In these times of looking for the best lighting efficiency, “changing the bulb” for a low energy one is the predominant response to the issue. Additionally the idea that a “small” low energy bulb affects only marginally our general electricity consumption remain well rooted in the common mind.
The light reflected by the surfaces and that emitted by light sources interact to produce the spectrum that is perceived by our eye. Since colors and surfaces significantly affect the lighting of a space, good lighting can not be designed without considering the characteristics of the environment itself and especially the colors present in it.
Obviously individual taste in terms of decoration, such as wall colors and furniture, must be taken in consideration. But only as much as they do not end up multiplying “small” low energy bulbs, as, in the end, all these low energy light bulbs, plus some halogen in the hall, plus a pair of table lamps and a few spots, are capable of burning one third of our electricity bill at some times of the year.
Furniture also impacts the brightness of a space. Not because of its color, but rather because of the quantity of furniture. How often do we see clutters of cabinets, ornaments, pictures, maps, tables, chairs and more darkening entire living spaces? Before you start filling every inch of white wall or every inch of floor you better consider how much this will cost you in terms of energy. And not only for lighting, but also for vacuum cleaning...