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What Is Kelvin Color Temperature?

Did you know that the hottest thing in the universe is the surface of a dead star in the Red Spider Nebula which is around 250,000 F? Whatever the case, the temperature is an important thing. What you might not know is that temperature plays a big part even in lighting and the color of lighting.

This is precisely what Kelvin color temperature is. But how does it work exactly and what should you know about it? Also, why is it important?

Keep reading and learn more about how the color temperature of light can make a big difference.

What You Need to Know About Kelvin

You might have heard of measuring the temperature in terms of Fahrenheit or Celcius, but you might not be familiar with Kelvin. This is because Kelvin is not often used to measure the temperature of the weather or your food. Instead, Kelvin is usually used as a more scientific measurement which is why you will often see it used as a measurement in the realm of light bulbs as well as other scientific realms.

Kelvin is a unit of thermodynamic temperature. It has more or less the same importance and uses as Celcius. Kelvin is usually abbreviated by the letter K.

Whatever number Kelvin is, it will affect the color of a light bulb. For example, if a light bulb has a high K rating, then that light bulb will be lighter than usual. The color will also tell you how hot the inside of the light bulb is.

The higher the K rating is, the hotter the inside of the light will be. As a result, the inside of the light will also be very bright and white. On the other hand, if the inside of the bulb is not as hot, then the light that is produced will be a bit duller and warmer.

Understanding this variation is important for a variety of reasons. After all, daylight color temperature is much different than the color temperature of light you might use in a factory. The Kelvin light scale is not hard to understand, but it is quite varied.

The Details

The resulting temperature also has to do with there that light might function best. For example, a light that isn’t very hot and has a dull, warm yellow glow will likely be best for a home environment or perhaps a spa or other relaxing place. This color is more relaxing and it won’t blast your eyes as soon as you turn it on.

This is quite a different matter if you have a large space that needs a lot of light. In that case, you would obviously want a light that provides as much illumination as possible. That way, light could spread more easily across that large space whether it be a warehouse or a factory, or something in between.

However, it is important to understand the individual temperatures in side bulbs to better understand how those temperatures correlate with the color of the resulting light.

Kelvin Temperature Ranges and Light Bulb Colors

Let’s first start with the lowest temperature range: below 2,000K. While this is still quite hot, it is relatively cool for a light bulb. This low temperature will produce a relatively dim light without much color.

It is very similar to the light of a candle. For that reason, it is best for relaxing environments such as the bedroom, bathroom, a spa, and so on. It certainly won’t provide enough light for regular living spaces. Instead, you would want a light that is slightly hotter, around 3,000K.

This temperature will provide the bulb with a soft, somewhat yellow glow. It will be bright enough to put in various areas of the house such as your living room or kitchen. It is easy on the eyes since it is not particularly harsh or bright.

3,100K to 4,500K is when the light will start to get quite a lot brighter. Because it is a lot brighter, it will work better in places where lots of light is essential such as your office space or a vanity. The color of the light will start to lose some of its yellow hues at this point.

What You Need to Know

Between 4,600K and 6,500K, the light will get even brighter and turn somewhat of a whitish-blue color. Many people find that this color is quite similar to the color and brightness of sunlight. For that reason, it may not be best to have this lighting in certain regions of your house such as the bedroom since it is very bright.

Instead, try using it in areas where you really need a lot of light such as outdoor areas, a large office, or the garage. This lighting would also be good for commercial office spaces. Above 6,500K is one of the brightest lights you can get.

It is a white light and it is usually not best for residential areas because it is too harsh on the eyes. Instead, it is best for large industrial or commercial areas that require a lot of light such as factories or warehouses.

All About Kelvin Color Temperature

Kelvin color temperature is an important thing to consider when getting light bulbs. Lower temperatures will result in a duller and more relaxing light. Higher temperatures, on the other hand, will produce a bright white or yellowish light.

By knowing these temperatures, you can better pick the right type of lighting. To learn more about lighting, check out our selection here.

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Helping our commercial and industrial customers save energy and money by using safe, efficient LED lighting for their facilities.

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