Have you ever painted a room only to discover that the finished result doesn’t quite look like the swatch you picked out?
The type of light makes a huge difference in how colour looks in a room. Because of this, it’s important to consider the type of lighting that exists in a room you’re painting.
For example: A dark hallway without enough natural light will need a colour that looks good in artificial lighting, while a sun soaked room with lots of windows needs a shade that reflects natural lighting.
The best way to see how the light works in your space is to do a few test spots on the walls. Choose different walls so you can see how the colour looks at various times during the day. You can then adjust the colour a few shades darker or lighter to get the exact look you’re after.
The location of the room also makes a big difference in how much light you get each day. You might get a lot of morning light in a room, but if you spend most of your time there in the evening, you’ll want a colour that makes the space seem brighter without relying on natural light.
North facing rooms can be tough to work with since they tend to be on the darker side. Light from the North is cooler and tends to make colours look dull. It’s best to stick to colours with warmer undertones. If you’re going with white make sure you go with a creamy, warm white.
South facing rooms are probably the easiest spaces to work with. They are filled with light for most of the day, so most colours look great. To take advantage of the light, opt for lighter tones that really amplify it. Dark colours also work well, but they can often seem brighter than usual, so you may need to adjust the shade accordingly.
Rooms that face West get a few different types of light throughout the day. They don’t get much morning light, so they tend to be dull in the morning. As the light shifts, the room will warm up and make bright colours seem brighter. You’ll want to consider when you spend the most time in West facing rooms and choose your colour accordingly to balance the morning /afternoon/evening light.
East facing rooms have the opposite experience of West facing rooms. They get the gorgeous glow of morning light and become progressively darker. So think about whether you want to highlight the warm morning light or if you need to warm it up in the afternoon and evening. Cool colours will look their best in the morning and those with warmer undertones can be chosen for later in the day.
Artificial light comes into play during those hours when your rooms aren’t getting much natural light. Not all artificial light is the same, so the kind of bulbs you use is also something to consider.
Fluorescent bulbs give off a blue tinted light. This works well with cooler colours like blue and green. You can find fluorescents that are designed to give off warmer lights, but they aren’t quite as warm as incandescent lights.
Incandescent bulbs give off a warmer light with yellow or amber undertones and can enhance warmer colours like red, orange, or yellow and make them seem brighter. They do the opposite with cool colours like blue and green, making them appear more dull and muted.
Halogen lights are the closest to natural light. They give off a white light and don’t change the appearance of colours as much as other types of light. Halogen lights works well with both warm and cool colours.