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Holiday Lights and Happiness: Why Viewing Them Can Boost Our Mood

The saying “brighten someone’s day” is no coincidence. For decades around the holiday season, folks have been happily hanging up brilliant bulbs. That makes us wonder about the connection between holiday lights and happiness. In fact, it may be possible that viewing them can boost our mood. Let’s walk through the benefits—and some science too!

How do bright lights impact our moods?

Bright lights have a strong appeal. Their presence alone can even impact our mood! Some of the benefits include:

  • Helping us see better, which can reduce eye strain and prevent headaches;
  • Creating a sense of accomplishment, since it takes time and effort to decorate;
  • Encouraging the production of melatonin (this typically only works with red lights);
  • Adding a sense of relaxation and fun to the room; and
  • Reinvigorating our minds and bodies (white or blue lights will achieve this result).

Do holiday lights really boost our moods?

The human experience is subjective! That means that the connection between holiday lights and happiness varies from person to person. Often, this correlation depends on our memories. So, if one person used to walk the neighborhood to see bright holiday lights as a young kid or if a person has fond memories of decorating for the holidays, they’re more likely to form positive associations. Some people even experience an increase in dopamine when they see holiday lights! If this applies to you, then holiday lights have the potential to boost your mood.

The main takeaway

The science behind lights and its connection to our emotions suggests that holiday lights could potentially spark happiness in some viewers. What is your favorite winter tradition? Even if holiday lights aren’t your cup of tea, you can still brighten up the season.


Holiday lights and happiness—for some of us, they go together like hot chocolate and marshmallows. No matter which traditions you prefer, we hope you have a happy holiday season.

You know what else goes better together? Your vision and a visit to your local Mississippi Eye Care clinic! Make an appointment by visiting our site. You can also open your eyes to a whole new world of information when you read our blog here.