Using Ambient Lighting in Persuasive Communication: The Role of Pre-existing Color Associations

  • Shengnan Lu
  • Jaap Ham
  • Cees J. H. Midden
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8462)


Earlier research indicated that ambient persuasive lighting can have persuasive effects on energy-efficiency behavior. However, why would this kind of ambient feedback be effective? The current research investigated the influence of the strength of associations (of colors used for giving feedback) on the effectiveness of ambient feedback. Two color sets were chosen from a pre-test to represent strongly- and weakly-associated with energy consumption, i.e. red versus green and yellow vs. purple, respectively. Results indicated that lighting feedback that was strongly associated with energy consumption had stronger persuasive effects than weakly-associated lighting feedback. Moreover, participants who received weakly-associated feedback needed more time to program the thermostat when performing the additional cognitive task (as compared to participants without additional task), while this difference was not found in strongly-associated feedback condition. This research reveals that the persuasive potential of ambient persuasive lighting can be enhanced by making use of pre-existing color associations.


Ambient persuasive technology Ambient lighting Color association Color perception 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shengnan Lu
    • 1
  • Jaap Ham
    • 1
  • Cees J. H. Midden
    • 1
  1. 1.Human-Technology InteractionEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenNetherlands

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