If you’ve ever worked with an interior designer, you may have heard him or her say, “We need more warm light in this room,” or, “This room needs cooler light to truly function properly.” While you may have agreed with the statement, you may not have completely understand what the designer meant. At Southern Lights, we want our customers to find the perfect light fixtures for each room, but of course, a fixture is only as good as the bulbs it uses. You need warm light in certain areas, while others need “cooler” light. In this blog, we’ll look at color temperature and how to use it best in your home!
The Kelvin Scale
Before picking out new light bulbs, it’s important to understand the Kelvin (K) scale. While it’s mostly used when dealing with thermodynamics, the K scale also applies to the color temperature of a bulb. The lower end of the scale (2000-3000K) contains warm, cozy temperatures that provide that intimate ambiance that you want in your dining room or bedroom. The light produced by “warm” bulbs will have more of an orange or yellow tint, which makes them great for ambient or general lighting.
Higher Number=Cooler Light
One thing to always remember that as the K scale number rises, the cooler the light gets. Even though we’re dealing with color “temperature,” a higher number doesn’t mean warmer. Bulbs in the 3100-4500K range provide brighter light that’s more vibrant, making them ideal for spaces that need adequate task lighting. Your garage, your basement, and your bathroom are three areas that could benefit greatly from having cool white bulbs. If you want to avoid eye strain while working on something, make sure you have the proper bulbs.
What if You Want Artificial Daylight?
When designing a room, it’s always important to take the amount of daylight into consideration. If a room has several windows, you may not need as many fixtures in the space. However, if you don’t want warm or cool bulbs, but you’d rather mimic the natural light from the sun, you’ll want to find bulbs on the higher end of the Kelvin scale. Options in the 4600-6500K are the closest thing to daylight that you can find, and their crisp, blue-white light can make a room feel like it’s bathed in sunshine, even in the middle of the night. You’ll want to make sure there isn’t too much light in the room, as you don’t want it to feel unnatural or oversaturated.
There are many bulb options to choose from, and the experts at Southern Lights will be more than happy to help you find the best products for your home. If you need new bulbs for your bedroom lamps, then warmer options are going to be best; if you’re updating your bathroom lighting, then you’re going to want cool, brighter bulbs. If you have any questions about the Kelvin scale, how to best balance the light in a room, or anything else related to lighting, we’re here to help.