Best LED Light Colors For Studying and Homework

If you’re a student, you’re probably stressed about studying. You want to do your best and you need help focusing.

Even researching the best study methods takes some amount of, well, study. At some point, you may have seen that everything around you, including lighting, can contribute to the perfect study environment. 

In the end, choosing the proper setup can mean the difference between straight As or distracted cramming. I will help you pick the best LED light colors for studying to keep you focused in your study area. 

Lighting Options for Studying

If you search lighting or even colored light bulbs online, you’re going to find an overwhelming amount of results. I will break down the different options that will come up so you know what you should be looking for. 

Natural Light vs. Artificial Light

There is a lot of documentation to suggest that natural light is overall superior to artificial light. If you can, you should study during daylight hours, preferably near a big window. 

Natural sunlight leads to increased focus and productivity. A study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology found that exposure to natural light increased alertness, focus, and productivity. 

But, if you can’t study during daylight hours, don’t worry. Even before you start your homework, exposure to natural light can help with your concentration. Getting enough sun can also help you sleep better, meaning you can get a good night’s rest before the big test. Make sure to take at least a walk during the day and soak up the sun. 

While natural light has huge benefits for your brain, you shouldn’t count out artificial light. There are plenty of LEDs that will help improve your focus and concentration, and I’m going to get into those more now. 

Cool White vs. Warm White for Studying

warm light vs cool light

As I mentioned already, natural light is best for your focus overall. If you need to study without a lot of natural light, you should use cool white lighting because it more closely mimics daylight. 

Cool lighting is best for focus; however, warm whites are best for relaxation. It could be a good idea to purchase color-changing LEDs so you can use cool colors when you need to concentrate and warm colors to relax after your study session. 

Colored LED Lighting

If you buy multicolored LED bulbs, you can change the color of your study room throughout the day and night. You can switch between your favorite cool tones for focus, cold white, blue, or green, and then put on some warm colors for when you need to decompress. 

Do Colored LED Lights Assist Study?

While natural light and cool white lighting have been shown to be the best LED light colors for studying. However, other colors can assist you in focus, reading, learning, and memorizing. 

What Color LED Light Is Best for Reading?

If you’re choosing LED lights for your lamps or overhead lighting, then white or blue will be best for keeping you alert. 

However, if you’re going to be reading off a screen for a long time and plan on getting to bed soon, you may want to use amber or even reddish lighting. These colors block blue light, which can keep you more focused, but blue light will also interrupt your circadian rhythms, and using too much of it may prevent you from getting a good night’s rest. 

If you’re studying just before bed, you may want to switch to amber, warm yellow, or even red light. 

What Color Helps Memorizing?

A 2009 study suggests that the color red can help increase memory ability and other highly focused tasks. However, according to the same study, a blue light will increase overall alertness and possibly even creativity. 

What Colors Enhance Learning?

Not all students learn the same. While cool colors seem to be best for focus, one study states that the color green can boost concentration levels. 

Students in this study were given a boring task. The group that looked at a green rooftop scene during a break made far fewer mistakes than the group that looked at a gray rooftop scene. 

Researchers concluded that ​the green roof provided a restorative experience that boosted the mental resources that control attention.

What Colors Help Students Focus?

While all of these specialty colors can help you in your own setup, the best color overall is still cool white or blue lighting. 

This information is based on data that looks at largely public spaces, like classrooms and offices. So, while blue or white is best overall for focus when you’re setting up a private study area, you should use whatever works best for your individual taste and learning style.  

Focus on Room Color or Light Color?

Room color can improve your mood, and increase focus and concentration just as much as light color. But there’s the obvious catch that it’s much harder to re-paint a room than it is to change a lightbulb.

For best results, you should focus on your ideal lighting setup and probably leave your room neutral (unless you have a favorite color). If you want to change lighting throughout the day, then a neutral backdrop will let whichever light color you are using “paint” the room. 

Green overhead lighting in a neutral room will create a green room. Green lighting in a dark room, however, won’t show up as clearly. It’ll light up the white page of your book but a dark wall will absorb the color and stay a dark wall. 

Other Aspects of Lighting for Study

There are other things you should keep in mind when choosing your perfect study room LEDs. Placement, brightness, and how much screen time you need will all be things you should be thinking about. 

Intensity Wattage

LEDs use less energy than incandescent light bulbs while emitting the same amount of light. Intensity (brightness) is different from wattage (energy usage). 

A 40-watt incandescent bulb will put out 450 lumens, which is the unit used to measure brightness. An LED can have the same output at only 5-8 watts. 

For something like reading or studying, your desk lamp should be on the low end, about 450 lumens. Being exposed to too bright light for too long can end up hurting your eyes in a similar vein to staring at the sun.

You can use a more powerful light (800 lumens is the recommendation) for short-term highly delicate work, like repairing eyeglasses. 

Backlight vs. Overhead Light

Backlight vs. overhead lighting will really come down to personal preference. You can opt to have one or the other or both.

Both can come in handy when you want to switch up your lighting. You can turn off the overhead for a backlight running along your wall and overall dim the room. Backlight can also seem less harsh as it’s not as direct as an overhead light.

There is plenty of good quality remote control LED ceiling lights available nowadays, with RGB, color warmth, and backlighting features.  

Edge-lit vs. Backlit LED panels

If you’re installing large LED panels and not just bulbs, there are two kinds to consider. 

Edge-lit panels have LEDs placed on the edge of the frame. This makes for a slim profile and thus more flexible installation options. However, more LEDs are needed in this setup to create the same amount of light as the backlit option because the lighting isn’t so direct due to its placement. This makes these panels slightly more expensive. 

Backlit LED panels have LEDs lined up on the back of the frame, creating a more direct lighting situation. Therefore, fewer LEDs are needed to create the same amount of brightness as an edge-lit panel. These panels are lightweight and more affordable, but they require deer housing, making them bulkier and somewhat harder to install. 

You can choose whichever is more cost-effective or you think gives the right feel to your study room. 

Screen Light Glare

If your lighting is causing an annoying glare on your computer screen, you can easily fix your setup. If you can’t move where your computer or lights are, then you could get a glare hood for your computer. 

You can also play with your monitor’s settings. Try changing contrast and brightness until something works for you. 

If you’re still having trouble looking at your screen due to either outside glare or overuse, consider blue-light-blocking glasses. These are non-prescription glasses that block blue light and have an anti-glare coating to reduce eye strain from screen glare. 

Conclusion: Best LED Light Colors for Studying?

There are a lot of studies to back up cool lights as the best LEDs for studying. If you’re buying specific LEDs, make sure to get cool white or blue for your study area. However, there is some evidence that green and red can also help you. 

These studies are vigorous, but the results won’t necessarily work the same for everyone. All in all, you should probably find an LED light that can change to multiple colors so you can discover what works best for your brain and your learning style.