Posted on June 27, 2012 Category: Lighting Terms
Color temperature is the degree of warmness or coolness of a light source, measured in kelvins (°K). Warm light is in the lower temperatures (2,700-3,000°K) and can appear yellowish, similar to a standard incandescent bulb. Cool light is in the higher temperatures (4,000-6,500°K) can appear more bluish.
The color temperature is the color of the light that would result if you heated a “black body” (piece of suitable metal) to that temperature. If you heat it to 2,700°K, it glows warm (slightly yellow) like a standard incandescent bulb. If you heat it to 6,500°K it will glow with a bluer hue.
Depending on the type of business you own, you may choose different color temperatures depending on the use. For example, a jewelry display case would look best in neutral white (4,000°K) to make the jewels shine! Whereas a dressing room in a clothing store might choose a soft white (3,000°K) to help improve the skin tone of customers while they try on clothes.
|Color Temperature||° Kelvin||Typical Use|
|Warm White||2,700||Homes, restaurants, hotels|
|Soft White||3,000||Homes, restaurants, hotels, retail|
|Neutral||3,500||Homes, offices, showrooms|
|Cool||4,000||Homes, offices, showrooms, jewelry stores|
|Soft Daylight||5,000||Hospitals, graphic arts, jewelry stores|
|Daylight||6,500||Museums, jewelry stores, graphics|