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What does 'Color Temperature/Value' Mean?

The color temperature or color value of a light bulb is used to define the color of the light emitted from the light bulb. Color temperature is expressed in degrees Kelvin (K), which is a numerical scale used to describe the color of light. The color temperature correlates with the color description. Light bulbs with a lower Kelvin temperature emit more of a yellowish, and sometimes reddish, tinted color of light. This color of light is sometimes referred to as “warm white”, similar to the light intensity of a sunrise or sunset, and is usually measured at 2700K to 3500K. The next highest range of color temperature is from 4000K to 4500K and emits what is considered a “natural white” color of light. The brightest color of light is measured at 5000K to 6000K and is known as “bright white” or “daylight” because it slightly mimics the intensity of light emitted from the sun during the daytime on a clear, sunny day. Any light with a color temperature greater then 6000K are considered “cool white” and have a bluish tint to it. Some of the criticism that comes with LED light bulbs is that they are too bright. However, LED light bulbs come in lower Kelvin temperatures that are very similar to the light emitted from traditional incandescent bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs range from 2700K to 4500K. Fluorescent bulbs emit more of a cool white color temperature.

color temperature graph

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