Have you ever been in a room and felt like the lighting was cold and institutional? The reason for this is the color temperature of the light bulbs, in large part. Whereas you could be in another room and find the room warm and inviting. Many people may wonder what exactly is color temperature in light bulbs? The answer is it is a characteristic of light that can be seen that has uses in photography, videography, horticulture, design and more. For example, there is certain ideal lighting for specific plants. There are different kinds of lighting used to create certain moods and scenes in movies, film productions, live productions, concerts and art of all types, just as in doing any kind of event. Lighting has profound visual effects.
Color temperature of light bulbs are typically either warm or cool colors and can be used for various purposes in your home. It is a measure of the color of the light bulb when it is illuminated and is measured in degrees Kelvin. The higher the number, the whiter and then bluer the color. Typically warm lighting is yellow to red in nature. 3600-5000 K are usually the cooler light bulb colors and would not be your usual indoor living space choice, where a warmer light bulb is considered more inviting and flattering to faces. This would usually be between 2700 and 3600 K.
The coolness or warmth of the light bulb is no measure of the heat, and is only relevant to the type of color emanating from the bulb.
In general, Energy Star efficient light bulbs will match the warmer colors in between 2700 and 3600 K.
Obviously, there are different lighting color temperatures for different uses. Some industrial purposes such as warehouses, manufacturing plants, office buildings, parking lots, retail stores and more may need cool temperature lights while others such as spas, hotels, restaurants, bars, lounges etc may want warmer temperature lights. However in most practical applications there will be a mixture of both.
For example, a spa may want warm lighting for a relaxed and comfortable ambience and mood but very bright cool lighting in certain special lamps when doing facials and other work where they need the utmost illumination.
A bank may want cool lighting for bank employees to have the clearest vision of financial transaction but warm lighting all around for a more peaceful type of setting that most people are going to feel is better.
It is important to remember that the color temperature has a dramatic effect on the people who will use the space and you don’t want to make a choice that does not fit the purpose.
When more reading is being done, such as in a school, cooler lighting has been found by actual study and research to be more effective. However, a teacher’s lounge and the entry way may be more properly done with warmer lights. Being able to choose warm or cool light bulbs is an advancement of recent years. In the past, there was only the incandescent light bulb.
Because incandescent light bulbs have been around the longest (over a hundred years) there is a natural preference for warmer lighting around 2700 K and this is what people like to have in their homes. Fluorescent and LED light bulbs are relatively speaking, newer and now we have a broad choice of color temperatures to choose from. Even in a home, you may want warmer lighting in one room and cooler lighting in another, such as a bathroom, or a vanity and make up room as well as closets and laundry rooms not to mention garages and other spaces where brighter and cooler light temperatures will come in handy.
While this is a minor point in a big home renovation project, don’t overlook it. Your guests and family will thank you for choosing your light temps wisely!
Written By: Bob Jenkins
Budget My Build
P.O. Box 72987
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Office: (602) 579-9660
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