Change your Lightbulbs before Painting Your Walls this Spring

A warm and cosy parlour made even warmer with incandescent bulbs. Twin Gables, Calgary Alberta

A warm and cosy parlour made even warmer with incandescent bulbs. Twin Gables, Calgary Alberta

I have written a couple of posts recently about how the new lightbulbs affect our antique light fixtures but there’s another aspect that you might not have thought about – how the light bulbs affect the colour in your home’s environment.

If you, like many people, are still using incandescent light bulbs, the colour of your walls, whether paint or wallpaper, is given a warm yellow glow because of the colour of the bulbs.This means that the pale blue you chose at the hardware store will have a greenish cast when you paint your walls. Blue + yellow = green.

As we know, many light bulbs, including the old fashioned fluorescent, come in different “temperatures”. Home Depot has a simple chart of temperatures on its web site that you might want to check out:  Color Temperature of light Bulbs .

Some tips:

  • Decide if you want a cool or warm cast in the room you are thinking of painting. Because we are used to incandescent light we tend to favour the yellow part of the light spectrum. Test different bulbs and see how it affects the objects in the room. Forget the walls because you will be painting them anyway. In kitchens, test what different colours of light do to the appearance of your food. You’ll be amazed at what looks good in one colour looks awful in another and this is something that supermarkets and butcher shops are very aware of.
  • Once you have done your testing and made your decision, remove your incandescent bulbs in all your fixtures – that includes ceiling lights as well as floor and table lamps even if they are still working, and replace them with your new bulbs.
  • Now you are ready to choose your paint colours or wallpaper with peace of mind knowing you won’t have to repaint when your incandescents bulbs have bitten the dust.

Happy Painting!

4 responses to “Change your Lightbulbs before Painting Your Walls this Spring

  1. I really like the look of incandescent bulbs… so I am stockpiling 40, 60 and 100 watt bulbs.
    Great advice re bulbs and painting. Thanks

    • I love the look as well – nothing exudes that kind of warmth like the incandescent bulb. Good luck trying to stockpile:) Many of the box stores I have checked here are completely out of stock.They do have the smaller appliance bulbs with regular bases which can work in a pinch however.

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