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Do you need to install, choose, change new lighting in your rooms? Choose the right light, but which one? The answer is there color temperature.
Color temperature is a term used in lighting engineering, best known by photographers or in paint shops, or bookbinding/print shops, where color rendering must be faithful and consistent.
In practice the shades of light is measured with a scale, and the unit of measurement is called kelvin (K).
The visible color temperature can be represented as in the following figure.
Here is an example of the shades of light most commercially available when choosing a light bulb, led, neon, and other light sources.
They range from the red of a 1000K light (read 1000 “kelvin” or 1000 “kappa”) to the neutral white of light with a 4000K tone.
The classic incandescent light bulb that was once used had a shade around 2800K. The light tone of a candle is around 1000K.
In the civil sector, in rustic environments, warm lights are preferred, therefore with shades from 3000 to 3700K. In the modern world, however, 4000K is a neutral white that can have a good effect and excellent visibility, even if for some it may be a bit cold.
Cool lights down to blue
More used in the industrial sector and for sector applications, often in replacement of external lights due to their ability to make one perceive excellent visibility, even if in some cases annoying, depending on the direction of pointing. The 5000K hue is said normalized lightis a cold light and can be used by printers, photolitists, coachbuilders, painting departments or by those who have to prepare appraisals and evaluations on diamonds and precious stones, this because the shade is recognized as a standard to have a real, measurable, repeatable reference value .
For example, the sunlight at noon, although it depends on the latitude, the season and the clarity of the atmosphere, has a hue that stands at 4900K.
The most common xenon headlights in cars are typically around 6000-6500K.
For the reading shades ranging from 3000K to 4000K are recommended, especially the latter shade. In homes with traditional furnishings, shades from 2700K to 3500K are used, lights often called warm white or warm white. In supermarkets, offices and modern living spaces, 4000K shades are used, called neutral white, as sharpness and detail are more important. Finally, cold lights, often preferred in large public or industrial outdoor spaces, are defined as cool white. This is why we advise you to refer to the color temperature, a measurable parameter which defines the tone of a light without doubts and surprises.
There is no general rule regarding the choice of the shade of light sources in civil and commercial environments. Instead, there are regulations regarding the amount of light required in workplaces or places open to the public, which we will deal with in another article. Everyone can base themselves on their own tastes, on the needs of the place where the sources will be installed. The Impact of the hue of the light is above all psychological.
Warm light is generally perceived as soft, enveloping, familiar, rustic, classic. Cold light as hard and sharp, modern, which outlines clean spaces and highlights their details.
We would hardly choose cold light for the living room or guest room, while we might prefer it for the study or for the bathrooms. Feelings of greater order and cleanliness are associated with cold light. Preferences can still vary according to the environments and the people who live there.
Finally, it is useful to make a consideration on theefficiency of LED light sources. For technical issues which we will not deal with in this article, it may happen that by purchasing a 3000K LED bulb and e.g. 8W does not have the same amount of light as the same 8W bulb but with a 4000K shade. Apart from the optical effect of a slightly cooler light, a 4000K light bulb can give a greater quantity of light, up to 40% more, for the same amount of energy consumed. These considerations will be explored in another article.
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