Using the Color Temperature Scale to Light Your Home

Color Temperatures - LightsOnline Blog

If you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of how warm and cool lights work in your home, learning about color temperature is the perfect place to start. This color temperature guide explains different shades of white light measured on a scale from warm to cool in degrees Kelvin (K). The scale for white light ranges between 1,000K and 10,000K, numbers that describe the light’s color and ambiance. So, let’s dive into a basic rundown of the color temperature scale so that you can successfully craft and customize the lighting in your home.


Using the Color Temperature Scale to Light Your Home - LightsOnline Blog

At the low end of the scale, you’ll find warmer tones (like candlelight), sitting at about 1,900K. It’s comparable to the glow of a low-lit fire with deep red and orange hues. Usually, light fixtures in your home will use incandescent bulbs with a color temperature rating about 1,000K higher (or cooler) than this.

Warm White to Soft White

Using the Color Temperature Scale to Light Your Home - LightsOnline Blog

It’s most likely that these are the lights you use daily. Warm white and soft white lights rest between 2,700K and 3,000K. On the 2,700K side of the range is a warmer white light commonly found in cozy, intimate spaces like the dining room or family room. These warm white lights have hints of yellow and orange, so they’re not intense and promote a relaxing atmosphere. Warm white lights are the perfect color temperature for dining room chandeliers.

Using the Color Temperature Scale to Light Your Home - LightsOnline Blog

Soft white lights are around 3,000K, or even slightly cooler, and are commonly found in bathrooms and kitchens. It looks lovely alongside sterling silver embellishments, including sinks and cabinet handles. Plus, it helps your skin and makeup tones look truer in the bathroom mirror and keeps the hues of food looking truer in the kitchen, too.

Neutral White to Cool White

Using the Color Temperature Scale to Light Your Home - LightsOnline Blog

As you move up the scale, the light continues to get cooler and starts to take on a lighter hue. Neutral white and cool white color temperatures are found between 3,500K and 4,100K. For your home, these lights can be useful in garages or other spaces where you want a crisp light that isn’t overpowering. This type of color temperature is also used in office buildings, retail stores and grocery stores.

Daylight and Direct Sunlight

Using the Color Temperature Scale to Light Your Home - LightsOnline Blog

In theory, color temperature is supposed to mimic the variety of light colors and temperatures created by the sun at different times of the day. Strategically using the right lights supports your body’s natural sleeping and waking schedule. However, the light fixture’s location and purpose should be considered, too.

The brightness of direct sunlight as mimicked in daylight color temperature is ideal for places where little or no natural light is found, like garages and basements, or where specific work needs to be done carefully, like for task lighting and in industrial locations. Lights with ratings between 4,800K and 6,000K begin to look bluer. Keep in mind, this temperature is a significant step up from soft white lights and generally isn’t suitable for bedrooms.

Cool White to Blue Sky

Finally, the cool white or blue sky color temperature ratings are found at the top of the scale between 7,000K and 10,000K. It is strong, intense and requires lots of energy output. This color temperature is excellent for indoor agriculture because it so closely replicates the sun’s natural light.

What Color Temperature is Best for Me?

When you need light fixtures for your home, look for comfortable color temperatures between 2,700K and 4,800K. Dining room chandeliers, chandeliers with fans, wall sconces and living room lamps with color temps under 3,500K best support a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere. If you need more advice about the lights for your home, consult lighting experts from a trusted online retailer who have experience with indoor and outdoor residential lighting–like LightsOnline!

About LightsOnline

LightsOnline is a purveyor of premier lighting fixtures designed to create atmosphere and bring your home to life. Their selection of high-quality chandeliers, sconces, lamps and Minka Aire fans help you find the right ambiance in your home, outside and everywhere in between. From places where you spend time with friends and family to the spaces where you unwind on your own after a long day, LightsOnline can help bring your lighting dreams to life. LightsOnline dedicates itself to helping you find the fixtures that fit your lifestyle and your budget. Their beautiful collections will take your home to a new level, whether your home decor is Contemporary, Farmhouse, Modern, Rustic or any other style.

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