Knowledge on the onset, persistence, and symmetry of effects of lighting transitions on humans is relevant when designing dynamic lighting scenarios and, additionally, can shed light on the dominance of underlying mechanisms. We examined temporal trajectories in measures of alertness, arousal and comfort after abrupt lighting transitions that were created using two strongly contrasting light conditions (warm, dim lighting vs. cool, bright lighting). In this controlled within-subjects experiment, thirtyeight healthy subjects participated in four separate sessions of 90 min. Subjective experiences (alertness, comfort and mood) and objective measures of vigilance (PVT performance), arousal (HR, HRV, SCL), and thermoregulation (skin temperature and DPG) were studied. The comparison of the temporal trajectories following the transition in light for the different variables indicates a complex interplay of underlying physiological and psychological processes driving these effects.