Effects of lights of different color temperature on the nocturnal changes in core temperature and melatonin in humans

Appl Human Sci. 1996 Sep;15(5):243-6. doi: 10.2114/jpa.15.243.


A variety of types of artificial illumination has recently become available, differing in the quality of illumination and range of color temperature. In our previous studies we found that in subjects with normal color vision the nocturnal fall in core temperature and the increase of urinary melatonin excretion were suppressed by bright blue or green light, but not by bright red or dim lights. The aim of our present study was to examine from the view point of chronobiology whether the lights of different color temperature often used in everyday life may affect core temperature and urinary melatonin secretion differently. Experiments were carried out on five subjects with normal color vision. They were exposed for 5 hr (from 21:00 h to 2:00 h) to two kinds of bright (1000 lx) light of different color temperature (6500 K, 3000 K) with dim (50 lx) light as a control; after exposure they slept in darkness. Our main results were as follows: The light with a high color temperature of 6500 K more strongly suppressed the nocturnal fall of the core temperature and the nocturnal increase of melatonin secretion than the light with a low color temperature of 3000 K. This difference was particularly evident for core temperature during the sleep period following experimental illumination.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Color*
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Male
  • Melatonin / urine*
  • Temperature*


  • Melatonin