The role of Colour and Lighting in Lab Design

The design of a laboratory is a crucial aspect that can impact the productivity and efficiency of the researchers, technicians, and other personnel working in it. The physical environment in which lab personnel work can have a significant impact on their mood and motivation, which can lead to better results and a more pleasant working experience.  

Colour and lighting are two crucial elements in creating an effective lab environment. The right Colours and lighting can improve the aesthetic appeal of the laboratory, making it a more visually appealing and welcoming place to work. They also play a crucial role in creating an environment that is conducive to productive and efficient work.  

The purpose of this blog is to explore the role of Colour and lighting in lab design and to highlight the importance of incorporating these elements in a well-designed laboratory environment. 

Understanding the Importance of Colour in Lab Design 

How Colour affects mood and productivity 

Studies have shown that Colour can have a significant impact on a person’s mood and productivity. Bright Colours such as yellow, green, and blue are known to boost energy and motivation, while neutral and calming Colours such as white, beige, and gray can help to create a more relaxed environment. 

Colour schemes for different lab environments 

The Colour scheme chosen for a laboratory environment can depend on several factors, including the type of lab, the function it serves, and the intended mood. For example, in a research lab, a neutral Colour scheme can help to create a calm and focused environment, while in a clinical lab, bright Colours can be used to create a more energetic and upbeat environment. 

Choosing the right Colour for your lab 

When choosing the right Colour scheme for a laboratory environment, it’s essential to consider the intended mood and purpose of the lab, as well as the Colour preferences of the personnel who will be working in it. A professional designer can also be consulted to help choose the best Colour scheme for the laboratory. 

The Role of Lighting in Lab Design  

Natural light versus artificial light 

Lighting is another important aspect of lab design. Natural light is preferred as it is more energy-efficient and provides a more pleasant working environment, but it is not always available. In these cases, artificial lighting can be used to supplement or replace natural light. 

Importance of task lighting 

Task lighting is crucial in a laboratory environment, as it provides the illumination necessary for performing precise and detailed work. Task lighting should be positioned in a way that eliminates shadows and provides even lighting across the work surface. 

Energy-efficient lighting options 

When choosing lighting for a laboratory, it’s essential to consider energy efficiency. LED lighting is an excellent option, as it provides bright, consistent lighting while consuming less energy compared to traditional lighting sources. 

How Colour and Lighting Work Together in Lab Design  

Creating a Cohesive Colour and Lighting Design 

The role of Colour and lighting in laboratory design is not only to create a visually appealing environment, but also to enhance the overall functionality of the lab. When designing a laboratory, it is important to consider both Colour and lighting as they work together to create a cohesive and functional design. This can be achieved by considering the Colour palette, lighting fixtures, and the overall layout of the lab when creating the design plan. 

Enhancing the Laboratory’s Aesthetic Appeal 

Incorporating Colour and lighting into laboratory design can enhance the aesthetic appeal of the lab and make it a more visually appealing space. This can help to create a more positive work environment, boost morale, and increase productivity among lab workers. The right combination of Colour and lighting can create a warm and inviting atmosphere, which can also help to reduce stress levels and increase comfort in the lab. 

Examples of Successful Colour and Lighting Design in Labs 

There are many examples of successful Colour and lighting design in laboratories, including the use of bright, bold Colours to create a visually appealing and stimulating environment, and the use of natural light and energy-efficient lighting fixtures to reduce energy costs and create a sustainable and environmentally-friendly work space. Other examples include the use of task lighting to enhance the functionality of specific areas in the lab, and the incorporation of different Colour schemes to create a cohesive design throughout the lab. 

Factors to Consider When Incorporating Colour and Lighting in Lab Design 

Budget and available resources 

When planning the design of a laboratory, it’s essential to consider the budget and available resources. Choosing the right Colour and lighting options can be expensive, so it’s crucial to determine the best options that fit within your budget. For example, natural light is a cost-effective option for lighting, but it may not be feasible in certain lab environments. 

Purpose and function of the lab 

The purpose and function of a laboratory should be considered when incorporating Colour and lighting into the design. Different labs may have different requirements, such as a sterile environment, a specific type of work, or a particular mood that needs to be conveyed. For example, a research lab may require a different Colour scheme than a teaching lab, or a laboratory that handles hazardous materials may require specific lighting to ensure safety. 

Safety and compliance with industry standards 

Safety and compliance with industry standards should be a top priority when designing a laboratory. It’s important to choose Colours and lighting that don’t interfere with safety or compromise the quality of the work performed in the lab. For example, certain Colours may cause visual stress or interfere with the accuracy of data, while certain types of lighting may generate heat that could impact the results of experiments. 


Colour and lighting play a critical role in creating an effective lab environment. From affecting mood and productivity to enhancing the lab’s aesthetic appeal and ensuring safety, these elements should not be overlooked when designing a laboratory.  

It’s essential to prioritize Colour and lighting in lab design planning to ensure that the laboratory environment is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. With careful consideration and planning, it’s possible to create a laboratory that meets both the technical and aesthetic needs of its users.  

In conclusion, Colour and lighting are key components of lab design and play a significant role in creating an effective laboratory environment. By considering factors such as budget, purpose and function, and safety and compliance with industry standards, it’s possible to create a laboratory that meets the needs of its users and enhances their work experience. 

Kewaunee, the global leader in total laboratory solutions, empowers organisations to achieve competitive advantage through safe, efficient, and contemporary laboratories. In existence since 1906, Kewaunee powers the laboratories for over 5,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

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