CCT: Understanding Correlated Color Temperature of your light

Did you know color temperature (Correlated Color Temperature or CCT) is essentially a gauge of how yellow or blue the color of light emitted from a light source (bulb or chip) appears?

Generally, any uniform white LED lighting will be perceived as white by the human eye, which naturally adjusts to different lighting conditions. However, white LED lighting is actually available in a range of subtle color variations, which become obvious when two different LED lights are placed next to each other. LED light can range from a warm yellow reminiscent of traditional incandescent lighting, to a cool bluish white resembling natural daylight. The term “color temperature” is used to describe the color cast of the light produced by a LED fixture.

CCT is measured in the Kelvin unit and is most commonly found between 2700 Kelvin degrees and 6500 kelvin degrees.  The scale ranges from 1,000k (candlelight) all the way to 10,000k (cold, sky blue). The lower end of the scale has a “warmer” feel with a more red or orange hue to the color. The higher end scale on the other has a cooler feel to it and has more white or blue hue.

Natural sunlight varies from 4000k to 5000k dependent on manufacturer. Majority of all commercial and industrial lighting is going to fall into the 5000k bright white range. A CCT of 5000k and above produces a crisp white light with a high proportion of blue, comparable to natural daylight. Believed to boost concentration and productivity, LED lighting with this CCT is often preferred for commercial and industrial settings. 5000k is also the preference for exterior parking lots and flood lighting as it provides for enhanced visibility offering safety and security.

What CCT is best for each application depends on the type of environment. A home living room or bedroom would warrant a warm relaxing temperature- and where visibility is crucial in a warehouse, a higher - brighter CCT would be best.

As lighting technology continues to expand, you will see more options for “Selectable CCT” actually built in to the lighting fixture itself, offering you a choice of CCT prior to your installation or the ability to change the CCT if you need to better match the temperature to the environment.

If you have any questions regarding the CCT needed for your lighting gives us a call, we’re here to assist:  1-877-718-0808

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