Home Decorating Tips

Home Decorating Tips

How Natural and Artificial Lighting Can Affect Paint Colors

Posted on August 10, 2020

Choosing a new color or putting together a new color scheme may be one of the most exciting parts of doing a DIY paint project in your home. Aside from the thrill of putting up colors that appeal to your personality, painting fresh coats of new colors is a cost-effective way of renewing a space in your home. 

Don’t get carried away with picking colors though. Remember that there are a few considerations too, such as how light would affect colors. Get the right colors on your walls or surfaces (because you can) with this short feature on how light — natural and artificial — affects paint colors. 

How Natural and Artificial Light Affects Color

Fact: light affects colors. More specifically, light plays with our perception of color. Consider these factors that influence how we see things: 

  1. How a color on an object absorbs light. Black, for example absorbs all colors while white deflects rather than absorbs color.

  2. How the light or source of illumination works. Natural light changes throughout the day while artificial light will depend on the type of bulb you use.

That’s why it’s important to always count lighting in when planning to revamp a wall or a surface. Is your work space exterior or interior? If the latter, is it bright with natural light spilling in from windows or is it closed off and lit only with artificial lighting? Whether working on the interior or exterior of your home, identifying the nature of your light source is important as they have different effects. 

Natural Light

Natural light comes from only one source: the sun. It’s important to establish when the light hits and from what direction it’s coming from.

  • North-facing spaces: natural light tends to be cool and bluish. The colors that best interact with this light are bold and strong colors. Lighter alternatives for color might result in your workspace looking dim and muted. 
  • South-facing spaces: natural light is most intense on these spaces. You may choose to go dark or light, but note that darker colors tend to be brightened while light colors will be washed out.
  • West-facing spaces: lighting in the morning can make colors look dull and shadowy. To balance the warmth and saturation, opt to go with shades from the cooler end of the paint color spectrum.
  • East-facing spaces: natural light in these areas will come with a bit of green. To brighten it up, throw in soft yellows into the color scheme you’re cooking. 

Artificial Light

Unlike natural light, you may have a bit of control with artificial light. Just remember to use the right type of bulb for the job. 

  • Incandescent: on one hand, strong and warm colors such as orange, yellow and red will tend to intensify in warm and bright yellow light that incandescents give off. On the other hand, cooler colors tend to look washed out. 
  • Fluorescent: cooler in comparison to incandescent, fluorescents enhance colors with blues and greens.
  • Halogens: lighting is close to natural lighting. Halogens don’t affect the way a color appears as much as fluorescents and incandescents.

For the exterior parts of your home, picking the right color is just half the battle. Make it a point to work with a quality paint product that keeps your walls and surfaces tough against the weather. For your roof, try acrylic water-based Roofkote.

Painting your walls and surfaces with your desired color, despite challenges with lighting? Yes, you can. 

Read more tips and features on home improvement from Island Premium Paints. Island Premium Paints is the first and only locally produced paint with a Product Satisfaction Guarantee.



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