Choosing a white light. Simple, right? But not all whites are the same. Generally, white light from a luminaire can be classified into one of three color tones: warm, neutral or cool. But there’s a little more about light color that you need to know.
Objects change color as they are heated. They start off glowing a dull red and turn brighter as they get hotter. They progress from red to orange then white and finally blue. The temperature, measured in Kelvin (K) degrees, at which the object changes color is the basis for representation of a light’s color temperature.
A light’s correlated color temperature (CCT) is a more accurate expression of its color tones than simply warm, neutral or cool. Like the color of the glowing hot objects, the lower the temperature value, the warmer the light appears. Lights with a CCT less than 2700K appear warm and reddish while CCT levels of 5000K or more are cool and bluish. Color temperatures in between those values are generally neutral in color.
While choosing a CCT is ultimately subjective, some CCT values traditionally pair better with certain applications and environments.
Lower CCT lights promote a relaxed and inviting ambiance, making them ideal for most living rooms and bedrooms. In addition, warm lights also pair well with classic, wooden designs. On the other hand, cool lights are often utilized in offices and hospitals as they are well suited for productivity. They also match well with modern, white aesthetics.
Nearly all DMF Lighting light modules are offered in four color temperatures: 2700K, 3000K, 3500K or 4000K. They appear mostly neutral, with some warm tones for the lower values, and are the four most popular color temperatures so you can feel confident in your color temperature selection.
To learn more about CCT and how it can affect your project, contact the DMF Lighting Marketing Team.