Light & the Change of Color

Okay all you science type people out there, I need your help.

Recently the hubster and I are changing all our standard light bulbs to florescent ones because they are more energy efficient.  Sitting on the table next to our couch is one she uch lamp containing one such bulb.  Under the lamp is a smooth crystal bowl with flecks of light lavender in it. 

The other day the hubster queried me about the color of the flecks.  “Were they blue?  I thought they were purple!”

I looked at the bowl and sure enough the flecks were blue not purple!  Surmising the light may have had something to do with it, we took the bowl away from the light and put it elsewhere.  After a couple days it turned back to lavender!

What the heck is going on?!


4 thoughts on “Light & the Change of Color

  1. Thanks everyone for your explanations. That makes a ton of sense. It is puzzling why it takes so long for the bowl to go back to purple from blue. It is really cool no matter what.

  2. Your friends are correct. The light spectrum for incandescent and fluorescent light is different. Flourescent lights are not as warm and tend to give off a different color. Our fluorescent lights tend to bring out the bluer colors in my face, stripping away the warm red of the incandescent bulbs. Your face looks rosier under the incandescent bulbs. I wish I was under there more.

    And those fluorescent bulbs do make an energy difference. It was noticeable in our electric bill the month we put in fluorescent bulbs. And they last forever and a day too.

  3. I am guessing it has to do with energy states…electrons in certain molecules respond to certain wavelengths and the electrons are excited (really…that’s the word I recall from my analytical chemistry days) into higher energy states by a source of energy causing the color change…and after time away from the energy source the electrons return to their normal energy state and normal color. But admittedly a few days seems like a long time.

    I could have explained this better 25 years ago when the information was fresh and I was young and my brain worked better!

    I really hate fluorescent lighting. If I recall correctly it gives off more UV rays than incandescent…and for years it was so “Blue”…now they have added more pink to the lighting to make it more tolerable. Nonetheless, we have installed those squigglely fluorescent bulbs in all of our overhead lights…with the focus on energy savings, too…but not energy from the power company so much as energy of a more personal nature…those bulbs shouldn’t need changing for several years!

  4. Wave lengths! I can’t quote chapter and verse as to the exact wave length involved, but each type of lamp emphasizes a different wave length within the electromagnetic spectrum. The elements in the bowl respond differently to the various light sources. Did you ever have one of those multi-light make-up mirrors? One for day light, evening light, office light? Same issue.

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