Why do dark colors absorb more light?

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The color of objects depends on the wavelength of the color that is able to reflect from them.  A blue box is perceived as having the color blue because the reflected light gives this particular shade.  While the blue part of light is reflected, the other colors are also absorbed by the object.  With this light behavior, one can say that darker objects, or things with dark colors, are able to absorb so much more light that almost no color is reflected and visible.  In the case of black, for example, much of the light is absorbed and so no parts of it is reflected, and so people see the object as dark or black.  When objects have seemingly dark colors, this is simply because the light energy is absorbed rather than reflected.  This phenomenon also explains the fact that lighter and brighter colors seem cooler when compared with darker colors.  With so much light absorption in dark colors, there is also an increase in heat in these shades.

When light is absorbed, it will literally be transformed into heat energy.  This means that wearing dark colors, for example, will be much warmer when compared to light-colored shirts.  This is only because the light-colored shirts are able to reflect much of the light rather than absorb it.  The light reflected will then make the light-colored clothes feel much cooler, and the wavelength of light reflected will also help the eyes see the brighter color in the clothes.

In terms of light energy being absorbed or reflected, the main factor affecting it will be the wavelength.  With black having a longer wavelength in terms of the visual spectrum, and when compared with all the other so-called lighter or brighter colors, the natural tendency is that it will be absorbed rather than reflected.  The dark color in objects is simply due to the fact that not much light is reflected on them as it is being absorbed, so what people see are dark hues.

Author: erwin

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