adds a relaxing, soft quality to a bedroom. A delicate pink is calming. It is a color that reduces aggressive feelings and conveys the impression of being cared for, thus improving a sense of self-esteem. As the main hue for a color scheme for the small bedroom, you can combine it effectively with various neutral shades.

An Ideal Color Scheme For A Small Bedroom – A Grayed Pale Pink For A Relaxing Quality

Pink is a very well preferred color for interior design. Particularly young girls love to use this color in their rooms, often the sweet and demure shades of pink. However, by adding a little black to pink, you create the lovely earthy shades of rose which you find in marble, some stones and mother of pearls. Such hues are excellent for creating a relaxing and elegant atmosphere in bedrooms. A delicate pink is also excellent as an accent color to uplift a heavy quality that can be found in rooms that include too much gray, brown or dark blue.

Combined with creme, a pale shade of pink will open up the space in a small, narrow room and give it a light, ethereal charm. The room will now not only appear light, which you might hope to achieve with white, but also warm, elegant and extremely relaxing. Qualities that could not be achieved with white. Accents of black in lamps or small pieces of furniture will add a masculine quality.

You could also combine it with cool shades of brown in carpets or curtains. Such a color scheme will give it a more earthy quality but in contrast to the somewhat heavier, natural beige tones, the lightness of a grayed pink will dominate and enhance the small bedroom.

My new book “Big Ideas For A Small Bedroom” is now available both on Amazon UK and Amazon USA. It shows some superb ideas for creating really attractive small bedrooms, showing many color schemes and themes to enhance even the smallest room.

 

 

The Meaning Of Pink – It Has A Gentle Power Of Its Own

A delicate pink is calming. It is a color that reduces aggressive feelings and conveys the impression of being cared for, thus improving a sense of self-esteem.


It stands for:

  • a gentle, loving quality, which evokes kindness and empathy.
  • romantic love which makes it a favorite color for weddings
  • a spiritual and unconditional love
  • it is a color very much connected to the intuition

Although such a gentle pink has so many positive qualities, some people do dislike it, especially vigorous, sportive types, who often consider this color to be extremely passive and weak. It´s the poets among us who love the intuitive delicacy of pink. All colors have their positive and negative sides to them. Pink can seem insipid if not used in the right context.

A gentle pink is very romantic and is great for flowing summer dresses. Psychologically, it can be very helpful to wear when you are stressed out and your muscles are all tensed up. It is a hue that helps you reconnect to your feelings, to your heart. Not only that, if you are wearing this color it makes you appear to others as a friendly, understanding and supportive person.

What once was rarely seen, today men are wearing pink shirts in business. The more it´s recognized that intuition is as equally important as the analysis of facts and figures in company decision making, the more you will see pink for at least shirts  in business clothes on a corporate level.

As an accent color for fashion accessories to wear with plain colored neutrals such as black, gray, blue or brown, pink will look fresh and eliminates the austerity of a business outfit, without however questioning your professional qualifications. After all pink is an extremely intuitive color and has a gentle power of its own.

If you would like to receive information on how to use colors to enrich your daily life,  please leave your e-mail below to receive my blog updates. I dislike spam, as most people, and therefore you can be sure that your information will only be used for this purpose.


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Trend Color 2013 Emerald Green: Its Deeper Meaning

This year Pantone has named emerald green as trend color for 2013. Green has various primal shades from a yellow-green to a pure green and finally a green-blue, which we also call emerald green.

The green color of nature´s vegetation is the most passive of colors and therefore also the most relaxing. This is one of the reasons that we like to spend time in natural surroundings when feeling stressed out.

Green-blue (emerald green), however, has a different quality. In a way it embodies a tension and does not create the same serenity as the other greens we experience in nature.

Many of us perceive a green-blue, the coldest hue in the color circle, as somewhat aloof, concealing or even mysterious. It is very much like the element it represents, that of the ocean waters.  These waters are concealing things we know that are there but that we cannot actually see , such as fish and other creatures, at least from a distance.

The element water is in a consistent flux of change, from ice to liquid, from liquid to vapor and back again to liquid, which means it is  for every changing. Where continual change is occurring, when something is being concealed, tension will naturally occur. As the color of the  ocean, and of water, green- blue, (emerald green), also embodies this form of tension.

People who have green-blue as their favorite color will often find themselves experiencing this tension. This varies naturally according to what other colors they are fond of, if they are also drawn to  the warm reds, oranges and yellows or more to the introverted blues and purples.

Superficially, our experience of a color will be subjective. We like it, or not; we experience it as cold or warm. Our perception of the color will depend on our own feelings. It then acts as a mirror of our internal frame of mind.

Dr. Frieling, one of Germany´s most well-know color psychologists and the author of  “The Color Mirror”,  wrote:  “It cannot be surprising that all those who are extremely fond of green-blue, live in a certain tension, as if they have two souls living in their breast.”

Dr. Frieling implies that this tension can be released by being creative. Those who have green-blue as their absolute favorite color are often very skilled at converting and changing things on a practical level. They are also generally very good at using words. If they have sufficient talent, they can be good actors.

Frequently, the lovers of green blue have a lot of humor. We could ask why humor? Well being humorous involves the skill of transforming a perceived concept. Humor changes the way we see or experience situations and shows us the funny side of things.

Just as green-blue is emotionally somewhat aloof, as though concealing its true nature, people who have this color as their favorite often share these qualities too, in that they are capable of hiding their true feelings, even if having to cope with hard blows.

As green-blue is the color representing water, which is constantly taking on new forms, the lovers of this color are also always seeking new forms for their expression. They often have a free spirit, and guard it safely. They do not like working in any kind of fixed scheme, and this is why they are often very original.

If the lovers of green-blue do not have an outlet for such creativity, they could find themselves blocked and leaning towards depression. Again, we see the similarity with the element water: just imagine if water turned into ice for ever and lost its transformational characteristics.

And why is emerald green, (green-blue), the trend color for 2013?   We hear a great deal that we are going through a time of considerable transformation. Naturally, this fact is well suited to green-blue, the color of transformation. When a trend color is announced, it is usually chosen because of a general mental state within society, and is not chosen at the whim of a few designers.

This certainly could be a reason for emerald green  having been chosen as the trend color for 2013.

P.S. My new book “Big Ideas For A Small Bedroom” is now available on both Amazon USA and Amazon UK. It gives lots of information on colors and how they can transform small rooms into exceptional spaces.

Emerald Green For Serene Interiors

Emerald green reflects the serene quality of a vast ocean. It creates a composed and focused atmosphere. In fact, this color is recommended for offices where high concentration and precision are required. As a color for a living room, it can add a very glamorous touch. However, it needs complementing with warm oranges or reds to take away the aloofness that this oceanic color tends to express.

Although this office is moderately full; the handsome, lighter shade of emerald green creates a feeling of order  and poise.  A warm wooden floor complements the emerald green perfectly. The white furniture adds a certain finesse to this earnest color.

Emerald green is excellent for creating a sense of serenity in a bedroom. Since it is a cold color, it needs to be well balanced with warm hues. In this case, the designer has added lots of warm wood and basket work. They remind us of the weather beaten wood-like sculptures you can find when walking along  the beach of  an ocean in the northern countries. By adding warmth by including lots of wood, the designer keeps the atmosphere peaceful, but makes it feel more comfortable.

 

 

Emerald green can add a very impressive quality to a room as shown in this interior design, even though the space is fairly small and narrow.  The complementary red-orange in the paintings adds glamor to the room, and since the painting also includes various shades of emerald green, it interacts with the color scheme perfectly.

 

My new book, “Big Ideas For Small Bedrooms” is now available on Amazon USA and Amazon UK. It shows many ideas for themes and color schemes for the small bedroom.

 

 

 

Color Trends 2013 – Emerald Green – For Exhilarating Fashion Accessories

A refreshing emerald green belongs to one  of the main color trends this year. Emerald green fashion accessories certainly add an enlivening dash to your looks and feelings.

 

It is an elegant color with depth and has a very feminine, slightly mysterious radiance about it. It gives the wearer an elegant and refined quality. Green blue (emerald) is excellent for combining with other colors. In combination with black, it really sparkles; together with yellow green and blue, it is fresh and buoyant. When coupled with its complementary color, orange red, it looks extremely bold.

Green blue (emerald) does not suit all complexions. It looks great on people with dark hair. The muted shades of emerald green are more flattering for the lighter and cool tint. People who have a warm complexion might look extremely pale in this particular shade of green.

 

 

It is a great color for hot summer days since, as the color of water, it has a cooling effect, especially the lighter shades of green blue.

 

 

 

Color in Rooms: Green changes its energy according to its color combinations

Green and its Combinations: Part I

It is interesting to note how a color will change its expression when combined with other colors. Let me take green as an example.

 

Color Combinations: Green

 

 

Green is the most passive of all colors and therefore is also the most restful. It is the color of nature and symbolizes growth, consistent renewal and transformation, just  as we experience in nature. It also stands for harmony and balance. According to the color with which it is combined, green can appear very peaceful but also dynamic.

 

Color Combinations: Green

 

The designer has  painted this nursery in a gentle shade of green to reflect the fragility of the baby. She has added accents of pink which continue to withhold the gentle quality, but at the same time add a touch of freshness.

 

Color Combinations: Green combined with Red

 

 

 

Green and Red in this interior are well balanced and used consciously to improve the shape of the room.  By adding red to the far end of the long and narrow rom, it brings more balance into the space.

 

The designer has added accents of both red and green in this interior. The green takes away the rigidity of black and red.

 

Color Combinations: Green and Red

 

When combined, complementary colors are very expressive. Green and red are particularly interesting as a complementary pair. This is because we have two extremely different energies, red as the most aggressive and green as the most passive of colors, yet both colors are on a par. The composed, passive green is in no way pushed into the background by the domineering red. Red actually adds a fresh and dynamic quality to green making it far more expressive. Red seems to loose its aggressive, fiery quality in combination with green and takes on a more dynamic and protective trait. These two colors symbolize the dynamics of daily life. Red represents action and confrontation, green is symbolic for care and growth.


 

Color Combinations: Green and Blue

 

Blue and green are neighboring colors on the color wheel. A combination of neighboring colors has a subtle color effect which most people experience as harmonious.

Blue and green are not only neighbors on the color wheel, they are also the the colors of nature. They are in fact the absolute symbol of nature, of the ocean, sky and vegetation. They can evoke pictures in our mind of emerald blue-green lakes embedded in forest green woods; or of sparkling turquoise waters of the ocean coast trimmed with a lush green foliage of swaying palm trees. Combined with blue, green takes on its passive, peaceful quality.

 

 

 

A yellow green contrasted with a saturated green blue, as in the kitchen design, looks fresh and dynamic.

 

My newest book “Big Ideas For A Small Bedroom” is now available on Amazon USA and UK. It gives lots of ideas on how to use color and themes effectively to create an extremely attractive bedroom even in a small space.