The Differences in LED Color Temperatures

If you’re interested in purchasing LED lighting for your home, one of the factors you’re going to have to consider is color temperature. When we talk about temperature, we’re not referring to the temperature of the light itself—light, of course, does not have a temperature in the traditional sense. Instead, we are referring to the warmth or coolness of the color.

Think, for example, of how a piece of metal can change colors depending on how much it’s heated up. At first it starts to glow red, then orange, yellow, white and eventually gets closer to blue. The higher the temperature of the metal, the “cooler” the color temperature gets, which can be confusing for people who are used to referring to colors like blue, green and purple as “cool.” But that’s what we’re talking about when looking at LED color temperatures.

Here’s some information about this from a team specializing in electrical lighting installation in Alexandria, VA.

What to know about LED color temperatures

Your standard incandescent lightbulb generally gives off a yellowish light with a temperature of around 2,700K. A normal halogen bulb is slightly cooler or whiter in color, at about 3,000K. Most of the Western world uses incandescent or halogen lighting in their homes, so these colors have a sort of comfort level that we are used to, along with their warmer color tones.

Generally, industrial settings have higher intensity lightings and higher color temperatures, especially for high bay lighting and other similar types of applications. In many cases, you’ll find color temperatures in the range of 4,500 to 5,000K, where the light is just starting to have a bluish tint to it.

In the commercial world, there is also quite a wide range of LED color uses. In jewelry cases or other types of display cases, for example, you’ll often see bluish lights in the 6,500K range or higher, which can help to bring out the shine, clarity and sparkle of silver, diamonds and jewels.

The more intense the light becomes, the more the perception of the temperature of that color changes. On an extremely bright day, the light’s color temperature could be 8,000 to 10,000K, but our eyes do not perceive that as being a blue light, even though that is the case. This might be a confusing concept, because you may say “but the sky is blue!” The sky is not blue because of the temperature of the light, though—it’s blue because of the way the light scatters in the atmosphere, with the shorter blue wavelengths getting absorbed and radiated by gas molecules to produce a blue color across the sky.

Ultimately, the temperature of light you choose comes down to personal preference and the way you’ll be using your light. But our team of electricians is happy to provide you with some LED color temperature advice when you’re looking for electrical lighting installation in Alexandria, VA. Contact Walsh Electric today to learn more about color temperature or schedule a service appointment!