Get your sunglasses out – it’s all about the neon brights

This month’s colours are bright, bright, bright. From the catwalk to the kitchen, neons, fluorescents and acid brights are where it’s at. But what exactly makes fluorescent colours so bright? Wait for it… here comes the science bit. Fluorescent colours absorb some shorter wavelength (bluer) light and emit some longer wavelength (redder) light in random directions, giving them a “diffuse reflectance” greater than 100%. Our eyes know that they don’t often see that, so they get quite excited in the presence of a neon!

More importantly, what does this mean for your interiors? You can go the whole hog and introduce great swathes of bright colours, but a more refined take on this trend is to combine them with pastels and neutrals. The Scandinavians, and in particular Danish brand Hay, are doing this particularly well.

Top neon facts:

The first fluorescent paint “Fire Orange” was invented by Joe and Bob Switzer. It was first used in World War II rescue and safety operations.

Naturally occurring mineral Fluorite can be fluorescent under ultraviolet light (UV). Typically it fluoresces blue but other fluorescent colours include yellow, green, red, white and purple.

Coldplay’s video for Charlie Brown features 50 dancers painted in day-glo paint, who reportedly danced for eight hours straight during filming.


“They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. They say there’s always magic in the air.” (George Benson)

Images, top: Leading the charge in the fashion world is the Cambridge Satchel Company and its eye popping range of fluorescent bags. For the full spectrum of bright citrus tones, check out the Incunabular Sideboard by Invisible City. Hay combines neon orange with a lighter grey in this covetable Plisse stationery range. Lee Broom was ahead of his time when he lit up this Louis XVI chair in hot pink neon. A limited edition of just 25 worldwide, it was part of his Neo Neon collection.

Images below: Accessories such as teapots and mugs from QDO and PO from ACHICA are a great way to add a touch of neon bright to your home.

Banksy's Rat Catcher, at ACHICA, can run but it can't hide the neon bright spots...

Meanwhile, artist Simon Parker, at ACHICA this week, does London and Paris proud in his bright and iconic cityscape depictions.

The ACHICA Living blog brings you style inspiration from ACHICA.

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Katie Treggiden, Guest Editor

View all posts by Katie Treggiden, Guest Editor