Lighting and Its Impact on the Ambience and Colors of a Room

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Lighting and Its Impact on the Ambience and Colors of a Room

Lighting and Painting

If you want to make the most of a painting project, you need to complete your lighting design before selecting the paint. The light you choose for task lighting or for setting a mood can alter the way you see the colors throughout your home. Therefore, the ambience is determined by the interaction of light and color.

Two Important Points About Colors and Lights

In order to better understand how to choose the right lighting and colors, you need to understand two important points:

  • Natural light or sunlight changes during the day and is affected by where a room is located. Artificial light changes if you change the type of light bulb.
  • White does not absorb colors, black absorbs all colors, and blue absorbs shades and tones of red.

When the sun’s angle changes, then your room colors will appear to change in response. Therefore, it is important to strongly consider the room’s reception of natural light when selecting colors of paint.

Which Way Does the Room Face?

North-Facing Rooms

In north-facing rooms, the light is bluish and therefore “cool”. That means bold colors will display better than muted shades and tones. Use stronger colors in a north-facing room.

Rooms That Face South

If your room faces south, then dark colors will appear brighter while pale colors will seem to glow.

Looking East

The natural light in an east-facing room is yellowish and warm before noon but sends off a bluish hue towards the day’s end. Use such colors as yellow, orange, or red in the east-facing rooms in your apartment or house.

Looking West

West-facing rooms convey an evening light that is warm and inviting. The lack of morning light in these rooms creates shadow, making the colors in the room look pale and dull.

Using Artificial Lights

When using artificial light with color, you need to keep the following points in mind:

  • Fluorescent lighting causes green and blue colors to appear richer. Therefore, this is the ideal light for adding such colors as turquoise, aqua, sea green, light blue, or royal blue.
  • Incandescent bulbs transmit an illumination that is yellowish-amber. Therefore, incandescent light invigorates such colors as yellow, orange, and red while muting such colors as green or blue.
  • Halogen bulbs replicate natural light and therefore cause any color to look more vivid. By using halogens, the shift from daylight to an artificial light is less pronounced.
  • Compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, produce a bluish-white type of light or a warm neutral white light and therefore work well with blue and green tones.
  • LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, can be purchased as “cooler” or “warmer” LEDs. You can also buy “smart” LED type bulbs. The “smart” kinds of LEDs display hues and tones that are remotely controlled. For instance, you can point to an image at sunset and cause the bulb in your home to emit the same coloring.

How to Choose Colors Based on Your Lighting Choice

In order to achieve the paint color you want in conjunction with your lighting choice, place the bulb you will be using in a floor lamp and examine a color swatch.

One More Note

The sheen of the paint also affects its color. Therefore, glossy finishes reflect light and alter a color’s appearance, whereas flat paint finishes are truer by definition.

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