How Lighting Can Affect Your Paint Color

January 16, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Last week we were painting a big portion of a house for a customer and were asked an interesting question. We had painted an upstairs bath room that had two joined rooms a shade of green. When we arrived one morning the home owner asked if we had made a mistake and painted the first part of the bathroom purple and the second half green. We went upstairs to take a look and sure enough both parts of the bathroom looked completely different, one looked purple and the other green.

Upon further inspection, I realized that the front part of the bath room had CFL light bulbs and the second half had incandescent bulbs. I turned off the lights and poof both parts of the room were green, flipped them back on and the part with the CFL bulbs turned purple. Problem solved! I’ve has different lighting change the appearance of colors before but never displayed so clearly.

Lighting Changes Color

How Different Lights Affect Color

There are four common types of lighting in most houses and they are halogen, fluorescent (think CFL), LED, and incandescent. Each of these different types of light affects the appearance of your colors differently. Incandescent lights cast a more yellowish light, fluorescent lights give off a bluish tint, and halogen light most closely reflects that of natural daylight. Okay now that we know what kind of light these bulbs cast lets apply that knowledge to our color selections.

Warm yellowish light mutes cooler colors and intensifies warm colors, the light given off by fluorescent bulbs that have a bluish tint does the opposite. So the bluish lights work best with purples, greens, and blues, while yellowish light works best with reds, oranges, and yellows.

How to Properly Pick a Color

The most common mistake I see when people are looking at their color swatches is how they hold them. When choosing a color for the walls how the swatch vertically and horizontal when choosing for the floor light rug colors. It sounds silly but holding the colors directly on the wall makes a giant difference., and ALWAYS pick the color for a room while you’re in the room you’re picking it for.

Choosing the right color is often one of the biggest challenges when doing a painting project and I hope I was able to shed some “light” on how to make the process a little easier and I’m always available to lend a helping hand.

Need a Painter in the Charleston Area?  

Give Paragon Painting a call! We are family owned and operated with the experience to get your job done hassle free. We service the entire Charleston area including Summerville and Mt Pleasant. 843-695-9450

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Filed in: Interior Painting, Paint Questions

About the Author (Author Profile)

I've been brought up in the painting industry and have learned everything I know from my father Paul Briggs. He is the founder of Paragon Painting and I joined him full time in 2003 after graduating college. I am now happily married with two beautiful children ages two and five.

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