What LED light colour is best for sleep?


Nothing is more important than sleep. As you try to balance work demands and having a social life, prioritising strategies that promote healthy sleep patterns is essential. 

Many busy bees overlook the part lighting plays in alertness, particularly in the bedroom. The type and colour of light you are exposed to in the evening can significantly impact your state of mind. 

Brightness levels and warmth should all be considered when creating the ultimate nighttime environment. Knowing exactly what LED light colours are best for sleep will guarantee a good night's rest, even when you’re exhausted from a busy week. 

How does light impact sleep?

Before diving into LEDs specifically, how does lighting affect our sleep? 

The circadian rhythm, also known as our ‘sleep-wake cycle’, is heavily impacted by light levels. The light-dark cycle controls our biological clock, orchestrating sleep patterns according to the sunrise and sunset. 

Exposure to natural daylight suppresses melatonin, a hormone that induces sleepiness. As evening approaches, decreased exposure to bright light encourages this hormone to release, signalling the body that it's time to wind down. 

While this natural, biological process may seem hard to interrupt, it’s very easily done. Artificial light released by electronic devices (also called ‘blue light’), like mobiles and TVs, can send our circadian rhythm into disarray. 

Prolonged exposure to these devices before bedtime can hinder melatonin production and cause sleep disturbances. That’s why creating a sleep-conducive environment means managing light exposure.

How do LED lights impact sleep? 

The colour temperature of LED lights is measured in Kelvins (K) and can range from warm to cool. 

Warmer colours have lower temperatures (around 2000K to 3000K), while cooler colours have higher temperatures (above 5000K). But what impact do these differing temperatures have on our sleep?

Warm White (2000K - 3000K)

Warm white LED lights emit a soft, amber glow that closely resembles the natural light of sunrise and sunset. Due to their lack of blue light, they are a favourable choice for evenings and will signal your brain that restfulness is near. 

Neutral White (3500K - 4500K)

Neutral white LED lights fall in the middle of the colour temperature spectrum. While they are still considered relatively sleep-friendly, they contain a slightly higher proportion of blue light compared to warmer options. 

If you prefer neutral white light, it's advisable to pair it with dimming features and gradually reduce the intensity as bedtime approaches.

Cool White (5000K and above)

Cool white LED lights emit a bluish-white light that mimics natural daylight. 

Cool bulbs are excellent for enhancing focus and productivity during the day: that’s why they’re common in business and workplace environments. Cool white LEDs are less desirable in the evening, so stay warm and neutral to keep your sleep-wake cycle in check. 

How to choose the best LED colours for sleep

So, now that you understand the effects of LED colour temperatures, how can you apply this practically? 

Use dimmers and timers

Incorporating dimmers and timers into your lighting setup can be beneficial regardless of whether you choose a blue, green or red LED. Dimming the lights as the evening progresses can help your body transition to sleep mode more smoothly.

Limit blue light exposure

As mentioned, blue light can disrupt melatonin production, especially when using cooler LED temperatures. Avoiding cool white LED lights in your bedroom and limiting exposure to screens with blue light emissions an hour or two before bedtime.

Use smart lighting solutions

Smart LED lighting systems often come with the ability to adjust temperature and intensity.

LED strip lights, for example, often allow you to tailor your lighting experience using a compact remote. Program your lights to gradually shift to warmer tones, and you’ll be more than ready for sleep by sunset.

Choose First Lighting for LED lights!

In the quest for quality sleep, every detail matters, and the impact of LED light colours on alertness should not be underestimated.

Kit your home with high-quality lights that put control in your hands. At First Lighting, we’re offering customers first-class deals on wall lights, ceiling lights and pendant lights. With countless colour temperatures and designs, you can get quality rest and a price that suits you.

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