The specific mood lighting that’s said to boost libido

Wondering about the mood lighting needed to have sex? Experts reveal the hue to choose

Couple sitting together over candlelit dinner, holding hands, showing the mood lighting needed to have sex
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The first thing most people do is dim the lights, but getting the right mood lighting needed to have sex could actually be the key to a better experience. 

You might have picked out the best vibrators and have your list of best sex positions ready to go, but if you're wanting to use them with a partner and guarantee that you’ll both go the whole way between the sheets, then you might want to change your lightbulb. As a study commissioned by lighting supplier ElectricalDirect found, lighting hue plays a huge role in getting you in the mood for love. 

The report analyzed the color HEX codes of 50 of the most memorable and heart-racing sex scenes in movies and television, to determine which lighting shade was most popular. So here’s what light bulbs you need to prep for increased chances of passion in the bedroom...

What is the best sex light?

Brown is the shade that is most likely to get you laid, according to the data. The majority of famous sex scenes (52%) used a warm hue but the most popular color for getting down (and dirty) has been revealed as a caramel shade of brown.  

Famous scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey, Game of Thrones, and Atonement all used this warm hue of lighting. 

Other colors were also found to be popular among the best movie sex scenes. Ranked from most popular to least, these are the others to consider the next time you're buying a light for the bedroom: 

  • Caramel brown
  • Blue
  • Nude
  • Purple
  • Green
  • Red
  • Gray
  • Yellow/green
  • Light brown
  • Blue/green
  • Blue/pink
  • Mauve
  • Peach
  • Brick

Does lighting actually have any effect on sexual desire?

Yes, studies show that lighting can make a big difference in the bedroom. Physiologically, it's men who'll benefit the most from a switch in hue, with a study by the European College of Neuropsychopharmacy suggesting that lighting impacts testosterone production. 

When exposed to brighter light, men have been proven to experience three times more sexual satisfaction, with an increase in testosterone from around 2.1 ng/ml to 3.6 ng/ml after just two weeks. So if you're looking to learn how to revive romance in a relationship, chances are it's not a gentle glow you'll need but a bright spark in that caramel brown. The physical impact of light on women's sexual arousal hasn't been measured as of yet. 

Two women standing together in candlelight

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Can mood lighting help confidence in the bedroom?

Many people of all genders prefer to have sex with the lights turned off, thanks to issues with self-confidence and body image, so having darker mood lighting or flicking the switch completely can make a big difference. 

A study by Harris Poll commissioned by medical aesthetics company Cynosure found that 62% prefer sex with the lights off. Of those, 23% of the women indicated that it’s because they don’t want their partner to see their body. So how can we make sure leaving the lights on makes us comfortable? 

Vanessa Marin, a psychotherapist and sex therapist, believes warm lighting is the solution to this body image issue. She explained, “In general, most people tell me they like warm tones that feel soft and flattering against the skin. For a lot of people, having nice lighting is about feeling confident in their own skin. Soft lighting helps them relax, and turn off their self-conscious brains.” 

And when people, particularly women, feel more comfortable in their skin, their sex drive increases as a result. Dominick Sandford, director at ElectricalDirect says, “Candlelight is obviously associated with romance, but in a bedroom setting it isn’t always the safest lighting option. Instead, those looking to achieve the perfect lighting for romance could use a vintage-style bulb. These are 2200k, which is a light temperature between candlelight and sunrise. At 4w, it's the perfect dimmed light for intimacy."  

And what about outside the bedroom?

Light can also play a significant role outside the bedroom for getting us in the mood as it's well established, by the likes of McGill University and the University of Paris that bright light boosts our dopamine levels. Known as the happiness hormone, when our dopamine levels are elevated, we're happier and much more likely to want to have sex - among other activities. 

When it comes to increasing our attention span, further research by Brigham and Women's Hospital suggests that a blue-tinted light could be the way forward. The study found that men have a higher brightness perception and faster reaction times when completing a task in blue-enriched light than in non-blue-enriched light. Perhaps it's why this cool shade is listed as the second most-arousing color on the list above.

Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She has covered all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand.