Choosing Color with Confidence: How Lighting Affects Paint Colors

Dining room paint
March 21, 2023
By Fresh Coat


Have you ever heard that the same color of paint can look completely different from one room to the next? You’re not crazy, lighting plays a huge impact on the final look of your Fresh Coat of paint. Lighting dramatically changes the appearance of your paint color, and sunlight is no exception. 

If you take the same can of paint and apply it in two separate rooms, one that has natural lighting and one that has artificial lighting, it will look like two different paint colors. Color never stands solo. Any kind of lighting – daylight, artificial light – can dramatically change the appearance of paint colors.  When selecting a paint color and decorating your home, lighting plays a big part. There is an art to balancing the type of lighting, gloss level, and impact of other colors in the space when bringing a look together.

When you mix color and light you are essentially mixing two colors together. Different types of lighting have different color temperatures that play a crucial role in the perception of the colors you have selected for a project.

Early morning light brings warmer tones to your walls because the sun is lower on the horizon. On the same token, you may notice your walls appear washed out at lunchtime when your space receives the most sunlight. 

Nonetheless, your painting project can be changed by the lighting outside or the type of lightbulbs in your home. Learn the tips and tricks for choosing a paint color so you can plan your next painting project with confidence.  

Interior painting

Natural Lighting 

It’s easy to overlook the impact of natural sunlight; however, it can drastically alter the look of your paint color. The position of the sun at different times of the day can be the cause of your color-changing walls.

For instance, in the morning, colors may appear warmer than usual. Your walls may radiate a golden tint and brighter hue during the early hours of the day. The angle of the sun is a result of this change. Every home has its own unique lighting patterns that affect interior colors. Windows facing east may flood your room with lots of natural light in the mornings but are typically darker later in the day. Dark colors may appear intense in the brighter morning light but may have a different effect as the morning light fades.

In the afternoon you may experience direct sunlight. Your walls will often look cooler, muted, and pale in tone. As the evening approaches, you’ll notice that rays of red, orange and yellow will illuminate your space. This results in a warmer tint and richer hue.

Ultimately, these elements are why the same paint color may appear different in two separate rooms. Nonetheless, the direction in which your space receives natural light is also important to consider. The bottom line is that it’s essential to pay attention to the direction of natural lighting in your space.

Oftentimes, if a room is facing north, the colors will be brighter compared to a room facing west. If your room is west-facing, you may notice the space receives more shade than usual. This can result in a washed-out or faded look on your walls. If you are not keen on the washed-out look, check out artificial lighting. 

painting interior

Artificial Lighting

Every homeowner utilizes artificial lighting but they may not be aware of its influence. Artificial lighting plays a major role in the appearance of your paint color. This is caused by the bulbs ability to emit their own hues at different brightness. Let’s dive into the different kinds of bulbs and their impact.

Smart LEDs are adjustable so you have the choice between warm or cool tones. This can be a huge benefit. It gives the homeowner the ability to change the lighting in a room so it perfectly compliments their paint color. If you’re looking for a bulb that can adapt to any given atmosphere, this is the choice for you.

Incandescent bulbs emit yellow light that intensifies warm tones but tends to have the opposite effect on cooler colors. 

Halogen bulbs are a form of incandescent light that produces a combination of yellow and white light to brighten your space. If you are hoping to showcase a vibrant paint color, this may be the choice for you.

Fluorescent lighting emits blue light. These bulbs highlight blue and green paint colors but pair poorly with red, orange, and yellow. 

Soft White Fluorescent bulbs are comparable to incandescent bulbs. However, its warm glow makes all colors appear paler than usual. 

Full-Spectrum Fluorescent bulbs perfectly replicate natural sunlight but are typically the most expensive option.

Making confident color choices means paying attention to details that are often overlooked. When choosing your next paint color, be sure you’re balancing elements of natural and artificial lighting so they work together effortlessly. At Fresh Coat Painters, we understand that you are busy and may not have the time to paint your home. We offer affordable professional house painting services for the homeowner that demands the perfect color and impeccable standards.

Check Before You Paint

Think about the time of day when the room you are painting typically gets the most use. Pay attention to how the colors appear during those times. With natural lighting from windows, you may be able to adjust the flow of the light to get the exact color you want. If your problem is with artificial lighting, try experimenting with different types of bulbs to see how they affect the color. 

interior painting services

Let Fresh Coat Painters Help

How long to paint a house’s interior varies depending on the home and the proficiency of the homeowner. At Fresh Coat Painters, we understand that you are busy and may not have the time to paint your home. We offer affordable professional house painting services for the homeowner that demands the perfect color and impeccable standards.

Leave the job to the professionals and have your home upgraded the right way. To learn more about our team or to schedule your appointment, get your free quote from Fresh Coat Painters now.