When people talk about LED colour, in most cases they don’t mean Red, Green or Blue. They are talking about ‘colour temperature’. 

LED colour temperature is the colour of the light that is emitted from the LED. It has nothing to do with how hot a bulb feels, but the colour of the glow that the LED generates. The most common colour temperatures are warm white, natural white and cool white.

What is Kelvin?

A light’s colour temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). Kelvins range from 1900K to 6500K. The Kelvin Scale runs in the opposite direction to the temperature scale; the warmer the glow colour, the lower the Kelvin rating. 

For example, a warm light will have a low Kelvin rating of 2700K with a yellow/orange glow. A light bulb with a high Kelvin rating of 6000K or more is a cool light with a blue/white glow. 

2700k is pretty much the same colour as a traditional incandescent light bulb.

Warm White  (1900K – 3200K)

A burning candle is around 1900K, 2700K is pretty much the same colour as a traditional incandescent light bulb, and a good match for a halogen lamp is around 3000K. If you’re looking to replace your existing light fittings with more energy efficient LEDs, buying bulbs in this colour range will ensure a similar look and ambience to your existing setup. Warm light is preferred for cosy living spaces because it is more flattering to skin tones and clothing.

Natural White (4000K – 5500K)

Sometimes called Neutral White. It looks like natural daylight. Natural white is perfect for replacing existing office or retail lighting, or to give contemporary homes a fresh look. A Natural light LED colour temperature is preferred for visual tasks because it produces higher contrast than warm light.

Cool White (6000K +)

Extremely white and can start to look blueish in colour as the colour temperature rises, this can look very much like a camera flash. This an ideal light colour to choose for large industrial areas such as factories and warehouse, as it provides a crisp clean working light.  You would probably not have this in your home or office as it can feel quite clinical.

Choose natural white lighting for:

  • Visual tasks, such as reading or computer work
  • Spaces that require concentration and productivity: offices, industrial spaces, shops
  • Within the home: kitchens and home offices
  • Or anywhere where you would like to have a more contemporary feel

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