Creating Comfort: LED Color Temperature

Choosing a Kelvin Color for your Facility

What is Color Temperature
Color temperature is the description of the light being emitted from a fixture. Its color is measured on a scale of 1,000 to 10,000 in degrees of Kelvin (K). The most common range is 2,000 to 6,500 Kelvin for residential and industrial facilities. Knowing the correlated color temperature, or CCT, we can tell what color the lamp will shine. These colors are a resemblance of heated metal. A metal object will turn different colors based on what level of heat it’s put in.

Choosing the Correct Kelvin Color
When choosing a new light for your facility, you first need to take into consideration of the tasks being completed in that area. The most comfortable color temperature is going to be different in a classroom of children working and a manufacturing plant. A residential home will have much more different lighting than an auto body shop. The applications within each of these facilities are very different. Reading and relaxing is easier done with a lower Kelvin color, such as 2700k or 3000k. A 5000k is going to closer resemble “daylight” and bring more alertness.

LED Direct works with several different kinds of facilities and their lighting. It’s our job to advise the best Kelvin color based on the application of the facility. An auto body shop, for example, has to match a lot of colors and need to be able to see well while working with small parts and tools. We recommend a higher Kelvin color, or “Daylight,” for better alertness in the shop, best color matching on cars, and brighter lighting. The high Kelvin colors keep workers awake as if they’re in regular daylight and show the natural colors of paint. Reds look redder, blues look bluer, and so on.

Lower Kelvin colors, or “Warm White,” are best related with a setting sun. You commonly see these lights in homes, restaurant, and other areas where people don’t need to be as alert. The last thing people want after leaving work is to go home to a bright, alert home that resembles a surgery center.

Commercial office spaces land in the middle of the Kelvin color ranges. Most commonly we see 3500k to 4500k, or “Cool White,” in office areas. This allows employees to feel comfortable at their desks but still alert enough to work through the whole day. These can vary based on the type of work done in the offices but typically range within the middle of the spectrum.

Tunable LED Fixtures
Some of the newer technology allows for LED fixtures to be tuned to the desired Kelvin color. An example of this application can be seen in classrooms. When kids are reading or having quiet time the lights can be tuned to a warmer color in order to relax or reduce alertness. During exams or lecture periods the lights can be tuned to a Bright White, or 4000k, to keep everyone focused.

Lighting can play a huge factor in how humans function from day to day. Being able to change the lighting color based on the specific activity is brand new technology. As new LED lights hit the market, LED Direct researches and finds the best products for the public. Education is a large part of choosing the right lights.

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