The other day, I received a call from the Manager at our Jenison RepcoLite, John Boomsma (see inset). He had just run into a crazy situation in the store and figured I could make use of the information on our blog.
John explained that he had received a phone call earlier in the week from a customer who was extremely frustrated. She was at a loss–didn’t know what to do. See, she had just painted two rooms in her home. As most people do when getting ready to paint, she had agonized for a few days or weeks over colors.
Finally, after much effort and after asking her family 100 times which color they liked the most (and then opting for the color she liked the best despite what they said), she painted both rooms.
And that’s when things got weird.
In room 1, she loved the color. It was perfect. It blended with the fabrics, the carpet, the trim and so on. It was exactly the look she had wanted.
However, she was shocked to discover that she hated room 2. The color looked terrible with the fabrics, the carpet, the trim, and so on.
The weird thing? The color was the same in both rooms. So was the fabric. And the carpet. And the trim. Identical rooms painted with the exact same color out of the exact same gallon and room 1 looked beautiful and room 2 looked terrible.
So she called RepcoLite in Jenison where she bought the paint, wanting to know what was going on.
Now, I’ll admit that while John was telling me this story, I was a little intrigued. These things are sometimes like mysteries and it can be fun and rewarding to puzzle them out and find a solution. However, I have to be honest: I wasn’t sure, from what I was hearing, what the problem could possibly be.
I assumed maybe a paint color problem. Maybe the roller she used had paint in it from another job. Maybe the previous color on the wall was showing through, making the color in room 2 look different.
I had a number of different theories, but then John said “you know what the problem was? You know what went wrong?”
I waited. He waited. (Turns out he wanted me to say “no, I don’t know what the problem was” before he’d continue.) So I admitted ignorance (which made him happy), and he explained, in a single, compound word: “lightbulbs!”
He went on to explain that the customer had an incandescent lightbulb in room 1–the room she loved. In room 2, the lightbulb was one of those fluorescent, energy-saving bulbs. The tone of the light coming from each of those bulbs was enough to visually alter the color on her walls.
The fix? Simple: change bulbs.
The customer tried the fix and was back in the store a day or so later to report that everything turned out well. Instead of repainting a room–going through all that work and spending that extra money–all she had to do was change a lightbulb.
So the point of the story, if it’s not obvious, is this: lighting matters! Check out your colors in your room, in your lighting before you buy and before you paint. And likewise, before you give up on a color that you thought you liked but find that you really hate when you see it on your wall, give some thought to the lighting in your room. Could a simple changing of a lightbulb make all the difference? It’s at least worth a try!