Home Design Sense – How Lighting Effects Colors in Your Home

Home Design Sense - How Lighting Effects Colors in Your Home

Have you ever wondered why colors look different in your home? Simple.

Lighting in the paint store is not the same as in your home. Your windows bring in light and your light bulbs are different. Even against other colors; color can change. Take a paint sample home and see the difference.

Lighting effects colors in the way that they absorb; or reflect light. Some colors will appear warmer in natural light, brighter in florescent light and toned down in incandescent lighting.

Light colors reflect; while dark colors absorb the lighting. Of course, everyone has a different opinion on whether light or dark colors make a room look smaller or larger. What’s your thought? Think about this. If you look at a black ceiling can you really tell where it ends?

Keep this in mind when planning the lighting in your home. Yeah; another thing to think about.

* Incandescent (bulbs) – This light enhances yellow and orange. While it dulls blue and violets. Red takes on an orange tint.

* Florescent (tube) – Invigorates green, blue and violet hues; but it washes out red, yellow and orange shades.

* Natural (outside or man-made lights) – This is the best, but not always practical light for the home. Reds warm and yellows tone down; while blues brighten and greens darken.

Lighting is not the only thing affecting colors. Ever wonder why colors look different when placed next to each other? It has to do with light wavelengths, but that is more scientific so, we will stay clear of that and make it easier to understand.

In plain language, colors can change radically when they are viewed next to another color. Try it at home to see the effect. Or try it with some paint swatches by putting them togetherHome Design.

Red next to blue – Red takes on a yellowish tint.

Red next to green – Red appears brighter and stronger.

Red next to yellow – Red seems bluer.

Red next to black – Red appears duller.

Red next to white – Red seems brighter and lighter.

Also, opposite (on the color chart/wheel) colors attract such as:

Red is redder when it’s with green.

Yellow is sharper when it’s with purple.

Blues becomes bluer when it’s with orange.

Keep this in mind if you have two or more colors that will be next to

each other. Always put the two colors together and view in the lighting

that you have in your home – during the day and at night.

Here is a list of the warm and cool colors:

* Warm Colors – Red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange and yellow-greens.

* Cool Colors – Green, blue-green, blue, blue-purple and red-purples.

Always remember…view the color samples at home in the room they will be used. You will be surprised. View during the day and evening. Leave the swatches on the walls for a few days or longer if you are not sure. Oh, yes…use removable tape (blue or purple) if you are leaving them on for some time. You don’t want to mar the wall when removing the tape.

Then, before buying gallons of paint; purchase a quart or if they sell the small paint samples and paint a 6′ x 6′ square are and feather out the edges so you don’t have a hard line. Why? Because those small swatches don’t give a wide viewing area and to be absolutely sure you love the color before spending lots of money on gallons of paint.


H. John Johnsen is a Designer and Writer for Home Design Sense.com and other web sites. You can find more information on Home Design Sense Color at the Home Design Sense website.

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