Lighting Colour Temperature Guide

Lighting Colour Temperature

In technical specifications for lighting and light fittings you will often see the term "colour temperature" - but what is this? and how does it tell you what is the correct lighting that you need for your application?

Colour temperature - the ranges

The colour temperature is a measure of the colour appearance of a light source ranging from 'warm' light (e.g. - low and high pressure sodium lamps) through to 'cool' light (from metal halide lamps).

The colour temperature is measured in Kelvin (K) - lamps below 3300K are classed as 'warm' whilst those above 5300K are 'cold'.

Choosing a lamp with the right colour qualities is important in business applications where product identification or colour matching is important, for example distribution warehouses or stores.

The diagram illustrates this in more detail:

Lighting colour temperature chart
Lighting colour temperature chart

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