The Importance of Light and Color

The Importance of Light and Color

Light is a basic need for life. Both plants and animals need it to survive. Light can be broken down into colors, which leads researchers to believe that color is also a basic need for life. The use of color to promote healing and wellness is called Chromatherapy. Researchers in this field study how light enters into the body, whether through the eyes or the skin, and determines what effects it has on our brain and our body as a whole.

Color is different frequencies or wavelengths of light. Red has the longest wavelength and violet has the shortest. Sir Isaac Newton was the first to discover that light from the sun, when reflected into a prism, creates a spectrum of seven colors. The light from the sun is full of electromagnetic energy that stimulates growth in plants and animals. Researchers believe that if “color is light and light is energy, [then] color is energy”.

Light enters the eye through retina which contains cones and rods. Rods are mostly located towards the outer rims of the retina, whereas cones are mostly located in the center. The brain receives information about color through the cones. There are three different cones in the retina that are sensitive to the different wave lengths: one for short wavelengths, one for medium wavelengths, and the other for long wavelengths. The eye contains more cones sensitive to long wave lengths than short wavelengths which is why we see a wider range of warm colors than cool colors. But identifying colors as warm or cool is just our perception. We associate warm colors such as red, orange and yellow with warm things like the sun and fire. The colors blue, violet, and green we associate with things like the ocean, sky, and plants. When color enters through the cones, the information is converted into electric impulses. The electric impulses travel to the brain and trigger the release of hormones.

Color can also enter the body through the skin. The energy from the color is transferred to the specific organs where the energy is needed. The Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Russia have proven that cells communicate with each other light also known as photons and microwaves.

There have been many other researchers who have helped discover new information about color. S.V. Krakov studied how different wavelengths in light effect the autonomic nervous system. He observed that red light raises blood pressure by stimulating the adrenal glands, and blue and white light produced a calming effect. S.F. McDonald discovered that blue light reduces pain in people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. She also discovered that blue light heals injured tissue and prevents scar tissue. At the American Association for the Advancement of Science, researchers claimed that blue light also helps with addictions, eating disorders, impotence, and depression. Helen Irlen discovered that colored tinted eye glasses help with learning difficulties especially dyslexia. The British Medical Research Council confirmed these results. Now there is a device called Intuitive Colormeter that measures which tint would best help the person: bright pink, yellow, green, or blue. It has been discovered that white light helps relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms and other types of depression. Color principles are also being used to help architects and town builders; not just in the field of psychology and medicine.


 Warm Colors
(Tend to help with illnesses of weakness)

Increases heart rate and circulation, stimulates adrenaline, helps fight anemia by stimulating the production of red blood cells, prevents hemorrhages, and is an appetite stimulant. Red is used for athletes who need short bursts of energy.



Stimulates your sexual drive and helps with digestive system problems such as cramps.



Is a decongestant and it stimulates the digestive and lymphatic systems. It provokes nausea which is why it is not on airplanes. Researchers have also found a correlation between violent street crimes and the sodium yellow street lights.

Neural Color



Is calming and helps with visual troubles, high fevers, cardiac and gall bladder problems, ulcers, bacterial infections. Surgeons tend to wear green robes to balance out the red which the see all day from the blood.

Cool Colors
(Tend to help with illnesses of excess)



Is calming and helps with insomnia, hypertension, nervousness, palpitations, throat problems, laryngitis, tonsillitis, gout, and respiratory problems. Blue light destroys excess bilirubin in babies with jaundice whose livers are not mature enough to digest yet. Hospitals usually have blue walls to help calm clients with emotional distress. Also, blue decreases your appetite. Researchers believe that it is our instinct to not eat blue food because most things found in nature that are black, violet, or blue are poisonous. Blue is also used for athletes who need steady energy.



Is calming and can help control bleeding and abscesses.



Soothes organs, relaxes muscles, and calms the nervous system.