My Caldera hot tub has LED spa lighting that I can set to a wide range of different colors. It’s fun and the water looks great in color when I’m soaking in the evening. In a way, it’s the ultimate mood lighting.
Which made me wonder: Is spa lighting really mood lighting? Lots of companies like ours label their spa and hot tub lighting as Chromatheraphy. So does that really mean that the light in my hot tub can alter my mood? Surely there’s information available regarding the psychology of color. Does it apply to hot tub lighting?
The more I looked into it, the more I was shocked by how much information there is. By “information,” I don’t necessarily mean “evidence.”
Yes, there have been studies about the effects of color where the evidence is documented and the results vetted. For instance, natural colors such as greens and blues have a calming effect, presumably because of their familiarity in nature. As a result, you won’t see your surgeon showing up for your operation in bright orange or magenta scrubs. And you won’t likely see an ambulance in a calming, pale sage green color.
But when you look for information about the affects of color, you’ll find claims ranging from commonly accepted to what many would label hocus-pocus.
For instance, did you know the color violet promotes the functioning of your lymphatic system? Another source claims yellow has that duty. What’s a lymph node to do?
I’m not weighing in here. Maybe such claims are true. Maybe they aren’t. I’ll leave that up to others to decide and prove.
Still, it’s clear that colors do affect emotions and our perceptions, and there are biological and physiological reactions to various colors.
In the broadest strokes possible, here are some relatively well-accepted associations and reactions to various colors.
Red: The most stimulating color. Implies activity and movement, vitality and ambition.
Orange: Creates happiness and cheerfulness. It’s said that orange has no negative effects on emotion and it’s considered the antidepressant color.
Yellow: Optimism and cheerfulness. Enhances concentration, decision-making and judgment (which is why legal pads are yellow). However, yellow can be over-stimulating and overpowering.
Green: Lighter greens are comforting, calming and refreshing. That’s why actors sit in the ‘green room’ before appearing on television shows and why those surgeon’s scrubs are pale green. Dark greens can have an opposite effect.
Blue: Enhances feelings of peacefulness and tranquility. Blue also helps increase mental clarity, creativity and productivity.
Violet: Stimulates intuition and imagination. It creates balance and helps transform negative emotions.
So the question remains, does spa lighting change your mood? Do your moods equate with the common associations? I suppose it depends on the individual. Personally, with the exception of red, they all seem to have a calming effect on me. But then, when I’m sitting in warm water and feeling more relaxed than at any other time of the day, any color works.
Maybe it’s different for you. Do colors affect you differently while taking a soak?