5 Easy Ways To Hack Your Brain with Color for Back to School (2021)

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August 18, 2021 | 4 Min Read

It’s not a new concept that color has a psychological effect on our brains and mental state. Whether it’s cool blues, vibrant reds, or playful yellows, the colors we see around us can impact how we feel and even how we act. But while you may be aware of this in theory, finding a way to take advantage of it and practically apply it to virtually “hack your brain” with color and boost your workflow isn’t always straightforward. 

Brain Hacking Colors

For instance, you could paint the walls of your study space with green tones—a color shown to improve focus—but with temporary living spaces like dorm rooms and rented apartments and condos, we’re not trying to lose our security deposits even if it means giving our focus a boost.

But a simple way to incorporate these brain-hacking hues is with colored lighting. These lights are incredibly easy to install, whether it’s an RGB smart bulb in your desk lamp or lightstrips behind your desk or monitor—like the Nanoleaf Essentials color-changing smart Bulbs and Lightstrips—or colorful and customizable light panels in your workspace—like Nanoleaf Shapes, Canvas and Light Panels. A small setup upgrade can make a big difference by bringing these colors into your space in strategic ways.

5 Easy Ways To Hack Your Brain with Color for Back to School


Using the Nanoleaf App you can control all of these colors easily with the intuitive color wheel, or customize your own brain-hacking recipes by combining the different colors in your own animated Scenes. And just in time for Back to School we’ve even created a curated “Brain Hacks” Playlist that you can download from the Discover Tab in case you need to get straight to hitting the books.

Follow this guide for the most effective color-cocktails to hack your brain with color and rev up your workflow.


1. Be Productive

Recipe: Bright Blue + Light Blue + White

Bright cool light is the most important thing to keep you stimulated during the day. It even has a biological connection through our circadian rhythms that once we see blue light our bodies know it’s go-time. This productivity-boosting color mix will keep you going throughout the whole day, and is a guaranteed way to get shit done.

psychological effect of blue

2. Be Focused

Recipe: Bright Green + Light Green + Light Blue

Sometimes you just need to buckle down and focus, whether it’s cramming for that final exam or grinding on that big project. Green is a harmonizing color that does not strain the eyes, and creates a sense of calm and reassurance to help keep you on course and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed with the task at hand.

psychological effect of green

3. Be Energized

Recipe: Bright Orange + Yellow

Nothing hinders workflow more than a midday slump. Reenergize your body and mind with bright invigorating oranges. And while you’re at it, why not take a stretch, and drink some water: the ultimate slump-busters.

psychological effect of orange


4. Be Creative

Recipe: Bright Yellow + Light Yellow + Bright Pink

Don’t get stuck in that creative rut. Many projects require you to think creatively, from more artistic assignments to even picking your essay thesis. Even math and science can often benefit from some creative perspective! The strongest psychological color is yellow. It radiates positivity and lifts our confidence levels, so get those juices flowing, and dive on in!

mental effects of yellow color


5. Be Alert

Recipe: Bright Red + Bright Orange

Red is a stimulating color that really gets your heart pumping. Evoking a strong physical response, it can even activate your “fight or flight” instinct. This makes it perfect for those high-alert tasks like proofreading for errors, or marking papers. Beyond the desk, it’s also great to boost physical tasks, so try throwing some reds into the mix during your next workout.

mental effects of red color brain


6. Be Relaxed

Recipe: Bright Purple + Light Purple + Light Blue

It’s always good to give your mind a little break to refresh it between tasks or unwind at the end of a long cram session. Purples can have a soothing effect on the mind and body, and even encourage meditation. Different undertones—like more red based vs. blue based—have different effects, so play around with this color to find the tone that’s right for your relaxation time.

hack your brain with purple color


In addition to static or flowing animated Scenes, if you opt for Nanoleaf panels in your space like Shapes, Canvas, or Light Panels you can enjoy extra mood boosting features to hack your brain with color, like customized Rhythm music visualization Scenes to bring the latest tracks to life. Throw a mini dance party for you and your friends as the lights and colors dance to the beat of your music. It’s like all the vibrant and colorful good vibes of a nightclub but without all the…yuck.

These A+ brain-hacking color combinations are the ultimate tool to help welcome in the new school year or fresh work season, so make sure to use them wisely. Good luck!

Find us on Instagram and Twitter @nanoleaf or Facebook @thenanoleaf  and learn more about Nanoleaf’s Smarter Kits and Nanoleaf Essentials.

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