Japanese study reveals which colors to choose to stay “cooler” in summer

Japanese study reveals which colors to choose to stay “cooler” in summer
Japanese study reveals which colors to choose to stay “cooler” in summer

We tend to believe that black is the least suitable color to wear in summer because it absorbs the most light and heat from the sun, but according to a Japanese study the “worst” color would be dark green, which absorbs a little more infrared radiation (which we perceive as heat). The experiment was carried out by Toshiaki Ichinose, researcher at the Japanese National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba. The study also confirms that the most reflective colors are white and the YELLOW.

But we probably don’t just have these colors in our wardrobe, so What is the order of the color shades between the two? In 2019, Professor Ichinose began studying the connection between heat and clothing color with his research group, drawing the attention of many scientists to a experiment to understand what colors keep us cool.

Professor Toshiaki Ichinose illustrating the results of his study

Before explaining it, it must be explained that everything reflects the radiant energy of the sun, but at different speeds depending on its color. Radiant energy that is not reflected comes absorbed in the form of heat. This means that colors with low reflectivity heat up easily, while colors with high reflectivity stay cool.

In the experiment, Ichinose placed nine different colored polo shirts on the torsos of models and placed them under the summer sun. After 5 minutes of exposure, he measured the tissue surface temperature with a thermographic camera to find out how hot they had become.

The color that remained coldest was white, followed by yellow – the surfaces of polo shirts of these colors reflected around 30 degrees Celsius – and then gray, red, purple, blue, green, dark green and of black. This exceeded 45°C in some regions, and seems to be the worst of all, but there was an unexpected result. Researchers discovered that it is not black that absorbs infrared the most (86%), but black. THE dark green, equal to 87%. Ichinose said:

After extending our study to invisible near-infrared light, we found that green is quite close to black. We could say that these two colors belong to the same group.

White, on the other hand, reconfirms itself in first place, absorbing only 63% of the infrared radiation that hits it.

The researchers said results may vary slightly depending on the dye used to color clothingbut one thing is sure: if you want to escape the summer heat as much as possible, it is best to use white, yellow, gray and red and avoid black, dark green, green, blue and purple clothes .

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