Light and Color

Lighting affects color in an interior space.

“There would be no color without light. Light affects the way we see color. logo paintingTake into consideration the lighting in your room before you pick a color.”Here are some factors influencing the perception of a color:

1)type of lighting- fluorescent, lighting,natural lighting, incandescent, etc.

2)activities in room

handpainting3)time of day the room will mostly be used

4)the size of the room

5)colors around it

6)age of people using room

Color and Light are really synonymous. One cannot be seen without the other. The color of daylight itself varies from zone to zone; and each hour of day and brings a change to perception. Sunny days in Mexico render color differently than a cloudy day in Minneapolis. The classic north light of an artist’s skylit studio is actually a cool light. Each type of light bulb renders a different color emphasis. Halogen is very close to the full spectrum of sunlight, incandescent lamps are on the warm, orange scale. Fluorescent lamps are usually more blue; though some are called full-spectrum. It is important to see your color choice in the lamps to be used. Each will render the color differently.


Usually exterior elements are reflected onto the walls. In a garden or wooded setting greens will be present. White with a pink tint will end up looking murky because red and green equal brown. Surprisingly a white with a slightly greenish-umber cast may actually look softer and warmer, especially as you work with other interior colors.

If the room is to be used mainly in the evenings, then the artificial lighting will be an important factor. Generally, we use incandescent lamps in living, dining & bed rooms. Their warm, golden light will amplify and enrich warm colors, reds, oranges, yellows. Greens will tend to become more yellow than when viewed during the day. Blues will take on a slightly green tint under this light.

The human eye changes with age. As the lens thickens, golden tones are clearer than blues and greens. Contrasts of subtle color differences diminishes, so stronger differences in color relationships may be more interesting. However, a dark border on a carpet may be perceived as a step down into space, and may become unnerving. It is an interesting challenge, as a designer, to create a color scheme of brightness with sufficient contrasts, which flatters the sophistication and experience of elderly rather than imparting a patronizingly immature look.

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