We are creatures of the light. A gloomy day can make many of us glum. A sunny day can brighten our mood, as well as the amount of light streaming in through the window. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can be ameliorated by special lights.
It is not just light, it is also color that can affect us. Remember the old institutional green that was supposed to sooth us? Now studies have found that perceptions of color may have a cultural bias.
“Beach et al added, “Arousal effects of color are neither strong, reliable, nor enduring enough to warrant their use as a rationalization for applying ‘high’ or ‘low’ arousing colors to create ‘high’ or ‘low’ activity spaces.”3 For example, they said that a blue room will not automatically calm someone because other factors influence human reaction to color. Each individual will react to a color based on his or her experience, culture, and belief system. ” From https://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/architecture/what-next-institutional-green/
One of my favorite forms of colors is light through a stained glass window. During the day, the splash of sunshine becomes a spill of color across pews and floors, if the sun slant is low enough.
Light spills through a stained glass window at St Paul’s Ivy Episcopal Church in Ivy, VA
The strength of the sun can also affect the brightness of the stained glass “shadow” as seen in these two pictures from Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Crozet, VA. When a passing cloud slightly obscured the sun’s brightness, you could not tell from the stained glass but you could tell from the reflection on the floor.
Even if the sun is not low enough to spill through the windows and cause a reflection, stained glass windows are still gorgeous.
Stained glass windows at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Key West (oldest non-Catholic Church in Key West.)
At night lights relecting back out through stained glass windows make a cheerful sight as you walk or drive past.