Lighting effects on Coloured Glass
Variation of colour and glass thickness
When installing the same colour back painted glass in the same location, for example a worktop and splashback in your kitchen, there will be a visual colour variation as the painted surface is being viewed through different thicknesses of glass and on different planes. The smaller the panel of glass, the more light will be transmitted through the edge; therefore it is always worth trying samples of your chosen colour in the location where they are to be installed. Our Surveyors will have a full set of our standard colour samples with them when they attend site to survey for you to do this.
Gx Glass deem a panel of glass acceptable if any marks or blemishes in the glass or paint are not clearly visible from two metres away. Please note that this is why we are are unable to offer metallic or black paint finishes on 19mm thick toughened glass, this is due to the pitting that can occur during toughening which means that the paint can pool in these slight indentations, which can affect the visual quality of the paint finish.
How Does Light Affect Back Painted Glass?
Why may ColourX glass samples or your finished installation look different when in situ? The installation may look different depending on the time of day and your chosen lighting. So why is this? It's down to an effect called metamerism - you have probably experienced this effect when putting on socks; in incandescent light, it may look like you’ve put on two black socks, only to find out that in different light, such as fluorescent or natural light, that one sock is dark blue.
This can happen with paint colour as well. Both the sample and the source of illumination can affect your perception of colour, so when viewing glass, it should be viewed at a distance of least two metres and at an angle of 90 degrees, under normal daylight conditions.
Natural light affects the way colours appear in various locations. And the effect this light has depends on the direction in which it comes into the room and the position of the sun. If your room is north-facing, the light that enters will be softer and will produce a warmer effect, with darker hues looking darker and light colours a touch more subdued, this is because light from the north adds a touch of blue.
If the location has a southern exposure, it will receive the most intense light. Darker colours will be somewhat brightened and light colours (especially white) have the potential to leave the room washed out.
In the evening, a west facing room will have warmth from the setting sun, adding orange hues and can leave room’s that are orange, red, or yellow looking over saturated. likewise, eastern exposure adds a bit of green.
The best way to determine how natural light will affect ColourX painted glass is always to test a sample of the paint colour in the chosen location. Because one area might be illuminated by direct sunlight, while another stays in the shade, you will be able to get a good idea of how ColourX works in the location overall, also, check the sample colours throughout the day to see how they change as the natural light changes. If you find that the light does affect the colour, you can adjust for this by going a shade darker or lighter with your colour.
Please also note that depending on the time of year, the effects of artificial light combined with natural light may produce a different hue in the evening also.
Interior residential lighting is usually a combination of incandescent, fluorescent and sometimes halogen lights. Depending on what combination you have will in turn affect your ColourX glass. Check your samples with the lights on in the room the way you would normally have them on and see how the ColourX sample looks under that particular light. It is worth noting that if your panel is both in shadow in part and in the light in part, that it will affect the ColourX paint look - dark colours may seem dulled in these areas and lighter colours may seem a bit brighter.
Incandescent light bulbs provide warm light with a touch of yellow or amber and are warmer than fluorescent bulbs. Bright and warm colours like red, yellow or orange will appear more intense if your location is lit by incandescent bulbs. Cooler colours like blues or greens may be dulled a bit by incandescent lighting.
Standard fluorescent lights give off a cool, slightly bluish light and work well with cool colours like blues and greens. Some more specialised fluorescent lights can give off warmer light, but not to the degree of an incandescent.
Halogen lights are closest when it comes to replicating natural light. Halogen light is mostly white and bright and doesn’t distort colour as much as other artificial light sources. However, it can sometimes cool down colours.
Particular colours play a part in how much they may or may not change in certain light. Whites and off-whites may seem vanilla, but they are often very adaptable to all light conditions. This can also be said of pale shades of other colours. However, whites and other light colours can sometimes reflect hues from objects in the room, such as furniture, flooring, etc. Brighter, richer colours can often be problematic and colours like khaki, sage and taupe are some of the worst offenders when it comes to changing under different lighting.
Hopefully this may give you some pointers when choosing your ColourX painted glass and understanding how light can affect paint colour.