Have you ever went on a shopping spree at your local mall or outlet, taking advantage of the great deals on clothes to supplement your wardrobe? Coming in and out of the store’s dressing room you stand in front of the mirror and admire the bright, fresh colors and patterns. Looking good, you think to yourself. And with that, you make your final selections and head home in satisfaction wondering which item you’ll wear to work the next day. The next morning you get up excited to try on your new dress shirt or blouse, but notice something amiss. The color seems off. Way off. Walking into the bathroom and flicking on the light reveals a bitter disappointment. That shirt you thought was a deep purple – was really maroon. Disaster!
It’s all happened to us at least once, but it doesn’t stop at clothing. The effects of fluorescent lighting and color changing can most commonly be seen in cloth couches, curtains, and even food. Why does this occur? The reason has to do with the kind of light being used both in your own home and the store in which your products were purchased. Most stores use fluorescent light that naturally emits shorter wavelengths of blue and green. Most homes today still use incandescent bulbs in many of their rooms. Incandescent lights give off longer wavelengths of red light. This is why incandescent bulbs appear to give off a “warmer” glow and fluorescents seem to give off a “white” glow.
That’s why that purple garment you thought you bought at the store was really red all along!
Fluorescent Lighting Solutions?
One of the best ways to keep yourself from being surprised by a “color change” when buying clothes or curtains for your home is when you walk out the store, take them out of your bag and look at them under the sunlight. The sun gives off the widest range of colors in its light spectrum and will reveal the true color of the garment away from the effects of fluorescent lighting.
If the lighting your home is mixed (meaning you have fluorescent lighting and incandescent) you may want to consider getting some consistency going. Another great way is to purchase new fluorescent light diffusers that work to block certain wavelengths, making the light distribution more even and less harsh – giving you a truer sense of color.