A Guide to LED Colour Temperatures
LEDs aren’t just incredibly energy-efficient, they’re also really versatile! Their range of colour temperatures means you can tailor the lighting ambience of your room to its specific function. So, if you’re unsure about LED colour temperatures, read our LED Monkey guide…
What is LED Colour Temperature?
Basically, Colour Temperature is a measurement of a light source’s warmth or coolness as it’s perceived by the human eye.
Like the measurement of actual physical temperature, it’s expressed in terms of Degrees Kelvin (K). The infographic below illustrates the "warmth! and "coolness" of the LED colour temperatures in relation to their corresponding degrees Kelvin:
As you can see, illumination sources with differently-coloured light have a Kelvin Rating (K), which can then be read against the Kelvin scale which is usually reserved for physical temperatures.
This may seem confusing at first because, unlike other temperature scales such as Fahrenheit and Celsius which read upwards, the Kelvin Scale reads in the opposite direction.
This means we'll perceive light sources with high Kelvin ratings of 5000 to 6000K as cool and bright. On the other hand, those with a Kelvin rating of 4000K or below will seem warmer and easier on the eye.
The infographic below illustrates the whereabouts of various types of light on the Kelvin Scale:
Although the lighting industry hasn’t yet standardised colour temperatures, here at LED Monkey, we refer to them as Warm White, Cool White and Daylight; descriptions which enable our customers to easily distinguish them from one another.
The Various Applications for the Colour Temperatures
Warm White LED light bulbs have been allocated a Kelvin Rating of between 2700 and 3000K, while our Cool White bulbs have a Kelvin Rating of 6000K.
LEDs with a Kelvin Rating of 4000K are known as Daylight and are the closest approximation of natural outdoor light that currently exists.
The table below illustrates the different applications that each colour temperature is best suited to:
|5000 – 6000K||Bathrooms, kitchens, workshops, studios and warehouses.|
|2700 – 3000K||Living areas such as lounges and bedrooms, as well as commercial spaces like waiting rooms.|
|4000K||Home office areas, classrooms and retail outlets, however many more people are using it for living areas too.|
Bright and penetrative, 6000K Cool White LED Light Bulbs are the number one choice for rooms in which tasks are carried out. In the kitchen, for example, you’ll need to see clearly when you’re chopping vegetables with a sharp knife!
Warm White LED bulbs (2700 - 3000K) are best suited to spaces such as the living room and bedroom. A very close approximation of the old incandescent bulbs, many people favour Warm White LEDs because the light they emit is so mellow and relaxing.
At around 4000K Daylight is the most naturalistic of the three colour temperatures, and the closest approximation of regular sunlight it’s possible to achieve with an artificial light source.
This makes it the ideal choice for communal areas and spaces in which close work is undertaken like office spaces and art studios.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Colour Temperature
Before investing in LED light bulbs to customise the ambience of each of your rooms, ask yourself these simple questions:
- What do I use my room(s) for? Relaxing, socialising or working?
- Will my light fittings be providing general or feature/specialised illumination?
- What kind of mood do I want to create in the room? Relaxed and laid-back or clean, clinical and minimalistic?
- What type of room is it? Modern and minimal or comfy and convivial?
Give Us a Call!
If you’d like any more information about LED colour temperatures or you just want a chat about LED lighting in general, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You can give us a call on 0800 999 7797. Or, you can send us an e-mail enquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org.