Paint Color: How Lighting Affects Your Interior Walls

When you’re painting your walls, you want to make sure the colors look good in the natural light coming from your windows. But what happens when you add artificial lighting to the mix? Can it change how a color looks on your walls? As it turns out – yes! Let’s dive into why and how light affects the appearance of paint colors on interior walls.

Light Bulb Basics

Most people don’t think about different types of light bulbs beyond incandescent vs LED. However, there are three main categories of lighting that can affect the way paint looks on your walls – incandescent, fluorescent, and LED.

Incandescent bulbs give off a warm yellow-orange hue, while fluorescent is more blue-green in tone. LEDs are known for their bright white color with a slight bluish tint. Depending on which type of bulb you choose for each room, it could have an effect on how the color ends up looking on your wall.

Ambient Lighting

Another factor to consider is ambient lighting. This includes natural sunlight filtered through your windows or skylights as well as any other sources of indirect light such as lamps or sconces. Natural sunlight has its own unique spectrum of colors that can change throughout the day or depending on the weather outside. Artificial sources like lamps and sconces will also change depending on whether they use incandescent, fluorescent, or LED bulbs. The varying levels and hues of ambient lighting can drastically alter how a paint color looks in your home!

Color Temperature

The last thing to consider when thinking about how light affects paint colors is “color temperature” (measured in Kelvin). Incandescent bulbs have a lower color temperature than fluorescents or LEDs which have higher temperatures (around 5500K). Generally speaking, warmer tones tend to work better in living rooms and bedrooms while cooler tones are more suited for kitchens and bathrooms; this might help you decide which type of bulb to use in each room!

Choosing Paint Colors

Every designer and homeowner knows that the right paint color can make a space look bigger, brighter, or more inviting. But what many don’t realize is that the lighting in your home will also affect how a paint color looks on the walls. Different types of light—natural daylight, electric lamps, and even candles—can drastically change the hue and tone of any shade you select.

To get the most out of your paint job, it’s important to understand how different types of lighting impact interior wall colors. Here are some helpful tips when choosing a shade:

  1. Test Out Natural Light: The most common type of light in homes is sunshine beaming through windows during the day. To get an accurate idea of how a paint color will look in your living room or bedroom, try painting two large swatches and holding them up to the window during different times of day. Notice how the tone changes with exposure to morning and afternoon light.
  2. Place Lamps Strategically: Electric lamps are great for highlighting certain features in a room, such as artwork or furniture items. If you place table lamps on either side of a wall, their light will bring out different hues within a shade that natural lighting sometimes can’t show.
  3. Evaluate Candlelight: For those who prefer cozy evenings by the fire, it’s important to consider how candlelight may affect wall colors. When lit, candles produce a yellowish light that can often make the walls look warmer. If you plan on having lots of candlelight in your home, be sure to test out paint colors under this type of lighting as well.

Lighting is Crucial in Evaluating Paint Colors

When selecting paint colors for your interior walls, don’t forget to think about how various types of lighting will affect their appearance! From incandescent bulbs to natural sunlight streaming through windows, all types of lights can change the way that a particular shade looks once it’s painted onto your walls. Keep this in mind when picking out new shades so you can be sure that you get exactly what you’re looking for! Happy painting!