After posting this answer, I was told that I should of set the Color Space to non-color. Hence my question, what is the purpose of the Color Space on image texture nodes in cycles? I have not set any of my image texture nodes to Non-Color Data and have not noticed any side effects.
The blender wiki is not too clear on the purpose.
For most color textures the default of Color should be used, but in case of e.g. a bump or alpha map, the pixel values should be interpreted as Non-Color Data, to avoid doing any unwanted color space conversions.