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Research carried out at Taiwan’s National Sun Yat-sen University has suggested that bright lights can make people more generous, honest and ethical. Researchers got a group of people to play a game in which money was to be shared between the group and an unknown stranger in the next room. Those in a brightly lit room shared 15% more than those in a moderately lit room and 30% more than those in a dimly lit room.
Researchers concluded that “brightness may enhance the self-importance of morality and thereby increase ethical behaviour.” But before those running organisations such as charities rush to turn up the lights, remember that brightness is only one part of an overall ambience which can have profound effects on the moods and reactions of customers and employees alike.
The science of controlling mood and work output through the use of lighting and colour is very complex. Whilst blues and greens are traditionally calming colours, use too much and your productivity may fall. Similarly oranges and reds may denote vibrancy but an overkill means innovation goes out the window as tempers flare. And what may be good for your employees may make customers very uncomfortable indeed.
So before you put in an order for halogen lamps and vibrant paint, take a look at how you want to engage employees and customers in the business and then mix your colour chart accordingly.