LED university
Color Temperature
Author: Jack Chow    Date: 2015-7-8

 Color Temperature of Light Bulbs


Definition of Color Temperature

The color temperature is a measurement that is used to define the color of a light source.LEDs are available in many levels of Kelvin color temperature. The descriptions used in this site for color temperature typically conform to the following: 

  • Warm White: 2700-3500 Kelvin: typical incandescent lightbulb
  • Natural White: 4000-4500 Kelvin: typical retail space ‘white’ fluorescent lighting
  • Day White: 5000-6000 Kelvin: used for high color definition - typical noon day sun in many parts of the world
  • Cool / Commercial White: 6000-7000 Kelvin: used in many industrial and commercial application

Examples of Color Temperature

The following table offers a broader example of the types of color temperature:

Color Temp Example of source
1900K Candle light or sunlight at sunrise or sunset
2000-2700K Often used as accent lighting to blend in with fluorescent 2700K applications.
3000-3200K Used as a primary light source for retail applications.
3700K Coated lamps. Used where a "softer" metal halide light source is desired.
4000K Used in general lighting; factories: parking lots, warehouses
5000-5500K Daylight lamps: horticulture, aquariums, high color definition.
5600K Nominal sunlight (mid day during mid summer)
6000K Starts to get a blue tint like some automotive headlights

For the scientists: The color temperature of light is typically measured in degrees Kelvin or just Kelvin. This scale designates the light sources spectral distribution. The Kelvin scale is a temperature that is on the Celsius scale where 0 degrees Kelvin = -273 degrees Celsius. The Kelvin is the light emitted from a black body energy source at that given temperature.

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