As prices for LED light bulbs and fixtures continue to go down, we have found that replacing fluorescent (and especially incandescent) lights with LED bulbs is as close to a “no-brainer” upgrade as you can get. One of the most common questions we get after suggesting LED upgrades is what color of light (aka color temperature) should be used. The color temperature can influence worker performance, their moods and how objects are displayed so it’s important to do your homework and choose the right bulb.
Lighting color temperature is measured in kelvin ranging from about 2700K to 7000K for LED light bulbs. The lower the rating, the more yellow the color. A bulb in the 2700-3200K range would produce the “warm white” matching the traditional incandescent bulbs that many are used to. Bulbs in the 3500-5000K range are where you find fluorescent lights. Ratings above 5000K are akin to natural sunlight and will be more and more bluer as the kelvin rating goes up.
But what color is right for your building? It depends on your usage. Studies have been done that show tasks tend to be completed faster under cool white light (4000K) or with less errors under daylight (6500K). Color temperature can also affect the mood of inhabitants and how “welcoming” a space is. Yellower lights tend to set a stage for friendly, inviting and relaxing activities and can be used in restaurants, libraries or lobbies. Whiter light may set a clean, efficient tone and is great for offices, conference rooms and supermarkets. Daylight equivalents tend to be very bright and set a light, happy tone. These are often used for museums, jewelry stores and galleries.
For residential applications, most homeowners may want to keep the warm white look they are used to. Remember that this color is very inviting and relaxing. However, you may consider other colors for rooms such as home offices or bathrooms where you may want a whiter light. Some LED bulbs even allow you to change the color temperature as you see fit!
The ability to tailor the color temperature of the light in a space is a great benefit of LED lighting. However, the biggest benefit is in the energy and cost savings of replacing less efficient bulbs with higher efficient LED technology. If you think that LED lighting may be a good fit for your building, please contact us. We’ll come take a look and make a recommendation on lighting and other measures that can reduce your energy costs.