14 December 2008

Blue light, yellow light

The quality and quantity of light influence the way we experience color: objects’ surfaces reflect only colors whose spectrum wavelengths are present in the illuminating light source.

The blue color is at its most beautiful in natural light because the incandescent lamp's yellowish light does not reproduce blue wavelengths. As today most indoor artificial light sources are still incandescent lamps, most indoor lighting is extremely yellowish. Consequently indoor blue colors under artificial light appear stuffy, even dirty and dull. They may even look greenish. On the other hand, yellows, oranges and reddish colors usually look good in the light given off by incandescent lamps.

In recent years, compact fluorescent lamps have proliferated as a result of their low energy consumption. Low energy consumption is an obvious economic advantage, but from the standpoint of color rendition compact fluorescent lamps are extremely problematic. They have an uneven spectral distribution, leading to situations where a colored surface may appear of a tint that has not been observed in normal daylight.

Because of the different kinds of spectral distributions in artificial light sources it is extremely important to check the colors in question under the lighting conditions where they will be actually used. Owing to its slightly bluish tint, natural light entering a space could significantly alter its color situation, unless the space has been designed with light source that imitate daylight.

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Form is the visual shape of mass and volume. Light makes form legible. There is no form without light.


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