The Importance of Lighting

Have you ever wondered why the same type of timber looks different in every house or showroom you visit when you know it is the same species?

Or why the paint you chose looks different to the paint in a friends house or a display sample you picked it from, even though it is exactly the same brand and colour?

Well there could be many reasons, but the most common answer is Lighting.

Light is often overlooked when choosing colour schemes, timbers and finishes. To not factor light into the equation when making these decisions will, almost definitely, be detrimental to your outcome and leave you wondering why it doesn’t look how you had pictured it or how you had viewed it elsewhere.

Once you understand the importance of lighting, you will never approach or look at a project in the same way again. Anyone who is keen on photography can tell you how important light is, for them it is pivotal to understand the importance of light and how it will effect the outcome of a photo.

When choosing colours or timbers it’s a good idea to approach your project much like a photographer would. When photographers are setting up for a photo shoot, they must match their camera to the surrounding lighting conditions or introduce artificial lighting. Artificial lights have set colour temperatures which enables the photographer to have complete control over the light, they can then set the camera to match, if they don’t, the resulting image will most likely have either an orange or a blue hue and overall, the colours won’t look the same as if you were standing there looking at the object as the photo was taken.

You may be wondering what photographs have to do with paint and timber colours, well the answer is everything.

Contrary to what most people believe objects don’t actually have any colour, the colour we see is what is reflected by the object we are looking at.

All the colours we can see are contained in what is known as white light, we often see the spectrum of colours in light when ever we see a rainbow.

A red apple is red only because it reflects the red rays of light contained within the light spectrum.

If you take a look at the image below you can see in the absence of all other colours, anything that isn’t red turns black, and the same happens to the green of a leaf. If you shine only green on it everything else that is not green will appear black.  If you shine only blue light on the apple the entire apple appears black.

Artificial lights can render colours differently, for example an LED light will most likely render light differently to an incandescent or a fluorescent bulb and therefore you will see colours of objects under these lights appear differently.

The biggest and most influential factor on colours is Colour Temperature, this is the thing that makes your photos look orange or blue. You have probably heard of lights being referred to as warm or cool, which is an accurate way of describing them as the colour temperature is measured in Degrees Kelvin, the lower the number the warmer the light, the higher the cooler.

When you view white at the correct colour temperature it will appear to be white but if you place a light that is 2400k in front of it, it will appear orange and a light that is 6000k will make it appear blue. Now think about how the lighting in your space will influence the colours of your paints, timber and finishes.

Before you settle on a timber or a paint scheme make sure you know what your current lighting is or your future lighting is going to be, it will make an enormous difference to the look and feel of your home. If your selecting paint colours buy sample pots and try a patch in the actual room, at the very least use sample chips.

If you visit Connollys showroom at 148 Gaffney St Coburg to choose flooring, we have a variety of lighting conditions set up already and we can demonstrate other lighting conditions and how they influence the look and feel of the floors.

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