Color Control

158. Mechanical lighting is so easily undertaken that it predisposes one to extravagance. Properly applied, artificial light adds materially to the charm of a room, but with illumination secured by the mere twist of the wrist one is prone to ignore the value of shadows and kill the beauty of light and shade by throwing illumination into the remotest corners. The danger to good decoration is not only in overlighting, but in overdecorating, and commercialism naturally encourages this ten

ency. The floor is frequently best treated if not entirely covered with a one-pattern treatment; the walls are frequently most pleasing if done in several papers instead of one. The most effective room is the one lighted in various degrees of strength, and while the decorator unconsciously follows this idea and avoids superabundance of pattern by using panels, friezes and wainscotings, we believe that each and every section or part of a room should be treated separately, observing, of course, a consistent spirit of design, preserving the period style and the general color effect; we would vary the actual shade of coloring and the size of pattern according to the dimensions of the wall space it occupies. The large patterns and the strong colorings which may be appropriate to an exposed wall are all out of proportion in narrow or darkened confines. Dark and deep recesses should obviously be treated differently to advanced or conspicuous spaces.

159. At a recent meeting of the Illuminating Engineering Society, D. McFarlan Moore made the following observations: “A few years ago there was practically no way of changing the colors of the various forms of lamps, that is, the candle had its color perforce; such a thing as modifying it was not dreamed of. The oil lamp had its color; the open burner gas flame its color, the incandescent lamp its color, and the arc lamp its color. At the present time there are only two ways widely in use of varying the color; that is, if a person wishes to have a light of a different color, there are two main ways of getting it. One way is to get another light source, and the other way is to use a diffusion globe of some kind, which in any instance is extremely unscientific and inefficient. Some of the most recent advances in this line are connected with the flaming arc lamp. There we have an instance where the first step, at least, was taken toward scientifically controlling the color value. I refer to placing different chemicals in the carbon and thereby obtaining a color which can, to a very great extent, be determined previously. But still it by no means can be said that by means of the flaming arc lamp the color factor is under perfect control. However, it is possible now to have the color value under perfect control, and this is obtained by utilizing a vacuum tube, and by changing the various gases used in the tube to change the color. This has many advantages, and from a scientific standpoint it cannot be criticised, as can the other methods which have been used. For example, if you use a properly regulated vacuum tube and feed it with air only, a pink light results; if you feed it with nitrogen a yellow light results, and such a light can be used for a great many purposes; in fact its range of usefulness so far as the color is concerned, is about the same as that of the ordinary incandescent lamp, and therefore can be used by florists or by clothing merchants, and the distortion is not any worse than that of the ordinary incandescent lamp. However, it is not by any means claimed that when a tube is fed nitrogen, that the color is at all near daylight; it is simply a color which appears about the same as that produced by the ordinary incandescent lamp. Due to the enormous radiating surfaces of the tube, the color in day time looks considerably redder than that of the incandescent lamp because the lamp is extremely small as compared with the tube. When such a tube is fed with carbon dioxide at a definite pressure, and at a definite intensity, a light is obtained that undoubtedly is closer to average daylight color values than any light which has ever been produced before, and we can almost say that it is entirely satisfactory. For instance, experts in matching colors in the largest dye works of this country, men who have tried all other forms of light, and found them not at all suitable for their uses, have matched their colors under a vacuum tube supplied with carbon dioxide and have found after months of practical use that they could not detect any difference between most delicate lavender shades, when they are matched at night time under the tube and in day time by daylight, not direct sunlight.”