Can Blue Lighting Help Save More Lives?

In Tokyo, suicide is a serious problem. It takes more lives in the city than natural disasters and traffic accidents. In response to this grim reality, which experts have traced to a number of causes, public officials have sought to implement a number of suicide prevention methods and modifications throughout the city, especially in Tokyo’s busy and sometimes overwhelming public transportation spaces. In addition to barriers and automatic gates that are designed to deter jumpers, the city has invested in blue LED lights in some of its stations. Remarkably, the serene illumination has been notably effective in reducing instances of suicides.

How Blue Lights on Train Platforms Combat Tokyo’s Suicide Epidemic | Next City

 Blue_StationImage Source: Next City

“A research paper published in the Journal of Affective Disorder in 2013 (four years after the first lights were installed) found that there was an 84 percent decrease in suicides at stations with the blue lights. The exact reason why the lights are effective isn’t known, but some researchers theorize that it’s related to the apparent positive effect of light on mood.”

As colored lighting and its affect on mood is being increasingly explored, perhaps will we gain conclusive insight as to why the blue lights in Tokyo have had such a major impact on the public. Are you surprised to learn that investment in specific types of lighting could make such a difference? Tell us what you think in the comments.