Thinking of adding new LED lighting to your office but confused by the options? When LED lights were first introduced in the early 1960s, they had a striking red hue.
Nowadays, LED lights are available in 3 tones that generate a much wider breadth of light, reaching across infrared, ultraviolet, and visible wavelengths: cool, natural, and warm. Expressed in degrees Kelvin, color temperature is a measurement used to represent the exact hue of a certain type of light source.
So what’s the difference between cool, natural, and warm LED lights? They aren’t only there to look pretty. Rather, each color serves a unique purpose, and although there are no rules about which rooms to use which lights in, there are best practices for where to use each type.
LED lights with a cool tone give off a hue that is often blue but can also be green. Cool LED lighting looks artificial and often highlights items in display cabinets and hallways. Because this type of light has a wakening effect, it can also be a good option for use in retail spaces, kitchens, and bathrooms. So how do you know if the LED light you want to purchase has a cool tone? Cool LED lights will have an intensity of at least 5500K (Kelvin) or greater.
As the name implies, natural LED lights produce a bright white luminosity closest to the natural light given off by the sun. Natural lights are the most popular LED tone and can be easily incorporated into most home and business applications, including offices. Natural LED lights are between 5500K and 6500K—a happy medium between cool and warm light.
Warm-toned LED lights give off a color that can range from golden yellow to red. This lighting is typically used for bedrooms and lounges—places where people might want to relax. The light produced by warm LEDs is similar to the color of an incandescent bulb and is not typically recommended for office settings. Warm LED lights range from 2700K to 3000K.
While there are no rules for what type of lighting should be used in what type of room, it’s accepted that some applications work better than others. Cool tone LED lighting will show off display and décor, natural LED lighting will help office employees stay focused and productive, and warm LED lighting will create a soft, relaxing atmosphere in your lounge or reception area.