A tiny bit technical, but extremely valuable.
In 1869, Monet was painting at La Grenouillere when he realized that the color of an object is modified:
1. by the light in which it is seen,
2. by reflections from other objects, and
3. by contrast with juxtaposed colors.
Monet translated his observations into the glowing phenomenon we know as French Impressionism.
Remember: “The color of an object is modified by the light in which it is seen.”
Sunlight contains the full spectrum of visible light waves. When full-spectrum light falls on an object, the pigments in that object absorb (subtract) all the light waves except the ones you see. An orange appears orange because the orange light alone is not absorbed, but reflected back to your eyes.
The primaries of Subtractive Color Theory (reflected light) are red, yellow and blue. This is useful when mixing paints, pigments and ink. CMYK is Cyan (blue) Magenta (red) Yellow (yellow) and K (black.)
So why do televisions and computers have adjustments for red, green and blue? What happened to the yellow?
The primaries of Additive Color Theory are Red, Green and Blue. (Click the thumbnail of the RGB wheel to see enlarged RGB and CMYK color wheels along with a short, introductory video on color relationships.)
Pennie and I met Nathan Bludworth while we were climbing a mountain of boxes at a wholesale electrical supply company whose owner had skipped town. If we could just figure out what we needed for the academy's new tower, we could buy it from the landlord for pennies on the dollar. But we had no idea what we needed.
Noticing our confusion, Nathan – the only other customer in the place – said, “Do you guys need some help?”
He looked friendly enough and he seemed to know what he was doing, so I blurted it out. “There's a certain kind of light above the tables at Houston's Restaurant that put a pool of light on each tabletop, but leave the chairs mostly in the dark. Those lights create an an amazing atmosphere we've never seen anywhere else. We're just trying to figure out how they did it.”
Nathan smiled and stuck out his hand. “I'm Nathan Bludworth. I designed and installed the lights at Houston's.”
Nathan Bludworth paints with light, just like Monet painted with color.
The Color Rendering Index (CRI) measures color rendering from light sources with respect to natural sunlight. Natural sunlight equals 100 CRI, the best light available. So the closer the CRI number is to 100, the more closely colors will appear as they do in sunlight. Lights with the highest CRI numbers produce the clearest, most vibrant and natural-looking colors.
Electric lights can vary in “color temperature” between 2,000 degrees Kelvin (warm) and 9,500 degrees Kelvin (cold.) Low-temperature lighting is progressively warmer (more red/yellow), while high-temperature lighting grows progressively colder (more blue). Natural sunlight – 100 CRI – is 5,000 degrees Kelvin.
If the light contains no red wavelengths, the objects on which that light shines will not be able to reflect red back to your eyes…
Monet was right. “The color of an object is modified by the light in which it is seen.”
By using different bulbs – 2700 K, 3500 K, 5000 K and 6400 K – and shining them from different angles, Nathan Bludworth makes nature dance and glow and change colors as you move through it.
Nathan is one of those people that Wizard Academy Cognoscenti call, “our brand of crazy.”
You might meet Nathan during your next trip to Wizard Academy. If you're lucky, he'll teach you how to use light to give your customers whatever feelings you want them to have.
Do we have the coolest business school in the world, or what?
Roy H. Williams
PS – I heard a good explanation of blogs this week as they relate to social media: “Twitter and Facebook and all the other social media are like a party. You don't go to a party to sell things. You go to a party to initiate relationships. Sometimes you meet people at a party and later invite them over to your house where they can see what you're all about. Your blog is your house.”
The Oct. 27-28 session of Dave Young's incredible Blog and Website Workshop has 2 seats left available and each of them comes with free room and board in Engelbrecht House, Wizard Academy's amazing student mansion. You should do this. Watch the video.
NEXT WEEK'S MEMO:
Social Media: Myth or Miracle?
Wizard Academy is a nonprofit (501c3) nontraditional business school. We teach traditional business in a nontraditional way. Our goal is to help you accomplish whatever you're trying to do.
What are you trying to do?