Posted by Sam on Aug 2nd 2018

Color Temperature Scale for Light Bulbs

Color temperature is measured in degrees of K (kelvin). It is important to konw what color temperature you are looking for in your next lighting purchase. The color temperature of a light bulb or an LED fixture describes how the light appears when we look directly at the fixture or light bulb.

How do we measure color temperature?

We know that color temperature is measured by a unit called the Kelvin (K). The Kelvin temperature scale starts at zero, and is 0 kelvins (K). Now, Imagine a fire in your fireplace you will see various color temperatures in the flames. You may see yellow, orange, red and some blue. If the fire is being lit by a gas flame you will definately see blue. As the fire increases in intensity we move up the color scale, warm or lower temperature flames maybe 2700K where as the hotttest part of the fire maybe blue in the 6500-7000K range.

Warm White 2400K-3000K

Many customers really enjoy warm tones that match up to incandescent light bulbs which fall into the 2700K - 2800K range. There are some exceptions as neodynium bulbs made by Chromalux have a coateing that filter out yellow and red wavelengths. The light bulbs and fixtures that mimic warm white color temperature are commonly used in restaurant lighting, residential lighting, hotel walk ways and rooms and spaces where a warm ambiance is needed to set the mood.

Neutral White 3500K

This color temperature is very popular in offices and commercial buildings, as it is the color temperature that falls in the middle of warm white 3000K and cool white 4000K. We find that many of the F32T8 lamps that are sold are in the high CRI range of 80+ and have a color temperature of 3500K.

Cool White 4000K-4300K

Cool white is also very popular in offices and commercial buildings, as you move up the color scale from you get some yellows starting to show up and some more bluish white light.

Full Spectrum 5000K-5765K

Full Spectrum light is a loosely held term for light that is very balanced. Typically when you get to 5000K-5765K we like to refer to these temperatures as falling into the full spectrum range. When you visually look at the light our eyes see a very white, crisp clean looking light that is appealing for modern spaces, paint booths, gas stations, hospitals and office environments.

Daylight 6500K

You would think that daylight would be the same color as the light outside, however it is far from that. Daylight gets into the blue spectrum and you start seeing less of the yellows and whites. You will still have what appears to be a bright light but when compared to full spectrum you can visually see the blue light starting to take over the color of the light.