Light and color are nothing without each other


The 2022 paint colors of the year trend towards tranquil, neutral, organic and green. Gone are the intense, saturated hues of the past, and gray, which dominated décor for a while, is definitely in the rear view mirror. 

From Behr we have Breezeway, a tranquil, pale green-blue hue. Olive Sprig, PPG’s color of the year, is a lush, yet relaxed, gray-green color. Guacamole by Glidden is a soothing avocado green. Each color is easy to use with a variety of other colors, easy to live with, evocative of nature and a fresh, light approach to room design. 

But what if you paint your living room walls with Guacamole and, instead of the soft, natural look you were seeking, the shade looks dull and a bit muddy? The culprit, says Sarah Fishburne, Director of Trend and Design for The Home Depot, is your lighting. Specifically, the color of your light bulbs.

You may think that light bulbs provide light and nothing more, but all interior lighting also adds color. For many years, incandescent bulbs were dominant in the industry, and homeowners used them without giving them much thought. Incandescent bulbs are made with a wire filament that is heated until it glows. The filament is enclosed in a glass bulb with a vacuum or inert gas to protect the filament from oxidation. They are very inefficient, converting less than 5% of the energy they use into visible light. The remaining energy is lost as heat.

LED lighting technology has been a huge energy savings and, for homeowners, it provides the opportunity to adjust the color of your light according to your preferences.

“With the touch of a switch, you can control the hue of the light,” says Fishburne. “Although many homeowners think of soft white and warm white bulbs to provide a comforting glow in our living spaces, those colors can often leave our blueish green walls feeling drab.”

She points out that, by using the right artificial lighting for your intended effect, you can control the colors and hues of your home at any time of day, regardless of natural light exposure.

“Cool paint colors, such as those in the blue, green, and gray family, pair well with bright lights,” she says. “Usually, you’ll see cool lights in workspaces or kitchens. 

“Soft white light bulbs provide warm and natural lighting. These lights will make bright colors such as red, orange and yellow, slightly more intense, and cooler paints such as green, blue, and gray will appear a little darker and duller. Also, dimmable bulbs allow you to alter the color impact of your paint. Dimmed lighting makes colors appear more muted, while increased light increases color intensity.”

Fishburne urges homeowners to choose light bulbs from the Eco Smart product line (available exclusively at The Home Depot.) 

“They have a 5 CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) feature that allows you to pick from five different color temperature options – with an integrated switch found directly on the bulb – to see which hue you like best with your paint color.”

When choosing paint colors, keep in mind that natural and artificial lighting work together during certain times of day, especially in summer, when dusk lasts longer. To check the effect of lighting on a paint color, turn on artificial lights during daylight to see what your color samples will look like. When considering paint choices for rooms such as a workroom, bath or kitchen, it’s a good idea to consider lightening needs to match the task, such as what lighting would be most beneficial when preparing food in the kitchen.

Here are Sarah Fishburne’s recommendations for the best lighting to compliment the 2022 colors of the year.

“If you are using Breezeway by Behr, you want the silvery blue green shade to bring out its undertones and evoke feelings of coolness and peace. I highly recommend pairing Breezeway with a vintage Edison daylight bulb from EcoSmart that gives homeowners that true vintage look with all the benefits of LED technology.

“For Olive Sprig by PPG: pair an EcoSmart 60-watt equivalent B11 Cage filament Dusk to Dawn LED vintage Edison daylight bulb with this gray-green color to mimic nature and brighten any space with organic liveliness. As we bring the outdoors inside our home, consider using a vintage Edison daylight bulb that mimics natural sunlight and displays an authentic look of incandescent bulbs.

“If you use Guacamole by Glidden, pair this soothing avocado-green with the EcoSmart 60-Watt Equivalent BA11 Dimmable Fine Bendy Filament LED Vintage Edison Light Bulb Daylight with to add organic energy to a variety of spaces and styles.”

Source: How Light Affects The 2022 Colors Of The Year

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