Guide to Lighting Temperature

Light Blub

If you spend any time hunting for lighting solutions, you will have heard plenty of chatter about LED’s temperature challenges. When LED bulbs first hit the marketplace, they were severely limited to cool colors, which meant if you wanted a natural aesthetic, you had to choose a halogen bulb. Over the last five years, LED has evolved to achieve such an incredible range of temperatures that halogen has become all but extinct in new buildings.

Understanding the Basics

Even white light can have different temperatures, so regardless of how creative you become with your colors, you need to get a feel for different kelvins. Halogens have a temperature of about 2700K, while daylight usually has a temperature of about 6500K, which is much cooler.

Blue Light

Light that’s over 4600K is invigorating and crisp, but it is certainly not blue, only cool. Kelvin measures the perceived warmth of light, but nanometers measure precise wavelengths. This measurement is responsible for the vibrant indigo, green, and amber you might see in city-scapes. In contrast, kelvins indicate the temperature of white light. If you’re looking for dramatic hues, you’re seeking more saturation, and not necessarily more kelvins.

Why it Matters

Kelvins will change the way your room or building’s palette appears at night. You can choose lower values if you want to accentuate the blue or green in your décor. If you need the room to gain warmth by night, a 2500K light will contribute well. A 5000K provides more accuracy and thus makes excellent task and commercial lighting. The latter can lack ambiance.

The lighting industry has evolved dramatically enough to offer a huge range of LED temperatures, even in the same device, so playing with saturation, hue, and kelvins gives you enough precision to achieve your goals.

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