How Light Affects Paint Colour

Understanding the way paint interacts with light can help ensure you love your finished paint job! Light affects the way your paint colour will look in different rooms, and at different times of the day. Your Vancouver painting company may refer to this as “illuminate metamerism,” which means that colours tend to take on different hues in a different light. While the colour is the same, light changes our perceptions of the colour. This is one reason why sampling colours before painting is incredibly important.

How natural light affects interior paint colours

As the amount and angle of the sun change, so will the interior painting colours in any given room. While natural light provides the most neutral balances across the light spectrum, even sunlight is not consistent. Paint colours can look different on cloudy days vs. sunny days, and in the daytime vs. the nighttime. When it comes to weather, Vancouver painters must take cloudy winters into consideration.

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The direction of the windows can also have an impact on your perception of interior paint colours. Southern facing windows bring in the most intense natural light. This light will be the harshest on sunny afternoons and can make dark colours appear brighter. At the same time, pale colours may look faded in this southern-facing light.

On the other hand, North-facing windows provide more indirect light. This light will be more consistent throughout the day and creates a soft tone in a room. You may find colours appearing darker and more muted in rooms with north-facing windows.

East-facing windows will allow for bright natural light in the mornings, but these rooms will be darker as the day progresses. While in the morning colours may be brighter, they may look slightly washed out later in the day. In contrast, rooms with west-facing windows will be darker in the morning and basked in light in the afternoon.

Artificial light and interior painting

Natural light is not the only factor at play when it comes to choosing colours for painting Vancouver homes. You will also want to consider artificial light such as overhead lights and lamps. Different bulbs will create varying hues in your home.

The tint colour of the light any given bulb will emit can be determined through its Kelvin measurement. Most interior light bulbs range from about 2700K to 5000K. Bulbs with a lower rating will emit a warmer and more yellow light, while higher Kelvin rated bulbs will be a cooler tone and closer to natural light. Before you commit to a paint colour, you or your Vancouver painters can sample your colours and experiment with different bulbs.

Understanding how light may change your perception of colours can help ensure that you are thrilled with your interior painting project in any light. When choosing colours, be sure to sample them at home so you will know exactly how your chosen colour will look on your walls.