What color temperature is recommended for my space?
What is color temperature?
What do designers mean when they say 2700K, 3000K, 4000K, and 5000K? Is the concept of yellow light or white light too abstract? Should I communicate with designers or lighting manufacturers in terms of color temperature or color? What color temperature is recommended for my space?
Color temperature is the color of light. The unit of measurement for color temperature is Kelvin, and its symbol is the English letter 'K'. The 3000K, 4000K or 5000K that you often see on the packaging of light fixtures or often hear designers say refer to color temperature, that is, the color of the light.
Does color temperature have anything to do with Lord Kelvin. It so happens that Lord Kelvin was a steel businessman. When he first observed the metal melting process in a foundry, he noticed that the glow of the heated steel changed color as it was heated from the beginning temperature to the highest temperature. He then recorded the color changes in the iron blocks in the form of numerical data, which later became the specification table for color temperature!
When black iron is burning, the color of the iron is orange-red at a lower temperature. As the temperature increases, the color of the iron gradually turns orange, then becomes white at the highest temperature. Hence, the K value of color temperature is similar to this concept. The more yellow the light color, the lower the color temperature coefficient. For example, 2700K and 3000K represent yellow light, while 5000K and 6000K represent white light.
In fact, color temperature is not exclusive to steel industrialist Lord Kelvin. Perhaps he was just more detailed and observed the phenomenon because during his time, there was no cell phone to occupy him while the steel was heating, thus leaving him with nothing to do but look at the steel and think. You are welcome to refer to the changes in the sun at different times in the diagram below. It is in fact a manifestation of color temperature (light color). Therefore, color temperature can not only be observed in heated iron. As humans, we have been immersed in color changes in the light every day for 2.5 million years.
Is the concept of yellow light or white light too abstract? Should color temperature or color be used to communicate with designers or lighting manufacturers?
When communicating with designers or lighting manufacturers, we recommend using the term color temperature (K) for more precision. At present, products on the market are labeled Warm White, Cool White, and Day Light to indicate the color of the light. Some manufacturers label their lights Warm White, Neutral White, and Cool White. So, everyone's definitions of the words are very different, which can easily lead to confusion.
Here is another example. In some lighting products, the definition of yellow light found on their outer packaging is 3000K while some yellow lights are defined as 2700K. Although both are yellow lights, the color temperature differs. In some lightings, 4000K is labelled Cool White while others label 4000K as Neutral White and 5000K or above as Cool White. The examples we've given above can be found in light fixtures all over the world. Hence, as much as possible, directly use color temperature (K) to communicate with designers or light manufacturers for better accuracy.
What color temperature is recommended for my space?
The color temperature of lighting used in a space is in fact a very subjective matter. As the saying goes, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. "Therefore, there is no standard answer to everyone's space because everyone has different views and standards towards people and things, and the definition of good and bad is also subjective. Nevertheless, here are some tips or directions to consider when planning lighting:
(1) Plan the appropriate color temperature according to the purpose of the space and the people using it, such as home, office, hotel, or library; the different duration of time when people are in the space; and whether the people mainly using the space are the elderly, children, or adults. The lighting color can then be matched according to the purpose and the target.
(2) Use the same color temperature as much as possible within the same space or keep the difference small; otherwise, the space will become very visually cluttered.
(3) If the materials used in your space are very diverse, selecting the color temperature of the light according to the general color and material of the ceiling, wall and floor of the space is recommended. For example, 3000K and 4000K projected onto light-colored wood, dark wood, light-colored stone, dark-colored stone, glossy surface, and matte surface will give rise to a different experience in each person.
Therefore, a lot of factors must be taken into consideration in the choice of color temperature. However, for personal living space, do not become overly complicated. Based on our experience, a color temperature of 3000K in more than 90% of the living space is quite OK. At night, a color temperature of 3000K feels warm and relaxing, and will not overly tax the eyes of people inside the home for a long period of time. If the space has good lighting, the 3000K light can combine with sunlight during the day to create a 3500-4000K visual experience in the space, which is good lighting for dining.