Study of Color Temperature Effect in Environmental Lighting

Ann Physiol Anthropol. 1992 Sep;11(5):533-8.

The effect of color temperature of lighting sources on the autonomic nervous functions.

Department of Physiological Anthropology, Kyushu University of Design Sciences.
The present study was designed to investigate the effects of color temperature of lighting sources on the heart rate variability. Eight male students volunteered as subjects. The heart rate variability during task and rest sessions were estimated under nine different lighting environments consisting of three levels of color temperature (3000 degrees K, 5000 degrees K and 6700 degrees K) and three levels of illuminance (1001x, 3001x and 9001x). The lighting condition caused no effect on the mean heart rate. On the other hand, the power spectrum of heart rate was significantly influenced by the lighting conditions. The respiratory sinus arrhythmia component and Mayer wave related sinus arrhythmia component of the power spectrum increased under higher color temperature conditions. Judging from the consistency of heart rate level, the balance between the effects of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems remained at a constant level irrespective of lighting quality and intensity.  

Therefore, both parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous functions were concluded to be enhanced under higher color temperature conditions. The light with higher color temperature was considered to activate the autonomic nervous function more than the light of lower color temperature. The effect of color temperature was much remarkable in the rest session comparing with the task session. This fact was discussed from the viewpoint of color temperature effect in environmental lighting.

PMID: 1418171 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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