| The Colour Temperature Guide | Electricalworld.com

Colour Temperature: Explained!

Posted by  on 
30th November 2016

Colour temperature, measured in °K (Degrees Kelvin), Is a quality or attribute found in all forms of visible light in the universe.
For this article, we’re taking a practical look at how colour temperature works in home and business lighting scenarios.

Across our website, you will see the term colour temperature attached closely with the sale of light-bulbs. Many people are confused by this term,
and the often vague specifications on product packaging fail to explain the 2700°K seen on the side of a warm white bulb box for example. So we’re going to break this down and explain exactly what this means for you; and how it can benefit your home or workplace.


Firstly, explaining what colour temperature actually means.

Colour temperature refers to the hues on the visible light spectrum produced by your bulb, from red at the low end, to blue at the high end. As such,
a higher number in degrees Kelvin indicated a more blue-hued light.

colourtemp1
Commonly bulbs are produced in three common temperature groups; ‘Warm White’, ‘Cool White’, & ‘Daylight White’, while some manufacturers also group ‘White’ as a standalone temperature between cool white and daylight white.

Each temperature has it’s advantageous uses in modern homes & businesses, not just in colour, but in psychological effect also.

Let’s take a closer look at these groups and their effects.


Warm White:warm-white
The most traditional colour temperature by far, the warm white bulb closest resembles the hue of natural flame lighting (hence the name of the ever popular candle shape bulb). This colour temperature has been around the longest, as it is the usual colour for most incandescent and halogen lamps. The bulbs sit on the lower end of the spectrum at 2700-3000°K, and are ideal for creating a warm & inviting living ambience; ideal for living rooms, bedrooms, restaurants, commercial display lighting for furnishings, and anywhere a warm or cosy ambience is vital.


Cool White:natural
Moving up, cool white is currently the most commonly found alternative to warm white on the market, and usually sits in at around 3100-4500°K. This bulb produces a light which is still comfortable but also much more modern, relatively much brighter, and allows for a truer representation of colours than it’s red hued counterpart.

This temperature is associated with concentration & work, and as such is especially popular in offices, kitchens, and other work areas where a sense of wakefulness and professionalism is required.


Daylight White: cool
At the high end of the spectrum, Daylight white typically clocks in at 4600°K – 6500°K, and is described as the closest representation to the natural light from the sun produced in a modern bulb. This bulb offers many of the same bennefits as a cool white bulb, but with the added bennefits of much truer colour representation.

Daylight white is becoming an increasingly common favourite for it’s crisp natural effect and versatility to be used anywhere; but is especially useful in display contexts such as collectables’ cabinets, in galleries, and for photographer’s studios, along with task lighting and security lighting.


Colour temperature is the best indicator of how a bulb will look before trying it, and we recommend paying close attention to these numbers, as not all manufacturers and businesses agree on colour ranges. It’s best to replace or match bulbs by °K number than by what a manufacturer defines a colour group as.

Redecorating? Need help deciding which colour temperature work best for you?
Knightsbridge’s new FR8WT  acts not only as a great general use fitting, but it’s three colour temperature settings make it a great tool for deciding which bulb temperature will best work for you.
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View the FR8WT Here

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