How To Use A Lightbulb’s Color Temperature To Light A Room

LED lighting has grown in popularity now that less efficient incandescent lightbulbs have been phased out of stores. When you check out their packaging, you’ll see lumen ratings (brightness), wattage, and correlated color temperature (CCT) that tells you what “temperature” you should expect. While incandescent bulbs only gave off a 2700k warm, yellow light, LED bulbs have various colors ranging from warm white to cool bluish white that mimics natural daylight. All these can be used to influence how your room looks.

Understanding CCT

CCT tells you what type of white hue and tone to expect from your LED lighting. This is measured in Kelvin (K) since different temperatures on this scale represent different colors. You can think of it like this:

  • 2700K – 3500K warm white because it has an orange or yellow coloring
  • 3500K – 4500K is “paper white” which is more natural or neutral
  • 4500K – 6500K is cool white, which has a blue tint to it, when exceeding 5700k

As you shop for LED lighting you may notice the lightbulbs have the same name. However, this name isn’t as important as the K temperature because names can vary from one store to another.

When you’re choosing the CCT for your room, it’s important to remember that it can change how the paint and furniture colors appear in your room when the light is turned on. For instance, when you have warm white light, it’ll add a yellow hue to any white paint that you’ve used. It’ll also mute other colors in the room, especially in comparison to how these colors would look if you were to use a natural or cool white light. However, you also have to be careful when using a cool white light above 5700k because it has a blue hue.

Ultimately, you should try to choose a low CCT because the lower it is, the more flattering the lighting will be. Higher CCTs have a way of showing off blemishes and imperfections because they make colors appear much crisper – in the same way they’d look if you were outside in natural lighting. This can create either a pleasant or an unpleasant experience depending on what your goals are in your room.

Choosing the Best LED Lighting

When you’re shopping for the right lighting for in a room, you should start by considering what type of an atmosphere or feel you want to create in the room. For instance, with a classic warm white bulb that has low CCTs you’ll give things in the room a warm yellow hue that doesn’t look at bright or as natural as a cool white bulb. This is why these bulbs don’t work so great in home offices, bathrooms, kitchens, and other utility areas (e.g. basements, storage closets). Here you’ll want to be able to see the task you’re working on and be able to relax as you complete it. This is why high-CCT, crisp lighting works best here.

Some recommendations for LED lighting temperatures and the rooms they’re best suited to include:

  • Warm and ultra-warm lighting works best in living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, theater rooms, nurseries, retirement homes (NOT TRUE), spas, and restaurants
  • Warm, natural lighting works best in bathrooms
  • Natural lighting works best in closets and daycare centers
  • Cool, natural lighting works best in kitchens, basements, game rooms, utility rooms, storage rooms, garages, offices, office buildings, warehouse, industrial environments, hospitals, doctors’ offices, mechanic shops, and car dealerships

For additional help with choosing the right lighting for the type of environment you’re trying to created, contact America’s Best LED. Over the years they’ve helped many people find the right LED lighting for their needs. You can trust them to help you with yours next.

Picture Credit: Pixabay

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