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How Lights Affect Color

How Lights Affect Color


Light plays an important role and it makes a huge change in color selection. It’s also important which direction your room faces and natural light is significant when choosing color. Sometimes after selecting a color from the palette when we apply that on wall the lights acts as the villain and the color appears totally different. In fact, the same color appears different from room to room at different times of the day. Black absorbs all the light but white absorbs none and blue absorbs red.

White lights make the color appears more natural and other lights like red, blue and green can create other colors. Whenever the clients ask us what color suits their room our paint company always suggests check the direction of the room.  


Room directions and Sunlight

Room colors will change with the changing angle of sunlight.

Rooms in East direction

Courtesy: Behr

Light plays tricky in the East. Before noon it’s warm and yellowy and then it turns to bluer. Red, orange and yellow is perfect for east facing rooms.


Rooms in West direction

Courtesy: The Chromologist

In the morning, light creates shadow, so any color looks dull but in the evening the warm light makes the color look beautiful.


Rooms in North direction

Courtesy: Kylie M Interiors

Use bright colors for North facing rooms. The light is cool and bluish in this direction and it brightens up the bold colors compared to neutrals.


Rooms in South direction

Courtesy: CertaPro Painters            

Sunlight in South direction is warm. It best shows up cool colors. Light colors will glow and dark colors will look brighter.


Light source and colors

Different electric light source changes color differently. Like fluorescent, this cool light reflects blue and green.

Incandescent reflects yellow lights and it changes the color of red, orange and yellow and makes them more bright and mute blue and green.

Halogen has white light and it resembles natural light and it makes all the colors look bright.

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) can produce two tones either a warm white, neutral or bluish-white.

Remember, warm, yellowish lights brighten up the warm colors and mute the cooler tones. Contrary to cool blue lights make cool colors vibrant and warm colors mute.


Let’s see the solutions

Try samples

Courtesy: taketimeforstyle.com

When giving contract asks you paint company to give you the color palette. Choose the color and paint the sample on the wall. Then check it during the day. If the color seems ok then apply the color on the wall.


Hang lights before painting