Different light sources can cause color fading and actually accelerate the process of fading fabrics and artwork. It depends on the amount of ultraviolet (UV) light each particular light source produces. Many people know that natural daylight can cause fading, but did you know that incandescent and fluorescent bulbs also cause fading? If you have heard of ESL (electron stimulated luminescence) bulbs, they are cousins to fluorescents and produce the same amount of UV as fluorescent bulbs. However, these bulbs contain no mercury.
Only LED’s produce no UV light and protect fabrics and artwork from fading. Even if you replace all your bulbs with LED’s, which is a smart choice for your electric bill as well, you most likely still have windows that allow natural light in during the day and will cause fading over time. No one wants to live with the curtains drawn all the time, so you may want to consider when and where the strongest daylight falls when arranging fabric-covered furniture and artwork in such a room.
Also remember, the color of light affects how wall color, flooring, furniture and artwork looks in a room. You cannot look at fabric samples, tile and paint colors just under a daylight situation. You must look at these materials under the color of light that they will be seen in after the sun has set. The perception of these colors can be greatly altered by the Kelvin rating of the light. Know your color temperature (Kelvin). Daylight is 5000K. We look better and food is more appealing with a Kelvin of 2700 to 3000. Soft white/warm white (2700 Kelvin) is best for bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms, providing a traditional warm, cozy feel to them, while kitchens and bathrooms it is suggested bright white/cool white (3000-3500 Kelvin) for a fresher, more energetic feel. Many paint stores now have lightboxes where you can view your paint choices under different lighting. And paint stores and fabric stores will frequently allow you to take a sample home to ensure it looks right in your home’s lighting.
Lighting is sometimes the last thing people think of when decorating a home, but it can be one of the most important as it can change the look of everything in the room and affect how long the fabrics and artwork in your home remain as vibrant as possible!
If you need help with lighting and color in your home, the experts at Nancy B’s House of Lights are always ready to help! We can answer any question you might have about placement and color and offer in-home consultations that can help you decide!