The impact of lighting on the perception of color


An incredibly important factor which influences our perception of colour is an element of illumination. The same colour used in a room of, for example, the south exposition, will look differently at sunrise than at noon or at sunset. Apart from daylight, artificial illumination plays a crucial role when it comes to colour perception, which should be installed in a reasonable manner and thus create the space perfectly.

Artificial illumination can be as follows:

• main upper, bright and dominative – lights up additionally the colours or emphasizes their colour, in general neutral for the colours, unless fluorescent lamps of cold blue light are used,

• side, dim, diffuse – makes impression of cosiness, intimacy, dims colours, makes them look deeper, perfectly matches the warm colours

• hard, spot, especially halogen – emphasises colours, highlights them and matches perfectly the cold colours as well as looks great with the warm ones.

• mixed – you can turn on two or even three sources of illumination and the whole room will be illuminated and show all the colours in full bloom

Similarly, natural daylight can have various shades and colours:

• rising sun – warm early in the morning but later cold, hard, focused, emphasizes cold colours and cools down, softens the warm colours

• afternoon, neutral white, very bright – lights up pastel colours till they become almost white

• setting sun of warm, orange and later red colour – highlights deeper colours from warm ones, softens and warms cold colours

• polarized, contrast – during days when the sky is light blue or even navy blue with clouds gliding – this light is cold – emphasises cold colours and cools down warm ones – in both cases, however, highlights hidden and dimmed colours

• cloudy day – flat, neutral and without any expression with relation to colours but makes them less expressive and more grey

Therefore north and east walls should be painted by bright and warm colours whereas south and west walls should be painted by cold ones.




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