Paint Color and Lighting: Tips and Information

Reblogger Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Real Estate Agent with Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)

Donna Danzo shares her expertise about lighting and paint color.  I find this information very useful, after struggling with 7 colors in my office.  Who knew lighting, LRV, etc. was so important!  Now I do.  

I hope you all find this as useful as I did.  Thanks again Donna!

Original content by Donna Dazzo

Recently I attended a Color and Lighting seminar for the trade at the Benjamin Moore showroom here in New York City, one of only three of their showrooms across the nation. As a home stager and interior redesigner, I often recommend paint colors to homeowners looking to "stage to sell" or "design to dwell", so I was anxious to learn as much as I could.

The two speakers were a Color Engineer and the Associate Manager of Color Design. 

The purpose of their presentation was to focus on how artificial lighting, as opposed to natural light, affects paint color. Natural light definitely affects the way a color on the wall is viewed. The color will look differently at various times of the day, and the exposure of the room, i.e., north, south, west and east, will also affect our perception of the color. That is why it's important to paint a small swatch of color on the wall, and then view it at various times of the day before making a color choice. 

Here are some interesting tips I learned from their presentations: 

•·         When choosing a color, paint a small swatch against a gray surface.

•·         Look at a color vertically against the wall, not horizontally in your hand.

•·         Two colors that may appear to match in one light source may not match under another light source. This is known as metamerism.

•·         Look for a Light Reflective Value (LRV) of 50% or more in paint to be used for residential interiors. LRV is the amount of light reflected from a painted surface (0% is the blackest black and 100% is the whitest white). The LRV for Benjamin Moore paint colors is listed in the index at the back of the Benjamin Moore "fan decks" (available through your paint store or design professional).

•·         When choosing a light bulb, try to get a Color Ranking Index (CRI) of 80% to 85% in order to show true and saturated colors.

•·         Incandescent light bulbs have a CRI of 100% but unfortunately will be phased out of production by 2014.

•·         Halogen light bulbs have the next highest CRI but they too will probably go the way of incandescent bulbs.

•·         Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs have a lower quality of CRI - 75%.

•·         LEDs are the newest form of lighting but have a very low CRI. However, they are great for outdoor lighting.

Copyright 2011 Designed to Appeal, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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About the AuthorDonna Dazzo is president and owner of Designed to Appeal, a home staging company serving New York City and the Hamptons.  Designed to Appeal helps homeowners and real estate agents sell homes quickly and profitably, by expertly creating an environment that buyers want to live in. Designed to Appeal also helps homeowners not looking to sell with interior redesign, which involves using mostly what the homeowner already has.  Donna writes frequently on home staging and interior decorating and design topics.

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Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


One of these days I will get a little bit better color coordinated. Not my best virtue

Apr 07, 2011 03:23 PM #1
Roger Davidson
DiSalle Real Estate Co. - Maumee, OH
Maumee, Ohio Real Estate

Great tips.  Color can mean so much.  I learned something new here today -- LRV and CRI.  Thanks.

Apr 07, 2011 03:39 PM #2
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

This is a great catch for a re-blog. I missed the original, so I really thank you for posting this. I found the idea of looking at color on the gray background very helpful.

Apr 07, 2011 03:40 PM #3
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Color Me Beautiful!   

Great tips and suggestions - Thanks for the re-blog, Elizabeth.  

Apr 07, 2011 03:55 PM #4
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Elizabeth, This is a very good discussion about color and light and the light bulb issue is beginning to have a lot of politics behind it. All I can suggest for people that don't like the light of the CFL's is stock up heavy on what ever you can get of the regular incandescents to last for whatever period of time you want them. I understand there is toxicity emitted when broken in the landfill soil by the CFL's and is needing a much more careful study of the long term affects.

Apr 07, 2011 04:12 PM #5
Bukka Levy
Keller Williams Realty - Petaluma, CA
REALTOR - San Francisco North Bay

This is a stong skill to have, most of us should get more of this.


Apr 07, 2011 04:45 PM #6
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA - Eureka, CA
Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA

An excellent post!  Thank you for putting it up again!

Apr 07, 2011 11:00 PM #7
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Elizabeth you are so right this was an informative post on a subject many struggle with.

Apr 09, 2011 02:19 PM #8
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Elizabeth  Excellent info to reblog.  I'm sure stagers and decorators are going to love the new bulbs

Apr 12, 2011 11:17 PM #9
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Beth, very good post to re-blog.  I found this very interesting and learned a couple of things.  

Apr 15, 2011 05:08 AM #10
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Elizabeth Cooper-Golden

Huntsville AL MLS
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