Are you trying to figure out how to choose the right lighting? Read this article to learn about how to choose the right light bulb color temperature.
Did you know that light bulb color temperature can dramatically change the look and feel of a room?
Whether you’re hoping to create a cozy ambiance or a focused workspace, you’ll need to get the shade right. But what color is best for you?
In this article, we’ll walk you through the factors to consider and help you make the right choice. Keep reading to learn more!
Know Your Color Temperatures
Most bulbs will clearly advertise their color temperature right on the package. This value, measured in degrees Kelvin, tells you how warm or cool the light’s color is.
The lower the number, the warmer tone a bulb will put off.
- 2700K – 3000K is considered the warm or soft white range, best suited for areas where you want to relax or entertain guests
- 3500K – 4500K is the neutral white light range, offering a balance between warm and soft color light for use in multipurpose spaces
- Over 5000K – this tone simulates daylight and is best suited for use in offices, kitchens, bathrooms, and other spaces where high visibility is important
Keep in mind that these numbers indicate tone, not brightness. And, choosing the right one is essential to creating an overall feeling of relaxation or focus within your home.
In the next section, we’ll get you more comfortable with light colors and explain the difference between warm and cool bulbs.
How Color Alters Mood
Believe it or not, the colors you’re exposed to can have a major impact on how you feel. Color psychology is an important factor to keep in mind when choosing a bulb, especially if you’re shopping for home lighting.
Warm colors like yellow and orange occur naturally during sunrise and sunset. So, they help us to feel relaxed.
That’s why you’ll often see warm-toned lights in bedrooms, living rooms, and entertainment areas.
Cool colors like blue and green are similar to the midday sun. These higher color temperatures can increase concentration and feelings of alertness.
This makes them a top pick for kitchens and bathrooms, as well as home offices.
Most bulbs will be sold with information on whether they are warm, natural, or bright white. And, while the difference may seem subtle, it will definitely have a big impact on how your space looks and feels.
If you are using multiple light sources in one room, use a brighter tone for overhead lighting and a warmer one for accents. This will help you avoid blindingly bright lamps at eye level or a ceiling that is poorly lit and looks too low.
What About Wattage?
In addition to Kelvin light color, you’ll also want to consider light bulb wattage when choosing a tone. If you’re using modern LED low watt lightbulbs, this will be less of a factor, as they offer plenty of lumens – a bulb’s measure of brightness, despite their low energy consumption.
However, if you’re relying on traditional incandescent bulbs, wattage can be a good indication of how bright your lights will be.
- a 40-watt bulb produces 450 lumens, for romantic or dim lighting
- a 60-watt bulb produces 800 lumens, the ideal number for household use
- a 75-watt bulb produces 1,100 lumens, good for spaces that need to be well lit
- a 100-watt bulb produces 1,600 lumens, better for offices, kitchens, and bathrooms
- a 150-watt bulb produces 2,600 lumens, which is likely too bright for home use
While low wattage light bulbs might equal savings on your electric bill, they might also leave some spaces feeling dim or dark, unless you’re using LED bulbs and fixtures.
When choosing a light bulb, be sure to make lumens a deciding factor when it comes to brightness and color! And, if you haven’t already made the switch, consider changing to all LED lighting.
This small change can help you save a ton on power and make your home more environmentally sustainable as well.
Which Light Bulb Color Temperature Is Best?
Now that you know a bit about color and temperature, it’s time to find the right tone for you. Start by considering what you’ll be using each space for, and how much natural light the room will receive during the day.
Adding a high-watt warm white bulb to an already well-lit space can cause it to feel overly bright or sterile. Likewise, adding a low-watt cool white bulb to a room that gets little to no natural light can create a small and stuffy feeling, minimizing the space.
In most cases, you’ll want to choose a neutral tone and use a few accent lights to balance it out. That way, you can create an energizing office with a relaxed reading corner or a high-functioning kitchen that works well for entertaining, too.
Some modern fixtures include extra controls like dimmer switches and tone selection, which can help make neutral lighting more versatile and save you money on buying extra bulbs.
Light It Up!
Now that you’ve mastered the basics of lumens, watts, and light bulb color temperature, you’re ready to get that lighting project started.
Don’t forget to consider each room’s use and how much natural light it gets before making a purchase. And, when in doubt, buy a test bulb or two and test them in multiple rooms.
You’ll know right away if you’ve chosen the wrong tone, and this strategy can save you a bundle when it comes to those potentially expensive bulbs.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out our other helpful blog posts. They’re packed with tips and tricks for all your tech needs!