What is Kelvin?
After putting it off for months, you’ve decided it’s time to update the lighting in your home library. The current bulbs being used appear dull, and since you use this area for working, reading and studying, you want to update the light to reflect richer, brighter illumination. Unfortunately, you are not sure how to select the lighting necessary to accommodate this space. In order to fully understand how to replace your lighting properly for any space, it is important to understand Kelvin. Let’s take a closer look at color temperature and how it affects your lighting choices.
Selecting the Correct Color Temperature
The reality is color temperature has nothing to do with the actual temperature of your light bulbs. It refers to the characteristics of the light being emitted, with colors being as faint as the glow from a candle, to the beaming brightness of the sun. To effectively determine the color of light, a measurement system known as Kelvin is used (abbreviated as number plus the letter “K”). The higher the number of Kelvin, the closer the light emitted will be to sunlight. For example, a light bulb with a color temperature of 5000K would display light closer to the brilliance of the sun, than a bulb with a warm color temperature of 2700K. The latter of the two bulbs would be closer to the amber color produced by a flame. In layman’s terms, the higher the color temperature the cooler or more blue the light gets, and the lower the color temperature, the warmer or softer the light is.
Warm Light (2700K -3500K)
- Dining Room
- Living Room
- Some Restaurants
This light is all about warmth and coziness. Warm light tends to create a more relaxed and serene atmosphere due to its orange/red tones. This lighting is prominent in spaces like the living room, bedroom and dining room. Another setting where you may find warmer lights are restaurants. For example, a restaurant servicing dinner patrons may have dimmer, more orange lights to add an inviting ambience for guests. Whereas, a fast food eatery may have brighter lights with cooler temperatures which could create a more energetic and busy atmosphere.
Cool Light (4000K-4500K)
- Studies and Home Offices
While warm white light is preferred in many locations of the home, there are some areas where cooler light is necessary. Cooler temperatures in this range offer a more neutral tone and can actually be used throughout the entire home. For example, you may want to use cool white temperature bulbs in overhead lighting fixtures in your kitchen for better illumination while prepping and cooking. Establish a more stimulating and alert home study or office space with cooler lights. This hue also works for bathroom lighting, helping to brighten hard-to-reach spaces during cleaning and the vanity while styling hair or applying makeup. As an added bonus they complement rooms dedicated to more serene tones such as greens, blues and whites.
Full Spectrum Light (5000-6500K)
- Display Areas
Screaming bright light is the best way to describe light emitted with a full spectrum color temperature. Producing a crisp, eye-catching white light, full spectrum or daylight is considered the color outside on a bright and sunny day. Because this light is so bright, it can appear somewhat harsh, hence you typically won’t find these lights inside homes. You may find these lights in garages where extra illumination may be necessary for safety purposes. Some galleries or museums may also use this light when displaying different works of art to better highlight different pieces for spectators. Because bright light has been linked to productivity, it is not uncommon to find these daytime lights in work places.
When purchasing your next bulb it is important to understand exactly what it’s for. It can be disappointing when you want a warmer more relaxed bulb, and you have mistakenly purchased stark white lighting. Checking the Kelvin measurement before purchasing will allow you to make more informed decisions about your lights. The only thing left to figure out is how bright do you really want to go? Have any questions or comments? Feel free to drop us a line in the comments section below, as always, you can reach us on Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Google Plus!