Automakers want you to believe that blue lighting in a vehicle’s interior can improve your attitude and alertness behind the wheel. We aren’t so sure.
Ford introduced an ice-blue LED lighting system for the interior of its 2013 Ford Fusion. This system illuminates the vehicle’s instrument panel, and Ford claims that the color “is a shade that can help keep drivers and passengers more alert. This makes it easier for a driver to absorb all the other messages coming from inside the vehicle.”
We asked Michael Terman, who is a professor in the department of psychiatry at Columbia University and an expert on light therapy, whether that was just marketing-speak. He says it’s worse than that.
Based on his and others’ research, Terman says blue light can cause headaches, jitters and insomnia if it’s used at night.
Other manufacturers employ blue LED lighting in their vehicles, but the Ford Fusion provides consumers with an alternative. You can change the interior lighting to green, orange, purple, red or white. Terman says the best light for managing a person’s internal clock is white light.