Coloured lighting can add drama and character to your home if used in the right way. Lighting expert Sally Storey, author of Perfect Lighting, shares her top tips on how to achieve perfect coloured lighting.
Coloured light creates the most dramatic effect in a white space, as white walls will strongly reflect the colour projected against it. A coloured wall will take on the hue of the light, but will not reflect it in the same way. Any objects in the space will also reflect the colour.
Often seen in bars and restaurants, coloured light can be used within the home as a fun feature in a cinema room or child’s room, or to introduce an accent colour or perhaps to backlight a glass panel in a bathroom. Colour can also be used with glass to create a changing and dramatic effect. A glass screen with a frosted pattern can be edge–lit, so that light travels through the clear glass and colour will show only where the frosted elements are. The screen can be white or changed at the touch of a button to shocking pink or midnight blue.
The most popular source is LEDs (light–emitting diodes), which are made up of the primary colours of light: red, green and blue. Combining these creates white light, but an infinite palette of colours can be achieved by changing the balance of the three colours. A more straightforward method, producing a subtle effect, is to use a gel over a light source.
Light sources have different ‘colour temperatures’, making some appear whiter than others. Use colour sparingly for fun and impact, but play with the qualities of white light and use it to create different effects within the home.
Fluorescent lights, with a colour temperature of 5000K, give an icy white light, which can be too harsh and clinical. The best way to use these energy–efficient lights for a daylight effect is either diffused behind glass or bounced off the ceiling.
Tungsten filament lamps create light by heating up the internal filament to such a high temperature that both light and heat are produced. The resulting light has a colour temperature of about 2700K and a warmer appearance.
Manufacturers found that halogen gas inserted in the glass casing of a tungsten filament lamp (bulb) created a whiter light with a colour temperature of 300K. When the aim is to achieve the feeling of sun streaming into an interior, a halogen lamp does the job.
A room that is decorated in a warm colour such as beige or red will be enhanced by a warmer light source, whereas a blue or green room will be accentuated by a cooler white light because there is more blue light in its colour spectrum.
All extracts were taken from the book Perfect Lighting – Inspiring Solutions for Every Room by Sally Storey.
Read more posts by mydeco.