J Sleep Med.  2017 Dec;14(2):61-69. 10.13078/jsm.17009.

Differential Effect of Light Emitting Diode Light on Electroencephalographic Oscillations in Young and Old Healthy Subjects

  • 1Department of Neurology, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Neurology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea. jungky@snu.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Mathematical Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 4Program in Neuroscience, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Neurology, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Neuroscience Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


To investigate brain oscillatory characteristics according to brightness and color temperature of light emitting diode (LED) light in young and elderly subjects.
We analyzed 22 young (age, 29.0±5.2 years) and 23 elderly (age, 64.8±4.5 years) healthy subjects. A LED light source was used with a combination of two color temperature (6,500 K vs. 3,000 K) and two brightness (700 lx vs. 300 lx) conditions. Participants were exposed to each light condition in relaxed wakefulness. Then, we analyzed power spectral density and functional connectivity from eye-open electroencephalography.
A main effect of brightness on delta (p=0.044) and theta (p=0.038) power was significant in the elderly subjects. Bright light enhanced delta and theta power in the frontal region. By contrast, power spectral density of young subjects was affected by color temperature; high color temperature significantly increased beta-band power of the central region (p=0.034). Regarding functional connectivity, a significant effect of color temperature was observed in delta (p=0.006) and beta (p=0.046) frequencies. High color temperature light enhanced beta connectivity of young subjects (p=0.007), while not affecting that of elderly subjects (p=0.979).
The present study demonstrated that spectral power and functional connectivity as well as subjective feelings are affected by the brightness and color temperature of LED light. These results might help us to understand the neurophysiological effects of light and identify the optimal indoor lighting conditions for an individual's environment.


Power spectral density; Functional connectivity; Electroencephalography; Light emitting diode; Brightness; Color temperature

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