Color of Light

Grid Locations: AA-12; W-8; W-24

Color of Light – Planning for it – W-24

A home awash with light is sought after and treasured. Large windows invite the light. Deep porches temper it. Architectural shapes and their shadows emphasize it. Outside, the Sun shines the bright white color of light we call daylight. Inside, light sources most often radiate the more yellow color we call soft white. Because the perception of the color of everything in existence is entirely dependent on the color of the light illuminating it, choose architectural colors according to the type of light, whether daylight or soft light; the time of day whether dawn, midday, dusk, twilight, or midnight; and the ambience of any occasion, whether playtime, dance time, romance time, and sleepy time. Unlike other homebuilding projects, changing the mood is almost as easy as changing a lightbulb. Start out by knowing that the color of your home is based on the color of its lighting.

Color of Light – Applying it – W-8

Paint chips, swatches, samples of tile, granite, carpet, vinyl, laminate, wallcoverings, all seen according to careful comparative shopping in separate stores, warehouses, and on the computer screen. The best question to ask about all color samples is, “What’s the color of the light showing the sample?” Any color will have one appearance when viewed under day-bright spotlights in a showroom, or seen on a computer screen artificially lit from the back, where every color of the spectrum has a chance to shine; and another appearance in a setting with more subtle lighting, where some spectrum colors are actually masked out by the lightbulb, like in your home. Colors which appear bright and vibrant in a daylight colored showroom may, when you get them home and settled under a nearby incandescent or softly yellow colored bald, show a completely different color are few, and lose that vibrance, which was the reason you bought it. But you still have choices. It doesn’t matter which type of light you prefer, but it’s very important that your expectations are met. Look at samples in all colors of light to make sure the final look is pleasing.

Color of Light – Living with it – AA-12

You’ll be moving all your belongings into a new environment, the colors of which were chosen weeks, maybe months ago, from a selection of colors displayed under day bright spotlights in a showroom or store; or perhaps you did your shopping online and saw everything on a backlit computer screen. It’s very likely that some of your furnishings and accessories, old and new, don’t look the way you expect. Don’t panic. Remember: the perception of the color of everything in existence is entirely dependent on the color of light illuminating it. Correcting for an unexpected range of colors and hues is probably as simple as changing the color of the light bulbs. It’s easy, and quick; and in no time you’ll be sharing the light of your world with everyone you love, in your home.

COMPARISON of the Color of Light based on Temperature in Kelvins

The Sun has a Kelvin rating of 5778. The Kelvin scale was named after William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, who was a prominent Irish/Scottish physicist and engineer of the latter part of the 19th century. Thomson did important work on the physics of heat as well as other disciplines within the physical sciences.

The Kelvin scale is a temperature scale that is often used in astronomy and space science. You are probably more familiar with the Celsius (or Centigrade) scale, which is part of the metric system of measures, and the Fahrenheit scale, which is used in the English system.

The Kelvin scale is similar to the Celsius scale. Zero degrees is defined as the freezing point of water in the Celsius system. However, the zero point in the Kelvin scale is defined as the coldest possible temperature, known as “absolute zero“. Absolute zero is –273.15° C or –459.67° F. The “size” of a one degree change in temperature is exactly the same in the Celsius and Kelvin scales, so the freezing point of water is at a temperature of 273.15 kelvins (that is, 273.15 degrees above absolute zero). Water boils at a temperature of 100° C, which is 373.15 kelvins (or 212° F).


Left is lit by two standard, old fashioned 100 watt, incandescent light bulbs, which are 7′ above the chaise. The color is soft white, about 1200 K.

Right is lit by two modern LED bulbs with a 100 watt equivalent output, also 7′ above. The color is day light, about 5000 K.


Buy a subscription

Buy a subscription

just for yourself.

Give a subscription

Give a subscription

to someone

who might need help

building or remodeling.

Tell a friend about this website

Tell someone

who needs to see HBT.