March 30, 2023


The fact that the blue color promotes physical and moral relaxation has long been known. This fact has been adopted on a city scale. In Japan, they changed ordinary street lights to blue ones, and this led to a reduction in crime and a decrease in the number of suicides.

The pioneer in the science of “street psychology” was Glasgow, Scotland, where blue lanterns appeared in 2000. Initially, they were intended solely to beautify the city, but soon the police department reported a sharp decrease in crime in places where new lighting was installed.

In 2005, the Nara prefecture administration in Japan followed the experience of British colleagues. By placing blue illumination on several streets of the city, the mayors reduced the number of offenses by 9%. Other cities in Japan followed suit.

The described psychological technique was also adopted by the railway workers of the country of the Rising Sun. With the help of blue light, they will fight the two main headaches of the railway industry – suicides on platforms and dashing drivers on level crossings.

According to Keihin Electric Express Railway Co, one of Japan’s largest carriers, an average of two people are thrown under an oncoming train every day. Some can be saved, but not all. There are even “celebrities” who attempt suicide several times a year.

The installation of blue lighting fixtures completely stopped all suicide attempts at the company’s train stations. And although the company’s management does not consider blue light to be the only reason for such progress, not forgetting the role of other preventive measures, it is certainly pleased with the result.

Other Japanese transport companies did not lag behind their colleagues, they replaced not only the lighting at the stations, but also the semaphores of railway crossings. Since then, not a single accident or even the slightest incident with cars at crossings has occurred.

The Western Japan Railway Company has gone the furthest in creating a calm environment on the tracks, installing blue light towers along all of its routes.

The expansion of blue light continues throughout Japan. Lighting has already been replaced on several expressways, in parks and pedestrian areas of cities. However, it is very difficult to make an unambiguous conclusion about the benefits or harms of such an undertaking.

Without a doubt, the blue color really relaxes and calms, but at the same time, such street lighting is perceived ambiguously. In addition, another psychological feature of the color blue is a side effect – the ability to slow down the reaction. Experts continue to break spears in disputes, and the decline in crime and suicide continues.

Author Pavel Urushev

Pavel Urushev – editor of the science department of the Internet media holding Pravda.Ru

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