by Jane Noble
Sep. 09, 2016
If you have read our other articles about light bulbs, you should have a much clearer picture of the differences between light bulbs and the impact they can have on your décor and surroundings. Years of incandescent lighting have accustomed our eyes to seeing the world in a warm, slightly yellowish glow. Now that incandescents are a thing of the past, the advanced technology of CFLs and LEDs allows us to choose the color temperature we want depending on the task and location.
Remember, the color temperature (Correlated Color Temperature: CCT) is measured in Kelvins and is the number ranging from 2700K to 6000K that measures the color of the light. This number is printed on the light bulb. The lower numbers have more yellow, the mid range around 3500K is the brightest white and the top end becomes a bluish color. The whiter lights will appear brighter even if the number of lumens is the same.
Most rooms have multiple lighting sources so that the mood and ambiance can be changed, so you may well combine different bulbs in each room.
As a general rule, even in a warm climate, I like the main source of lighting in the living room to be warm (2700K). It has a comforting, relaxing quality and is even more appealing in cold climates. I also like this for bedrooms.
The whiter light (3500K) has a more energetic feel and works very well in work areas and the kitchen where you want to see what you are doing. I also like this in bathrooms particularly where there is a lot of white tile and fixtures so that the white stays crisp and fresh with no yellow hue.
Lighting with an index rating of 4500K upwards can seem even sharper and therefore works well in basements and work areas for working on intricate projects. It is also very clear for reading.