How Lighting and Paint Color Can Affect Color Rendering
Our expert, Randall Whitehead, IALD, explains how your walls can offset your light source.
How do I select floor and wall tiles for a bathroom devoid of natural lighting and lit with incandescent light? I’m eager to use a cream/ivory color scheme, but every tile I bring in looks beige or gray.
I actually called the person who posed this question because the result she was getting was in contrast to what should have been happening. Everything should have shifted towards the warmer tones. In completing my CSI investigation, I found out that the walls were painted a hunter green and it was the reflected light that was causing the color shift. Changing the wall color to a more neutral tone corrected the problem. All light is measured in degrees Kelvin. Daylight is 5000K and standard incandescent light is 2800K. Daylight is best for color matching but the cooler quality of the light is less attractive for warmer tones, including skin tone. People often run over to the window to see what the color of the tile or rug sample is, but then they are disappointed when they go home and put them in a room filled with incandescent light because they look so different than when they saw them in the store.
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

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