All you need to know about LED colour temperature and its importance
Colours hold immense importance in our lives. It may not seem like it but they can influence how we feel, think, behave and process information around us. They act as forms of communication that are crucial to our understanding of what is happening around us and what is to be done. Think of colours used in traffic lights: red symbolises you must stop while green symbolises that you are good to go. White flags mean peace and yellow flowers indicate friendship. With the right colours on your brand design and business cards, you can leave a lasting impact on people and attract potential consumers as well. The right colours can evoke the right emotions, which can affect the decisions we make. This is the basic idea behind colour psychology.
Keeping this in mind, there are two broad categories that colours fall into, which are: warm and cool colours. Warm colours are shades of reds, yellows, oranges and other combinations of these colours whereas cold colours are shades of blues, greens, purples and other variations of the same. Depending on what emotion(s) you want your space to evoke, you will have to choose colours accordingly.
Now we adapt this information onto lights. This is where an understanding of colour temperature is required. What is colour temperature? In simple terms, it refers to the warmness or coolness of light emitted from a light bulb. Different sources of light produce different colours. When these colours are put on a Kelvin scale to measure their temperature (in Kelvin), the number that emerges is what is called the colour temperature.
The temperature range of light bulbs is usually between 2200 to 6500K. The higher the colour temperature, the cooler the light will be. Therefore, a lower colour temperature will be more orange and yellow-hued, thus being called a ‘warm’ light, and a higher colour temperature will be more white with a slight blue tone, and will thus be called a ‘cool’ light.
Among LED light bulbs, the common colour temperatures that exist are:
1. Warm whites (2,200K - 3,000K)
2. Cool whites (3,100K - 4,500K)
3. Daylight (>4,600K - 6,500K)
Why is this important to know?
If you understand a little bit about colour psychology, as we have touched upon briefly, then you’ll know just how important this is when deciding the right coloured lighting for your space. Before deciding what light bulbs to choose, think about what works best to satisfy the purpose, mood and style you wish for in the rooms in your house or your workplace.
Warm white light bulbs are the most popular options chosen for lighting. They measure anywhere between 2,200K to 3,000K degrees on the Kelvin Scale. Just as the name suggests, they are called 'warm white' as they give out a white light with a soft orange-yellow hue. This will help you achieve a welcoming and relaxing effect while brightly illuminating your space. Warm colours are usually used to make us perceive a warmer environment, hence are perfect to be used in social spaces.
You can check our hexagon LED panel light that comes in black and white colour variants for frames and with different options for the LED light of your choice. Using this to illuminate your living room, dining room, or bedroom, or libraries, retail spaces and bars can bring in an inviting and relaxing feel.
Cool white light bulbs are usually used in workplaces that require an atmosphere of diligence and focus. Measuring between 3,100K to 4,500K degrees on the Kelvin scale, these light bulbs are called 'cool white' because they have a slight blue tone in the white light and are radiant. This will achieve a clean and energising effect suitable for focused work. Downlights, such as this mini cubic square downlight, or pendant lights, such as this chic acorn Nordic style pendant light, go perfectly well with cool white light bulbs so you can work efficiently in well-illuminated environments without any distractions. Such lights are perfect for task lighting, as desk lights at work and school, and at home, if you’re going for a crisp and modern look.
Daylight bulbs are called so because they mimic the light emitted during the day. Such lights measure anywhere between 4,600K to 6,500K degrees so you’ll have to be careful where you use such lights. If you want to create a bright and lively environment that is stimulating, then this is the kind of light you want. Use daylight LED bulbs in your study room or hallways to imitate sunlight inside your house!
How to select the right option:
Here are some questions you can address while picking the right light for your space are:
1. What is the purpose of this light? Think about where it will be used and what position it will be in.
2. What activities will be undertaken in this space? Think about what you or someone else would be doing in this space that would require a particular kind of lighting.
3. What mood or emotion do you want to create? Do you need an invigorating environment for focus or do you need a warm, welcoming feel?
4. What are the colours and materials used in that space? Consider the colour palette of the space you are going to be using these lights in. This includes the paint, furniture and themes you are aiming for. Warm white lights bring out the beauty in warmer colours like red, yellow and orange and in furniture made of wood, whereas cool white light will make blue and white colours look crisp and vibrant.
Cooler white LED lights can work perfectly in kitchens and bathrooms, whereas living rooms and bedrooms can look warm and comfortable with warm white lights. Take care not to mix colour temperatures in one room. After you have decided which colour temperature you want in a room, stick with it throughout and make sure all the light bulbs in that room are the same.