Best Color Light For Reading

Are you aware that the color temperature of your light bulb can, to a large extent, determine the effectiveness of your reading or studying? 

That’s why you should ask some important questions to decide on the best color for reading:

  • What time do you read? (it could be during the day or night). 
  • What’s your most preferred mode of reading? Do you use a pen/notes, laptop, or tablet? 

Regardless of what your style is, white or blue are generally recommended as the best color lights for reading. They improve your focus by keeping your eyes open throughout your studying. 

This piece elaborates further on the best color lights you need to keep your eyes in safe condition while reading.

Best Color Light For Reading

What Colour Temperature is Suitable for Studying?

Colour temperature is simply seen as a scale that shows you the exact color of the light your bulb is emitting. Just by identifying the color temperature of a light bulb, one can easily tell what it will feel or look like. 

Usually, there’s an ideal range of color temperature for every light bulb: 1800 to 6500k. The 6500K light bulbs contain the highest amount of blue light and emit the coolest light. This is most useful while reading as it helps the reader to stay fully awake and alert.  

Light bulb typeSunrise/Sunset/CandlelightIncandescent Light BulbDaylightClear Blue Sky
Color temperature2000K3200K5500K7000K

In recent times, you can find a lot of light bulbs in stores around you. Settling for any of them depends on the purpose you seek to meet in your home, including reading.

What Is The Best Color Light For Reading During The Day?

Regardless of whether you are reading with a paper book, laptop, or tablet, natural lights are the best for reading during the day. 

Contrary to popular belief, there are certain disadvantages to using LED light sources like lamps, tablets, computer screens, and kindles to study during the day. Asides from producing natural blue light wavelengths that boost vibrancy, natural lights also enhance the mind’s ability to focus on tasks that require maximum attentiveness.

In the absence of natural light, you can opt for light bulbs with up to 5000K or 6500K, which is the nearest to sunlight. You can always check the label to be sure the light bulb has this feature. 

Additionally, you should note that lumens are not the same as Kelvins. Lumens are used to measure bulb brightness while kelvins are used to measure bulb color temperature. This means that there’s a possibility that you will see a light bulb with a higher lumen but lower kelvin and vice versa. 

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For a study room, you should make sure to get a bulb with a high lumen. That way, you will be able to see what you are reading, writing, or creating. 

We are often advised to avoid overexposure to artificial blue light wavelengths as that may lead to physical, mental, and emotional issues. 

Why does this happen? Because the hormone melatonin regulates the human body. So, when the sunlight releases natural light in the morning, the body is instantly triggered to take on the task for the day. 

In the evening, as the sun goes down, the melatonin level in the body increases, making us feel relaxed enough to sleep or at least, rest.

So, constantly exposing yourself to artificial blue light wavelength lights can disrupt the natural hormone functionality of the body.

What is the Best Light Color For Reading During The Night?

Many people who do contemporary jobs are required to do the “page-turning” mostly at night. If you belong to this class of persons, then one of the most important things to consider before anything is the light color.

As stated earlier, you should choose light colors between 2700K to 3000K. They have a warm or yellowish tone color temperature, which is easy on the eyes and great for night reading.

How can you achieve the yellow or warm color light tone? By categorically looking through counters at the light stores around you to purchase a standard light bulb. A second option would be to wear a pair of anti-blue light glasses while reading. 

Is White Color Temperature Good For Studying?

White lights are the closest to natural lights and the brain has adapted to this reality. There is no specific wavelength for white lights because it has all light wavelengths altogether. To make your room have a daylight look, you will need to purchase bright lights. 

While warmer and softer lights will make you feel unnecessarily calm while reading, white-color lights will cause you to stay awake and study for a longer period. 

Below is a breakdown of different colors white temperature and how they function:

  • Warm White

Warm white lights have a color temperature ranging from 2200-3200K. This is only good for relaxation or probably drawing and other forms of creativity. 

  • Natural White

These are colors with 3500-4500k color temperature, and they are the best for studying and focusing. You will mostly find natural white light colors in commercial buildings and offices. 

  • Cool white

They have a color temperature of around 5000-65000k, and they make the brain more active and functioning. LEDs with a cool white color temperature are the best when you are studying mathematics, or solving a puzzle.

In addition, you can choose from dimmable lights. They allow you to switch the brightness or color of the LEDs based on your preference. This means that you can switch from warm to cool to natural as long as that’s what will aid your assimilation.

How Do Different Light Colors Impact Our Reading Process? 

Every day, we get exposed to several colors of light and each light color has a unique wavelength. For instance, blue lights have short wavelengths while red light has long wavelengths. This means that each light can affect our sight differently.

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Let’s quickly look at the variants of light colors and how they may show these lights tend to affect us during reading:

1. Purple

The purple color can calm your nerves and bring you peace. This is especially helpful if you’re seeking to read in a relaxed mood. 

2. Blue

This is a mentally stimulating color that can aid productivity during learning. While blue light can increase your overall concentration and motivation to read during the daytime, it can equally affect your eyesight and reduce the melatonin level in the body at night. 

A reduction in the melatonin level can also cause insomnia, migraine, and retinal stress. The best way to avoid the issues with blue lights is to reduce the time we spend on laptops, smartphone screens, tablets, and every other device that emits them.

3. Orange

If you want to improve your creativity while reading, then the orange color is probably your best bet. 

4. Red

While the color red can get you frustrated, it’s important to note that they have a way of energizing you. That way, you can reach your reading target for the day. 

5. Green

This helps to manage circadian rhythm. Excess exposure to green lights especially at night can eradicate the natural rhythm. 

6. Yellow 

Yellow color lights are great for protecting the retinas, especially if it’s been affected by blue color lights. 

To improve lighting in your study area, you can purchase some light strips. Ensure to stick them behind your computer as that will help improve relaxation and creative juice. 

If your job requires that you sit in front of a screen all day, use a screen filter to reduce the number of blue lights. Also, you can replace the blue light with a warm white color LED light or halogen light.

Tips For Study Lighting 

Here’s how to create the best light for your reading and studying environment:

1. Implement Natural Lights

Time and time again, It’s been proven that using natural light is the best technique for reading or studying. 

You can try this by simply opening your windows to let in the light. Alternatively, you can set up your reading table and other equipment on your home balcony. The point is to use natural light as often as you can. 

2. Reduce Shadows in the Room

Whenever you are reading, it is completely normal for your eyes to move in different directions in the room once in a while. 

If there are a lot of shadows in the room, then your eyes may have to do tedious work to adjust to them. In the end, your eyes will start to feel tired.

3. Select the Right Color Temperature

After natural light, artificial lights are the next best option to use. That’s why you need to choose a light color that closely matches the look and feel of the natural light.

For most people, the sunlight is yellow, which means it emits a much warmer temperature. However, the natural sunlight mimics the white and blue colors. 

To make the right choice, you should opt for colors that fall on the 4000-5000k scale for a color temperature close to the natural sunlight. 

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4. Choose the best lumen volume

People often overlook the lumen features of study lights while they focus on the voltage or wattage. Although wattage is important, lumen deals with efficiency and how bright the light should be. 

When looking to purchase a light bulb for your study, you sure want to find one that has a higher level of lumen. This assures you of getting the right amount of brightness that you need for effective reading. 

Ideally, your study light should have around 50 lumens.  

5. Purchase a Dimmable Light

Dimmability is one useful feature that every reading light should come with. It comes in handy when you need to use a small additional amount of light in the evenings. 

If your light is on full brightness, it could cause you some harm and that won’t be good.

6. Combine Different Lightings

Usually, you may get tempted to use a study lamp or other types of task lighting as the major source of lighting during studying. Notwithstanding, it is better to create multiple layers of light as that is much better for your eyes.

The combination of gentle lighting and a more focused one while reading tends to relieve your eyes of stress, making it easier for you to see better. That isn’t the case when reading is done with just one focused lighting source; it can be too discomforting for your eyes. 

When reading, you should always aim to create a balance of light. 

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Ambient vs Task Lighting: Which Is Better for Reading?

Ambient and task lighting are two types of lighting that serve different purposes. 

While task lighting focuses only on your study space and wherever your reading table is, the ambient light covers every part of the whole room and sets the right mood. 

Ambient lighting is best utilized when you intend to illuminate the entire room. 

Final Thoughts

In summary, when you are designing your studying space, lighting is one of the most important elements and decisions you make; it will determine how well you assimilate and how you can see. 

As you already know, different light colors have a specific purpose that they serve in your reading and study space. Any of the light colors you choose can affect your level of understanding. Bearing that in mind, a light bulb that has a cool white close to natural daylight is the best for studying. With that, you will be active enough to grasp and take in more information. 

Also, be intentional about the kind of lamp or light bulb that is fit for your room and the task you want to complete. A long and big LED light will spread the light across the whole room and make reading easier. A small spotlight, on the other hand, will fix the light at a particular spot. This can cause you to move your book across the table especially if you’re handling a large reading material. 

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