Event Lighting: Why Color Matters

The power of light is undeniable. Light has the ability to stimulate the senses, enhance your appetite, create memories and affect one’s disposition. Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., National Institute of Mental Health says it can actually alter our brain chemistry and lead to genuine mood shifts. Illumination plays a significant role in our daily lives. Everything from the light level in my office to my bedroom at night affects the way that I feel in a space. Daylight Savings provides a powerful example. “Springing forward” made me realize that the sun setting later in the day symbolizes opportunity and hope (for warmer weather?) and also makes me feel more productive. When I leave the office and the sun is still out, I feel as if I completed everything that I set out to do and still have time to enjoy my evening. I can’t say whether this sensation is perceived or actual but it doesn’t really matter because it feels good!

This type of sentiment associated with a light experience (or memory) is exactly why people work with lighting experts to create the atmosphere in an event space. Event lighting is one of the most important aspects of an event. Thoughtful lighting can help to bring a room to life and transform an empty space to an elegant and visually appealing experience. The best colors for events are those that make people comfortable or stimulate their senses. Here is a look at the most common colors we use in lighting design and how it can have emotional impact on an attendee.

BLUE- Blue is a relaxing color that has a calming effect on the body; it lowers blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. In hot and humid weather it provides a cooling effect. It also creates a feeling of cleanliness, healing and wisdom. It is also real people pleaser, the best-liked color, and associated with the ocean, sky, and time off from work.

RED – is a warm color often associated with power, strength, excitement, warmth and passion. Red is energizing and excites the emotions. It also stimulates the appetite. Thus many restaurants use red. Red warms the body, increases the heart rate, brain-wave activity and respiration.

GREEN – is associated freshness, coolness, clarity and growth. It creates harmony of mind, body and soul it reminds us of spring and therefore new beginnings. It brings feelings of calm, anticipation and hope, and it has a soothing, relaxing effect on the body as well as the mind.

ORANGE – is associated with warmth, enthusiasm, stimulation, energy and exuberance. It’s a lively color. Orange is the color of fun and sociability. Warming and energizing. Orange is also good for stimulating the appetite and reduces fatigue.

VIOLET – is not found much in nature but has a sense of spirituality, purifying, mysticism, and creativity. Violet heightens our awareness and helps us to give our very best. Violet also provides a calming effect for body and mind.

YELLOW – Yellow is a reminder of happiness as well as a memory stimulator. Too much yellow can create fatigue. It inspires a sunny disposition, with feelings of warmth and optimism. The color also promotes quick, clear thinking, making it ideal for an office.

PINK – Pink has a soothing effect and creates a mood of sensitivity and love. Pink’s tranquilizing effect helps to dissolve anger and encourages unconditional love.

What color will you use to light up your next event?

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