Types Of Light & How They Affect The Appearance Of Paint Colors

When you’re starting any painting project in your home, choosing colors that work together is half of the battle. Once you’ve selected a color family, you’ll also need to choose a paint type and finish, considering how a room’s lighting may affect the colors. Don’t hire Maricopa residential painters to paint an entire room only to discover that you don’t like the way the colors look in a room! Check out these tips to learn how lighting affects colors and how that knowledge can help you make the perfect color selection for any room.

The Influence Of Lighting On Choosing The Perfect Color For Your Room in Arizona How Does Light Affect Paint Color?

Maybe you’ve painted a room before and been disappointed to discover that the final product doesn’t look like the samples you used when picking a color. This is a common situation for DIY painters and is caused by an effect called metamerism, which means that the source of lighting affects the perception of a color. To help reduce this problem, take paint samples home, talk with your Maricopa professional painters, and consider how the colors look in your home’s lighting.

Natural Light

The lighting that naturally comes in through your home’s windows affects the way colors appear in a given room. Natural light’s effects are further influenced by which direction the room is facing. 

For example, light that comes in a north-facing window tends to be softer and produce a mild blue effect. This means darker hues will appear darker and lighter colors will be a bit subdued. In contrast, a south-facing window provides more intense light that will brighten darker colors and can wash out lighter shades. 

West-facing rooms are usually warm from the evening sun, giving paint colors an orange, red, or yellow feel; eastern exposure tends to be a touch green. The best way to determine how the natural lighting of your home will affect the perception of your new paint colors is to test the colors in each room at different times of the day. Consider purchasing a few sample cans of paint and applying them to the walls to see how they work and how they look throughout the day. Colors will appear differently when illuminated by direct sunlight or shade. Sampling the paint colors first can prevent disappointment and help you choose a color you love. 

Artificial Light

Beyond testing paint samples in natural light, your Maricopa painting contractors will recommend that you see how they look with artificial lighting. In homes, interior lighting is often a combination of incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, along with the occasional halogen bulb. The type of lighting along with the K value – the spectrum of light color – of the light bulbs you choose will alter the appearance of your paint colors, providing a different effect. Incandescent bulbs give a warm light with touches of yellow and amber, while fluorescent lights are usually cooler blue and purple shades.

Consider which furnishings will be in the room, because different colors and materials will absorb and reflect light in different ways. Also think about accent and track lighting that may be used in addition to other sources of light; shadows can make paint colors appear to be a different shade compared to other areas of the same room that are more directly lighted. Dark colors may seem dull while lighter colors may appear brighter. Halogen bulbs are a purer white and will brighten your paint colors.

Paint Finish & Color

Beyond just the hue, an important part of choosing paint colors is determining which type of finish will be the best choice for your room. Whether a paint is a flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, or gloss finish will play a role in how colors appear to be different under certain lighting conditions. Gloss finish colors tend to have more depth but may be slightly reflective. Flat finishes have less light bounce. Ask your Maricopa house painters for recommendations on which type of finish will work well in your home with your color preferences. 

Challenging Color Shades

Some colors may change more than others under different lighting conditions. Whites and off-whites may seem boring, but they tend to be very adaptable to all light conditions. They also provide a clean palette for color in other areas of the room, such as curtains, rugs, and other furnishings. Very pale shades of other colors will provide the same effect. 

In contrast, bright and rich colors can overwhelm a room and are more susceptible to appearing different in different lighting. Khaki, sage, and taupe shades are some of the worst offenders when it comes to changing under different lighting and times of day. But if you truly love a color, go for it! Your home should reflect your personality and decorating style. 

Quality Interior Painting Services In Maricopa

Save yourself stress by hiring experienced, respectful professionals at ACP Painting. We put our customers at ease with our integrity and professional approach to all types of painting: exterior, interior, residential, and commercial. Work with our color consultant to find the perfect hues, while our design team is ready to provide a complete estimate before we begin the job. Get started with us today!



ACP Painting, LLC. 
20987 N John Wayne Pkwy
Maricopa, AZ 85139

Phone: 480-785-6323