Paint Colours For Different Lighting

It can be a tough and daunting process when choosing a paint colour for wherever your next painting project is. It seems like there are too many options, but your first step is to understand that colour won’t look the same 24-hours a day.

You need to consider the light an object absorbs (black absorbs all colours, while white does not) and how the light source operates (natural light changes throughout the day while artificial light changes based on the type of lightbulb you use). First, assessing the area in sunlight allows you to get a base idea of what colours you should be choosing for your room and then using artificial lighting will allow you to control the colours of your room at any time of the day.


North – Since north-facing rooms tend to be dark as the light is cooler, it is recommended to stick to warm colours — anything without gray or blue undertones — as it will ensure that your room doesn’t look dark and dingy. You don’t have to stick to neutral as bold colours will also be enhanced by the cooler light and show up better than soft colours, making your space appear larger. Make sure to pay attention to undertones.

South – South-facing rooms are the easiest to choose a colour for as they are filled with light most of the day. The bright light will illuminate cool and warm colours. Darker colours will appear brighter, while light colours will have more of a glow.

West – West-facing rooms can be trickier to work with as they get different natural light throughout the day. During the morning, they don’t get much light, but throughout the day this changes and the room warms up, emphasizing bright colours.

East – East-facing rooms have the opposite problem of west-facing rooms. Sunlight coming in from the east will have warm and yellow tones in the early-morning to afternoon and will turn blue in the evening. The suggested colour for these rooms is red or yellow.

Artificial Light

Incandescent Bulbs – The warm light of incandescent bulbs will make red, orange and yellow rooms vivid.

Fluorescent Bulbs – Fluorescent bulbs have a blue tone and will enhance rooms painted blue or green.

Halogen Bulbs – These bulbs replicate natural light as they are mostly white and bright. They do not change colour as dramatically as other bulbs. When testing out colours, it best to use halogen lighting but keep in might that they have a tendency to cool down colours.

In order to get the perfect paint colour that you want for your next project, test colours out by painting squares on primed drywall and move them around during the day to see how it changes in different lighting. For all of your painting needs, Monarch Paints offer a wide selection of the best paint brands, in myriads of colours, making the room of your dreams possible. Come in and speak with one of our experts at either of our two handy locations.