The Difference Between Colour Temperatures

Martec’s industry leading LED lights have a range of colour temperatures to suit any home or room. Our range comes in 3000K, 4000K and 5000K. But many people are confused as to what colour temperature means and why it is important to consider in your home. Today we are going to discuss the difference between the colour temperatures, what colour temperature is and why it is important.

What Does Colour Temperature Mean?

Also referred to as colour appearance, colour temperature basically refers to how warm or cool a light appears. It focuses on what shade of white light is emitted from the bulb. A “warmer” visual effect is similar to an incandescent lamp while “cooler” visual effects are similar to fluorescent lights in industrial settings.

Colour temperature doesn’t refer to the colour of the bulb – like party lights or Christmas lights. It also doesn’t mean the heat physically given off by the bulb – like a bathroom heat lamp.

colour temperature

What is the Difference Between Warm and Cool Light?

We measure light in Kelvin. The lower the number, the warmer or more red/yellow, a white light will seem. A bulb producing a white light can look slightly warmer or cooler. A warm white light bulb has a slightly more yellow or amber tone. A cool white light bulb will appear slightly bluer. Colour temperature ranges from 2700K (warm) to 5300K (cool).

Choosing the Right Colour Temperature

While in the past there were less colour temperature options, with incandescent and halogen light bulbs generally more a warm white. Now, however, there is a far larger range of colour temperatures available, especially among LED lights. Today, when you buy an LED light bulb, you can choose the colour temperature that best suits the room or your task. From warm to neutral to cool, you have a fantastic set of options at your fingertips. And smart LED even let you change the temperature via a smartphone app!

Choosing the Right Temperature for Your Room

Choosing the right colour temperature for your room is as individual as choosing the paint for your room. It comes down to personal choice, what you’re used to, and what room you are lighting. While considering light temperature is not at the top of your list of priorities, it has a noticeable effect on your space.

Consistency if, of course, key. Discrepancies in colour temperature are more obvious when two bulbs of different colours are placed next to each other. You need to keep the colour consistent within a space, all downlights in one ceiling should match.

This can cause difficulties in open plan spaces, as kitchens tend to need cooler lighting than living spaces. In these cases, it is best to split the difference and choose a 3000K or 4000K. when rooms are separated, you can use different temperatures at will. For example, one colour temperature for ceiling lights and another for table lamps. Then you can switch between temperatures as needed.

colour temperature for rooms

What is CRI?

CRI or Colour Rendering Index is another term we use on Martec products. CRI is an indicator of how accurate colour will be under a light source. A CRI of 100 is excellent, and generally best used in retail applications. For painters and artists, a CRI in workspaces of around 90 will be ideal. But a CRI of 80 is perfect for general lighting purposes around your home.

The Colour Temperature Numbers Are What Matter Most

We express colour temperature as a four digit number in the unit Kelvin, using the symbol K. Martec products range between 3000K, 4000K, and 5000K. While some lighting manufacturers try to use words like “cool white”, “warm white” or even “daylight” to describe these the colour temperature of their lights, there is no industry standard for these phrases. So it is important not to rely on them too much, especially if trying to match bulbs. One stores “warm white” can be very different to another store. One 5000K bulb might be described as “daylight” by one brand but described as “cool white” by another. Even among the same brand, there is variation between bulbs. For example, one brand might describe one set of 4000K bulbs as “cool white” but another range of the same 4000K bulbs as “neutral”.

When trying to match lights or choose the perfect lighting for a room, it is best to ignore these non-industry standard words and, instead, focus on the number. The same goes if you are comparing two different products. It is better to always look at the number above all else.

Are you looking for the best in home and exterior LED lighting? Martec’s industry leading range of LED lighting are perfect for all areas of your home. From exterior security lights to the perfect interior downlights, Martec has everything you need to make your space perfect!