Is there any research/article on colors good for particular time of day or particular season?

I am in need of something which can atleast guide me in the direction and if I don't find much work on this I would love to do some research work myself although due to the work in hand at the moment it will take atleast 3 weeks for me to even start.

So, the work done till now and suggestions for possible work ahead are most welcome.

Thank you.

  • this question is incredibly broad, try to provide more details and what do you want to achieve
    – Devin
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 17:15
  • Yes, I actually left it open so that people can share any related information they have, answer by @Dasbeasto is an example. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 18:11
  • But still, to answer your question, I am currently working on a website for some poets and trying to make the environment which changes as per the time of the year, like different illustrations if its a rainy season etc. and one of the idea is, what if I can also define the background or focus colors as per the season or time which people will appreciate. Even if I don't get a reasonably good enough output from this work, I would still like to do it. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 18:19
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    well, what you mention has absolutely no relation with what I'd point out, which is way more technical and related to color blindness and different vision issues, while your intention is more related to mood, see why I say it's too broad?
    – Devin
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 18:21
  • Yes ofcourse. And, I would like you to share what you have and I'm quite interested how it will relate to time as well as vision issues, Hope I've understood correctly, this might give ideas for work ahead. Plz do share. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 18:30

2 Answers 2


F.lux has some information that may be relevant to this situation. F.lux is a software that overlays your desktop screen and adjusts colors depending on the time of day to make it easier on the eyes.

f.lux research

Blue Light Affects Sleep (and here's why)

We know that night-time exposure to blue light keeps people up late. We believe that f.lux adjusts colors in a way that greatly reduces the stimulating effects of blue light at night.

The experimental research suggests that an average person reading on a tablet for a couple hours before bed may find that their sleep is delayed by about an hour. Clearly, the details are complicated, but that's why we get to cite so many very interesting papers.

Empirical performance studies

There is tons of research on human performance based on sleep, and some interesting research based on mental activation (and productivity) when cooler light colors are used in the work environment.

These studies have demonstrated that higher colour temperatures (7500 K versus 3000 K) are more activating from the viewpoint of mental activity level

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    Yes, I found f.lux last week, I should've mentioned it. That is one way of defining colors but I am more interested in finding what colors would people like and then combing the research similar to f.lux to find out the best possible color combinations. This would make more sense if you look on a bigger timeline like seasons. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 18:09
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    Yeah I would certainly be interested in seeing data about this applied to seasons, although my gut tells me there won't be too much correlation. Besides if there was it would be hard to apply since different timezones have seasons at different times and different locales experience those seasons differently (i.e. not all places will get snow/spring rains/etc.)
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 18:13
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    This might be one of the things which would never be used by the masses or might not even apply in most of the cases but my curiosity is still high as I'm working on a website that is limited to a region(because of the language used) and in this case it might just give a different experience. Fortunately, I have the luxury to play around and experiment. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 18:23
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    There's lots of research into the effect of light on circadian cycle because of how the "colour" of light can affect/disrupt sleep: stm.sciencemag.org/content/2/31/31ra33.abstract I'm not aware of a seasonal connection. If you find something, please post it here. Duration of (day)light and dawn simulation can treat depression: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15800134 The amount ("brightness") of light also affects mood—in some geographic regions: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17050390 Maybe these will point you to other research. :)
    – JeromeR
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 18:32
  • @DasBeasto Quoting from one of the studies, above: "In the countries situated far north of the equator there was a significant variation in psychological mood over the year that did not occur in the countries closer to the equator." This difference could be cultural or perhaps genetic. If it's genetic, then seasonal differences might be present in some populations. :D
    – JeromeR
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 18:37

Well, since you ask for it, here you have a very complete study with examples and a lot of data, another very conceptual study on what they call data hallucination , reference on Circadian clock. Keep in mind this is very technical information, and while very useful, maybe a bit overkill for your needs.

Also, there's something that is not being considered by you, and I recommend you to take a look: fashion/cultural trends. It's not a secret that whatever color choice that looks "natural" for you today, will look old, boring and out of place in a few months, and today's "whacky" color combinations may be the norm next year. There's a whole industry behind trend forecast, so take a look at that as well (as an example, Pantone's 2016 Color Trends forecast)

  • Thanks a lot. Will go through all in some time. It's quite interesting and would certainly help. Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 6:25

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