Colour temperature

Yes, your colour has a temperature, no before you reach for the phone to call a doctor, this is perfectly normal.

OK so what is it. . .

If we go back to our happy childhood days when we switched on our 60W tungsten filaments lamps, we marvelled at the warm comforting glow for almost a heartbeat before we picked up our action man and ran around screaming like a lunatic. No, hmm maybe that was just me then. Well that warm cosy glow is now technically termed as 2700K (The K standing for Kelvin).

While this is great for relaxing at home with, it’s not so great to study a book under for instance. It is much better to have a ‘cooler’ white which will keep you awake (Note ‘Cooler’ but not necessarily ‘Brighter’). So the Kelvin scale gives us the warmth of colour of the light source (Or the lack of it). There are a couple of recognised standard values, these being 2700K (also 3000K) Warm white, 4000K White, 6400K Cool White. The lower you go, the closer to the red spectrum (And eventually Infrared) you get whereas the higher numbers push towards the blue spectrum (And then towards ultraviolet).

The lamps outer packaging should display this information, so you know what you are buying.

But why?

Well think of it this way, you come in from a cold rainy day in the country, its drab outside and got home switch the light on and make a hot drink and relax on the sofa. A 2700K lamp is perfect for this; the light source makes your brain think it is warm and cosy. But if you were on a hot dusty desert road and come to an outback bar, that’s the last thing you want, you’d want a nice cooling effect light like a 4000K or maybe even a 6400K to give that chilled ambience. Follow by a cold beer of course to really cool things down, but hey these are only lamps after all we can only expect so much.


~ by futurelamps on December 3, 2012.

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