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5 Things to Know About Lighting Your Home

5 Things to Know About Lighting Your Home

Have you ever spent an hour meticulously picking out a paint color, only to have it look completely different once painted in your home?  We are here to assure you that you’re not alone. Problems like this can be frustrating, and it’s something that most of our homeowners discuss with us during the design process.  Most people do not understand how light effects their environment but they know that it does.  Here are 5 things that you should know about lighting your home!

To start, each light bulb has specific properties that make it unique and affect your home differently. Understanding these difference has the power to create Transformative Lighting which alters the mood and aesthetic of any space. Today I am going to explain why and how lighting can be your advocate.

1. How to Read a Light Bulb Packaging

Transformative nature of light is created by three elements you need to know: Color Temperature, Color Rendering index or CRI, and Kelvins. Light is affected differently by each term and changes how the human eye perceives it. If your space feels too bright, just right, warm, cold, or inviting this relates to Color Temperature, CRI, and Kelvins.

2. Color Temperature, CRI, and Kelvins

One term you need to know is Color Temperature- Essentially the color of light. In example, if a light looks warm and inviting, bright and blue, or creepy and sterile this is the color temperature of the bulb at work. Kelvins, or a capital K located next to a number on the light bulb, give a numerical value to the color temperature. The Color Rendering Index, or CRI, is a number from 0-100 that measures how accurately you will see colors based on the Kelvins of a light source.

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3. Bright Daylight

So now that your brain hurts from all this knowledge let’s check out a real-life example of how Color Temperature, Kelvins, and CRI transform a color palette. Check out this first picture featuring a color palette we are working on with paint from Sherwin Williams. The colors are Peppercorn, Alabaster, Aura White, Porcelain, Kale Green, and Wall Street.

This picture was taken in indirect daylight in front of a window here at the office. Daylight is one of the most accurate light sources out there. It has roughly 5500 Kelvins with a color temperature that is bright and blue, and a CRI of around 90. The dark grey and green are almost jumping off the page with intensity in this light. The light colors look stark and crisp in contrast. This is Similar to the bright white light used in most stores, making merchandise look totally different than the warm inviting light that is typical in most homes.

4. Incandescent Light

The next picture is of the same color palette in the direct incandescent light.

Incandescent Light is typical in most homes. The bulb used in our office has 2700 Kelvins with a color temperature that is warm and inviting and a CRI of 70. Incandescent light creates a softer and more inviting experience, in contrast to the previous picture. This is typically the color temperature of lighting experience in homes.

5. LED Light

The last picture shows the same color palette under an LED bulb.

This bulb is a soft white and is a middle ground of sorts between daylight and incandescent light. The color temperature feels warm and bright, with 4200 Kelvins and a CRI of 85. My favorite color under this light is the Kale Green. It looks richer than the other two palettes and is reminiscent of leaves in spring.

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little about lighting from us. Stay tuned for more design tips, tricks, and info about all the awesome things happening at Ida York Design Group. If you have a topic you would like to learn more about email and we are happy to consider it.


Photo Credit: Britney Schreck

Color Pallete is a product of Sherwin Williams