HOW DO I CHOOSE THE COLOR TEMPERATURE OF AN LED?
The LED lighting market has grown to include all types of choices. One of those choices is the color temperature of the lighting. Color temperature is measured in Kelvins (K) and indicates how warm or cool the color of the light appears. Despite common belief, “whiter” LED light isn’t always better!
5000K COLOR RANGE
Lighting that’s in the 5000K color temperature range is blue-white in color. The quality of this light is bright and crisp. Small details stand out under this type of light because of the color contrast this crisp light offers. This LED color is best used in industrial spaces, such as factories, or other workplaces where details are important, such as surgery and exam rooms.
4000K COLOR RANGE
The 4000K color temperature range for LEDs is neutral white. This color range produces a balanced color tone, not too blue and not too yellow. This creates an environment that can keep employees alert through the day. Spaces that would benefit from this type of light would be commercial spaces, retail spaces, hospital offices and hallways, and office spaces.
3000K COLOR RANGE
LED lighting in the 3000K color temperature range is yellow-white in color. The slight yellow warmth adds coziness to an interior space. This creates an inviting environment perfect for commercial spaces. Places that would benefit most from this color temperature include spas, hotel lobbies, and other areas that need a welcoming touch.
Color temperature can create a certain atmosphere in a commercial setting, energize employees, or add the ability to see details clearer. Depending on your space, you may need a different color temperature than you might have thought.
Applicability: All LED Products
LED lighting offers many benefits and features that were difficult, if not impossible to offer with other lighting technologies. Many of the obvious benefits, such as substantial operating energy and cost reductions, longer life, and lower overall heat generation are generally well known. Another feature that allows for dramatic appearance and productivity benefits now and in the future, involves the color temperature of the light produced by LEDs.
Lighting Color Temperature Measurement Beginnings
“White light” is commonly described by its color temperature. Measuring the hue of “white” light started in the late 1800s, when the British physicist William Kelvin heated a block of carbon. The block of carbon changed color as it heated up, going from a dim red, through various shades of yellow, all the way up to a bright bluish white at its highest temperature. The measurement scale for color temperatures, which was named after Kelvin as a result of his work, was based Centigrade degrees. However, since the Kelvin scale starts at “absolute zero”, which is ‐273°C, you can get the equivalent Centigrade temperature (compared to the visible colors of a heated black body) by subtracting 273 from the Kelvin color temperature.
Color Temperature Scale Application
The term used in general illumination is correlated color temperature (CCT). CCT relates to the color of light produced by a light source, and uses the Kelvin temperature measurement scale (SI unit of absolute temperature). It describes the relative color appearance of a white light source, indicating whether it appears more yellow/gold (“warm”) or more blue (“cool”), in terms of the range of available shades of white.
Many people are now familiar with the idea of a “warm” white or a “cool” white being offered by fluorescent and other light bulbs. These bulbs have vastly different color temperatures. The “warm” bulb often has a color temperature of 3,000K and casts a more orange/red light on objects. Because you normally associate warmth with red or orange objects, this accounts for the “warm” descriptive name, even though it is a cooler (lower) temperature on the Kelvin scale. A “cool” white bulb commonly has a color temperature of 4,100K and higher on the Kelvin scale. This is in the low range of blue color, similar to ice, therefore earning the “cool” description.