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Metameric Color Matching; What Causes Metamerism in East Hampton, NY?

How many times have you or someone you know, picked out the perfect paint color at the store, only to come home and hate it? It happens, often. Obviously the paint in the can didn’t change from one place to the next so what has happened? How can that paint look perfect and match the fabric swatch you brought into the store perfectly, only to change when you arrived home? The answer is metamerism. L.W. Winslow Painting, Inc. would like to explain metamerism and what effect it can have on the color you choose for your walls.

What Causes Metamerism?

It is no secret that light directly affects color. Not only does it affect it, but color would not exist without light. If light is taken away, there is no way to distinguish between one color and another. Color is created because of reflected light. Without it, color would cease to exist. Metamerism is the phenomenon of light inconsistency. When two objects look like they are the exact same color under one light source, only to look completely different under another. Metamerism put simply means, color changes when placed under different light conditions.

Are All Colors Affected By Metamerism?

Different sources of light have different effects on color. For example, when you are choosing your paint at a large home improvement store, they are most likely using fluorescent lights to illuminate the store. Fluorescent lights bring out cooler (blue and green) tones in color. If you have chosen a beige that you really like, you may get home and that beige will all of a sudden look pink. That warm tone was totally muted when you were at the store. Some different ways color is effected by light might be:

  • Halogen bulbs- Are bright and bring out cooler tones
  • Incandescent bulbs- Will make everything look more yellow
  • Full-Spectrum Bulbs- Closest you can get to natural and more neutral light
  • Daylight bulbs- Make colors look cooler and try to mimic the light you might find outside

Look at Paint at Many Different Times During the Day

Not only does the lighting in your home often make the color look different than it did in the store, natural light throughout the day will have an effect on your color. During the morning hours, natural light makes everything glow warmer. As the day goes on, natural light will start to cool things off and by dusk everything will look much cooler. In your home, the color of your walls may change with the time of day. Your walls may look one color in the morning and look quite different by the time evening approaches. Then when you add the use of the different kinds of lighting in your home, it may add another layer of change to your color. It is important to test your paint samples throughout an entire day and with the many types of lighting you are planning to use.

Interior Painting & More in Amagansett, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Hampton Bays, Montauk, North Haven, North Sea, Noyack, Quogue, Shelter Island, Sag Harbor, Sagaponack, Shinnecock Hills, Southampton, Springs, Wainscott, Water Mill, Westhampton, Westhampton Beach, New York

Picking out the colors in your home can be tricky. Don’t let the ways paint color changes overwhelm you. The professionals at L.W. Winslow Painting, Inc have years of experience working with every color of the rainbow. We can give you the help you need to pick the perfect color for your home. Call us today!

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