Explaining the Mystery of Color Temperature

Although humankind survived for hundreds of thousands of years without electricity, it has now become a fact of life that we can’t function without. Due to our incredible reliance on electricity, the world’s use of fossil fuels and other natural resources has become nearly uncontrollable. Even a common traditional lightbulb usually relies on burning coal to stay lit.

Color Temperature

In 1962, one scientist’s attempt to make a semiconductor laser led to the first LED light. Within 20 years LED lights were being used in traffic lights and brake lights, and they have now become the preferred replacement for standard fluorescent and incandescent lightbulbs. Thanks to their energy efficiency, they allow people to enjoy the gift of light without damaging the environment to such extents. But the LED lightbulb comes with a mystery of its own: color temperature.

About LED Bulbs

Light-emitting diodes, known as LEDs, are more efficient, durable, and longer-lasting than standard light bulbs because they produce light so effectively. This is why LED Landscaping Tampa lights are so popular. In contrast, incandescent bulbs produce light using electricity to heat a metal filament until it becomes “white” hot, leading incandescent bulbs to release up to 90 percent of their energy as heat.

What is Color Temperature?

The “white light” of lightbulbs is described by something called color temperature, which measures the hue of the white light. It’s measured in Kelvins, named after the British physicist William Kelvin who originally developed the concept of color temperature.

Temperatures considered “warm” actually have lower temperatures. While this seems backward, the lower temperatures are considered warm because they cast a red and orange hued light that is associated with the warmth of a fire. Cool light has a higher temperature and gives off a bluer/whiter hue similar to ice.

Finding the Right LED

To place color temperature into perspective, the color temperature of the clear blue sky is about 10,000 K while a candle is roughly 1,900 K. Your biggest decision when choosing LED lighting is to decide whether you want warm light (lower color temperature) or cooler light (higher color temperature).  A conventional lamp is usually around 2,700 K, which is considered traditional warm light.

It’s ultimately your choice, but it’s most common for living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways to use warm to warm white light that falls between 2,700 K and 3,000 K, while kitchens, studies, and offices need white to cool white light between 4,000 K and 5,000 K. For more about LED lights visit Decorating Elves, a Tampa landscape lighting company.