When buying LED lights you have the ability to choose which colour temperature you desire. Even though colour temperature is one of the most critical features of the light, it is also one of the most misunderstood and confusing aspects of LED lighting. Don't stress, because we are here to clear up your questions and queries so you can find the LED Light that is right for you!
Its important to point out that we are discussing colour temperature in this article and not coloured LED bulbs. Coloured LED bulbs (for instanc blue, green, red) are just standard white LED lights with a coloured filtered glass or plastic to make the light shine that colour. These lights are often found in outdoor settings such as bar areas or for festive reasons.
So what is colour temperature? Every household LED light bulb has a colour temperature. Colour temperature is measured in degrees kelvin. Counterintuitively, the lower the kelvin value, the warmer the colour temperature.
For instance a very warm white LED bulb is at the 2700K end of the scale. Warm whites are ideal in places where you want to create a bit more ambience and have a warmer atmosphere. Warm white LED lights are typically used in living rooms and bedrooms to give a homely feeling.
Moving away from the warm end of the scale, LED lights with a colour temperature of 4500K give off cool white light that is perceived by the eye as much cleaner white. We see many people opting for cooler whites in bathrooms and kitchens, and sometimes even dining areas.
At the far end of the spectrum is 6500K light which is often referred to as commercial or cold white. This end of the spectrum is the coldest white available on the market and is often found in supermarkets and hospitals. Cold white LED light almost has a blue-ish feel to it due to being shifted towards the blue end of the spectrum. This white is ideal for commercial and retail settings.
A cool white is not recommended in a household setting, especially in a bedroom. This is because the blue wavelengths have been found to be associated with wakefulness, hence hindering your ability to sleep. Alternatively blue shifted LED lighting can be beneficial in the morning as it can wake you up much more effectively than a warm or cool white.
If you have a living area where you cant decide whether warm or natural (cool) white would be more suitable you could opt for spectrally tuneable LED lights. This technology is just beginning to reach the market. Essentially spectrally tuneable lighting is LED lighting that allows you to adjust the colour temperature between warm and natural white, whilst also allowing you to alter the wattage. Overall it gives you greater control over your lighting, allowing it to suit your needs.
In addition to the three already discussed, there are also ‘extra warm white’ LED lights available on the market.These lights are normally below 2700 kelvin; we have seen 2400K vintage LEDs and even 1900K LEDs. This colour temperature is often found in vintage LED lightbulbs found in cool coffee shops and restaurants. Vintage LED lights are growing in popularity as they can function as a unique statement piece, and can easily create a sense of ambience.
As this article has no doubt shown you, one of LED lightbulbs biggest advantages is that they are qualitatively superior to incandescent bulbs as they offer so many more customisation options. They also typically last anywhere between 8 to 20 years. Therefore investing in LED lighting is definitely a worthwhile decision you will not regret.