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Author: Dorothy Winslow

Hey everyone, thank you for joining us again this week. I crammed a lot of information in to last week’s blog, so this week I will break it down and keep it short. If you’ll remember the color of light from last week:
“What makes a lamp yellower, whiter, or bluer? That is the color of the light, or color temperature. An incandescent lamp, the one we screwed into the sockets as kids, has something called a 2700 Kelvin temperature. This means it looks yellower, or ‘warmer’. A whiter light is like what you see in your local supermarket in those hanging fluorescent fixtures. They have what is called 4100 Kelvin temperature.”
This chart gives us a visual on the light and corresponding colors (pun intended!):


Have you ever heard someone complain about LEDs being too blue or white? LEDs can achieve any range of color, but when they first came out that was the only spectrum that was made. Once the tech and manufacturers caught up to what consumers want, everything changed. Each LED is chosen out of its bin per quality, and color is one of those qualities. Each color gets chosen per fixture per application. That is why today the screw in LEDs look very similar to the lamps we used to use. Where should we use warmer light and where should we use cooler light?

Here is a good guide for where to use color temperature:
Color Temperature 2200K-2700K – bedrooms, living room, restaurants, bars, chandeliers
Why should we use warmer light colors in these scenarios? Warmer light is what we are used to from those incandescent lamps. It’s more soothing and creates a cozy environment.

3000K-3500K – Household kitchens, retail, hospitality, offices
3000k is a good in-between temperature, like Goldilocks’ porridge. Not too cold and not too hot. It offers a warmer temperature but one that isn’t too yellow so you can still see and get things done.

4000K – Offices, restaurant kitchens, class rooms, basements, garages, outdoor lighting
Whiter lighting makes for easier reading and better task lighting since it is easier to distinguish details when whiter lighting is used vs yellow lighting.

5000K – primarily outdoor/safety lighting
This color is REALLY white, which is perfect for outdoor and safety lighting as we can clearly see every detail; 5000k is the color of sunlight, hence the clarity. If anyone reading this is like me, I trip over every nook and cranny, and can use the best security lighting I can get.
How will this information help you? If you’re re-doing your garage and set up a work bench to do projects, look for a fixture that has a 4000k rating so that you can clearly see your task. If you’re retrofitting your can lighting (the round down lights in your ceiling), choose a kit that is 3000k for your kitchen and one that is 2700k for your bedroom. If you’re lighting up the cobblestone pathway to your front door, choose a pagoda with a 5000k temperature so they do not go face first into your prize rose bushes.

Happy lighting!

About the author: Dorothy Winslow is a sales associate for CES Santa Barbara and has been with the company 4 years. She specializes in LED lighting and Energy Management. She is also a San Francisco Giants fan and an avid dog lover.