Have you ever fallen in love with a paint color in a store, only to bring a gallon of it home and hate it on your walls? No, you didn't buy the wrong color or have a change of heart. You simply found out that the lighting in your home is very different than the lighting in the store. You've also learned an important lesson in home decorating: Never choose a paint color without bringing home a sample.
Blame it on metamerism
Metamerism is a term used by interior decorators, designers, and other professionals to describe the way light affects color. As an example, take the Valspar paint color Sweet Cardamom. This color has a beautiful tropical peachy shade beneath natural light, but takes on a dark pumpkin shade when exposed to incandescent lighting. Metamerism explains how this occurs. It is to blame for the way colors change in direct and indirect sunlight, during day and night, and even in different areas of the room. A dark corner of the room will cause a color to appear deeper, while an area by a sunny window will be lighter. It is scientifically impossible for a paint color to look the same everywhere and at different times of the day.
How light affects color
Incandescent lighting - One of the most common types of indoor lighting used in homes is incandescent, which brings out the warmer colors in the objects around it. Thus, if you want to cozy up an area of the home, you may want to bring in an incandescent light source. Also, this type of lighting is usually most flattering to our skin tone and appearance!
Fluorescent light - Objects that look great beneath incandescent lighting will change drastically under fluorescent. This type of lighting is bright, harsh, and will cause objects to loose their warm appearance. While great for task lighting, such as an office setting, it's not the best for ambient lighting. Moreover, skin tones tend to take on a grey or blue-grey appearance under fluorescent lights, which is not the look most of us wish to have.
Natural light - To get the truest representation of a color, natural light is the best choice. Some homes are very limited to the amount of natural light they receive, which is why many people now use full spectrum lighting at home This type of lighting is virtually identical to the appearance of natural light, and will help to elevate mood, reduce eye strain, enhance mental awareness, and is more energy efficient, too.
How to test a paint color
As mentioned earlier, never choose a paint color while in the store. Pick up a few samples of the shade you are considering, and tape them up on different walls. This will allow you to see the color at different times of the day, which will help you see how light affects color in the room. Even better, pick up a trial-size bottle of the color you like and paint a few small patches on each wall.
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Source: Personal knowledge