Psychological Implications of Color and Illumination

May 01, 1969

As man spends increasingly more time within controlled environments, he must understand and indeed master the elements that have sustained his life. He must also give attention to one of the most vital of all cosmic energies - light.

In his development of artificial light sources, man for ages relied on fire and flame. It is perhaps true that the predominant interest of makers of artificial illuminants has been to produce light for the sole purpose of enabling people to see. This light could emit a continuous spectrum, as with incandescent, a discontinuous line spectrum, as with mercury and sodium vapor, or a discontinuous spectrum of both lines and bands, such as with fluorescent. To the maker or user, all rays were directed to the same end - vision.

Today the lighting industry and the world are aware that if there is a science of light for vision, there is also a science of light for biological well being. And this article is concerned with still a third science of light, this for human psychological and psychic balance.

Faber Birren
Journal of IES
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)

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