Choosing the Correct Color Temperature

Choosing the Correct Color Temperature

Finding the right color temperature can influence the look and feel of any room. From crisp and invigorating to cozy and inviting, understanding color temperature allows you to create the desired ambience that you are going for.

Let's first start with what color temperature is. Color temperature is a way to describe the light appearance provided by a light bulb. It is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000. Typically, commercial and residential lighting application Kelvin temperatures fall somewhere on a scale from 2000K to 6500K.

The light bulb's color temperature lets us know what the look and feel of the light produced will be. The color temperature of a light bulb is assigned using the basis of correlated color temperature (CCT). For instance, as a piece of metal is heated, the color of light it emits will change. The temperature of this metal is a physical measure in degrees Kelvin or absolute temperature. The color temperature of a light bulb is meant to replicate the Kelvin temperature of the metal object.

Now that we understand what color temperature is, we can decide which color temperature is right for you. At the lower end of the scale, from 2000K to 3000K, the light produced is called "warm white" and ranges from orange to yellow-white in appearance. The ambience becomes cozy, calm, inviting and intimate. All the characteristics you would want for your living room, bedroom, or restaurant.

The color temperatures between 3100K and 4500K are referred to as "cool white" or "bright white". Light bulbs within this range will emit a more neutral white light and may even have a slightly blue tint. The setting is bright and vibrant, great for basements, garages, work environments, task lighting, and bathrooms.

Above 4500K color temperatures brings us into the "daylight" color temperature of light. Light bulbs with color temperatures of 4500K and above will give off a blue-white light that mimics daylight. This crisp and invigorating atmosphere is best for display areas, security lighting, garages, and task lighting.

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