An interesting observation about pure red light



  • Brightness matters, big time - even with nothnig but pure red light.

    So, I was sitting here in my room with my two red FEIT LED lights on (they're in floor lamps). One of them is literally right next to me (to my right) about a foot and a half to 2 feet away from my right shoulder (I can see it out of the corner of my eye). The other is probably 8 or 9 feet away to my left, but I have to kind of look over my shoulder to see it.

    A few minutes ago, I decided to turn the light off that's right next to me. When I did, I immediately noticed a difference in the way that I feel; I began feeling less alert - or something. More relaxed, maybe. It's worth mentioning here that I have f.lux set to 1187K (1200K with one press of Alt+Page Down because otherwise everything is a little washed out), and I have changed my monitor's built-in settings to have 0 brightness and I reduced Blue and Green all the way down to zero while leaving Red at 50.

    So, we all need to pay attention to the brightness of light, not just its color temperature. When you can't control the color temperature (or for when you don't have f.lux), it's far better to lower the brightness. If that means replacing your light's toggle switches with dimmers, then do so, even if you have to replace expensive LEDs that aren't dimmable with ones that are. Of course, then you'd have the best excuse to finally go out and get some smart lighting for use at night before bedtime.

    If you're wondering how I feel about FEIT's red LED lights, well, I like them so much that I would love to shout it from the rooftops and get everyone to buy some so that they can have pure red light during the last hour or two of their day..


  • f.lux team

    It is definitely possible, one study (from RPI I believe) found some alerting effects, although no studies have managed to to repeat it, so no one's sure what's happening.



  • @lorna said:

    It is definitely possible, one study (from RPI I believe) found some alerting effects, although no studies have managed to to repeat it, so no one's sure what's happening.

    Do you mean with bright red light, or just red light in general?


  • f.lux team

    Very bright red light, I'll have to find the paper for you.



  • @lorna said:

    Very bright red light, I'll have to find the paper for you.

    Oh thank you. It makes perfect sense to me though because after all, there are millions of years of evolution that created a natural reaction to bright light (so, not just the color). Perhaps it's a natural reaction to the contraction of the pupils. Of course, I assume that there's much more to it than that, if that's even a part of it. After all, with the redshift effect of the sun beginning in the afternoon and continuing throughout the evening, the brightness of its light here on Earth also gets dimmer and dimmer until finally the part of Earth that we're standing on has turned completely away from the sun.

    So I imagine that if we lived in a strange world where the sun was always in the same spot in the sky but simply changed color without the brightness changing at all, then all we would need to do with our indoor lighting is change its color and we could even sleep with bright red light.


  • f.lux team

    Here is one paper on the topic. Dr Mariana Figuiero is a leading researcher on the effects of color and light, look for her TED talk too, she's fighting the good fight: http://badraccoon.gr/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Alerting-effects-of-short-wavelength-blue-and-long-wavelength-red-lights-in-the-afternoon_2013_Physiology-Behavior.pdf



  • Wow. That looks like quite a read. I'll have to take a nap either before or immediately after this one!


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