Posted on 14th May 2012 @ 11:27 PM
Light Bulb Color: What is Your Color Temperature?
Selecting the proper light bulb is the most important (and frequently overlooked) part of installing a new light fixture. All light bulbs actually “broadcast” color either “cool” (blue) or “warm” (red-yellow) that affects the apparent color of the furnishings, plants, carpeting or artwork being illuminated.
How is Light Color Measured?
Two factors are used to describe the color rendering properties of light bulbs. The “color” a light bulb produces is referred to as the bulb’s “color temperature. Color temperature is measured in degrees on the Kelvin (K) scale. The other factor is the Color Rendering Index (CRI), a scale of 1-100, that represents how closely a light source depicts or reflects an object’s true color. For the best interior color rendering, select a bulb or lamp between 3,000 and 3,500 (K) AND over 80 CRI, (the higher, the better).
Typical Color Temperature Ranges:
Ranges for common light bulbs are as follows. Note that fluorescent flamps are available in a wide variety of color temperatures:
- 6,500-7000 K “Daylight" Fluorescent
- 5,500 K “Daylight” Metal Halide
- 4,200 K Cool White Fluorescent
- 4,000 K Standard Clear Metal Halide
- 3.500 K Compact Fluorescent
- 3,200 K Warm (3K) Metal Halide
- 3.000 K Warm White Fluorescent
- 2,600-3,200 K Standard Incandescent
- 2,220 K High Pressure Sodium