My Caldera® hot tub has LED spa lighting that I can set to a wide range of different colors. It’s fun and the water looks great in color when I’m soaking in the evening. In a way, it’s the ultimate mood lighting.
Which made me wonder: Is hot tub lighting really mood lighting? Lots of companies like ours label their spa and hot tub lighting as Chromatheraphy. So does that really mean that the light in my hot tub can alter my mood? Surely there’s information available regarding the psychology of color. Does it apply to hot tub lighting?
The more I looked into it, the more I was shocked by how much information there is. By “information,” I don’t necessarily mean “evidence.”
Is there any scientific evidence that the color of hot tub lighting effects mood?
Yes, there have been studies about the effects of color where the evidence is documented and the results vetted. For instance, natural colors such as greens and blues have a calming effect, presumably because of their familiarity in nature. As a result, you won’t see your surgeon showing up for your operation in bright orange or magenta scrubs. And you won’t likely see an ambulance lighting color in a calming, pale sage green.
But when you look for information about the affects of color, you’ll find claims ranging from commonly accepted to what many would label hocus-pocus.
For instance, did you know the color violet promotes the functioning of your lymphatic system? Another source claims yellow has that duty. What’s a lymph node to do?
I’m not weighing in here. Maybe such claims are true. Maybe they aren’t. I’ll leave that up to others to decide and prove.
Still, it’s clear that colors do affect emotions and our perceptions, and there are biological and physiological reactions to various colors.
Reactions to hot tub lighting colors
In the broadest strokes possible, here are some relatively well-accepted associations and reactions to various colors:
Red Hot Tub Lighting:
The most stimulating color. Implies activity and movement, vitality and ambition.
Orange Hot Tub Lighting:
Creates happiness and cheerfulness. It’s said that orange has no negative effects on emotion and it’s considered the antidepressant color.
Yellow Hot Tub Lighting:
Optimism and cheerfulness. Enhances concentration, decision-making and judgment (which is why legal pads are yellow). However, yellow can be over-stimulating and overpowering.
Green Hot Tub Lighting:
Lighter greens are comforting, calming and refreshing. That’s why actors sit in the ‘green room’ before appearing on television shows and why those surgeon’s scrubs are pale green. Dark greens can have an opposite effect.
Blue Hot Tub Lighting:
Enhances feelings of peacefulness and tranquility. Blue also helps increase mental clarity, creativity and productivity. Maybe that’s why people seem attracted to blue eyes?
Violet Hot Tub Lighting:
Stimulates intuition and imagination. It creates balance and helps transform negative emotions. I’ll have to try this color in my hot tub the next time I have to talk to someone about a difficult subject.
So the question remains, does spa lighting change your mood? Do your moods equate with the common associations? I suppose it depends on the individual. Personally, with the exception of red, they all seem to have a calming effect on me. But then, when I’m sitting in warm water and feeling more relaxed than at any other time of the day, any color works.
Maybe it’s different for you? Do colors affect you differently while taking a soak?
Frequently Asked Questions About LED Hot Tub Lighting
Is it better to buy a hot tub with built in lights or an after-market hot tub lighting kit?
Water and electricity never mix well. Most hot tubs on the market come with some basic spa lighting. But there still are lower end models that don’t come with colored LED lighting. For these you can purchase after-market LED lighting kits. The drawback is that you’ll have to install them yourself or pay a professional to install them which may end up costing you more than if you simply bought a hot tub with built-in LED lighting to begin with. If you do decide to go this route then be sure to make sure you know what you’re doing.
What do the orange and gray indicator lights mean on the logo outside my Caldera hot tub?
According to the latest 2017 Caldera Utopia Owners Manual, The ORANGE indicator will light when the spa water temperature is within 2°F (1°C) of the set temperature, and will turn off when the temperature is outside of that range. If you increase or decrease the temperature setting of the spa, the ready indicator will turn off until the water temperature reaches the acceptable range for the new temperature setting. A flashing ORANGE indicator means a problem may exists with the temperature sensor.
The GRAY indicator is ‘on’ when the spa is properly supplied with power. It also provides a diagnostic function–a flashing GRAY indicator indicates that the heater high limit has tripped, meaning that either the spa water is above its acceptable temperature range, or a malfunction has occurred within the spa (such as low circulation due to clogged filters). An ‘off’ GRAY indicator means that there is a problem with the spa control box or the power supplied to the spa (see Troubleshooting section for more information).
What colors are available for hot tub mood lighting with the Utopia Series hot tubs?
The 2017 Utopia Series offers the following mood color hot tub lighting options: Dimmer sequence is: Dimmer 3 = high light level, Dimmer 2 = medium light level, and Dimmer 1 = low light level. Color sequence is: 1) Indigo 2) Aqua 3) Emerald 4) Gold 5) Ruby 6) Magenta 7) Loop On 8) Loop Off. With the color looping in the on-position your Caldera hot tub will cycle through all the available colors. Use the Loop Off to select one static color. Most of the time you will likely want your hot tub LED lighting to stay on one solid color while in use. But think of the conversation that the looping function will create at an outdoor party!