March 17, 2011

One of our readers left a comment that I thought was very thought provoking so I thought I would share it. C K Sage wrote “I am stunned by the enormous impact that the shift to energy saving bulbs has on color in all kinds of settings. Perhaps this would be something you could address in this delightful exploratory world of color.”

I will attempt to address this very subject here today. As I started digging/surfing the web for answers I found that Popular Mechanics did a light bulb comparison of CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) vs incandescent. I figured this was probably a good place to start. The article has a technical breakdown, it’s informative and uses pictures to illustrate the points.

Here is an excerpt.

“Popular Mechanics designed a test pitting seven common CFLs against a 75-watt incandescent bulb. To gather objective data, we used a Konica Minolta CL-200 chroma meter to measure color temperature and brightness, and a Watts up? Pro ammeter to track power consumption. Our subjective data came from a double-blind test with three PM staffers and Jesse Smith, a lighting expert from Parsons The New School for Design, in Manhattan. We put our participants in a color-neutral room and asked them to examine colorful objects, faces and reading material, then rate the bulbs’ performance.”

Why not take it a step further and cover the various lighting situations (natural and artificial) throughout each room. I then found this website which does exactly that.

I hope this helps to answer some of your questions about lighting and color.