Thinking of adding new LED lighting to your office, but confused by the options that are available to you? When LED lights were first introduced in the early 1960s, they had a striking red hue, but nowadays they are available in three different tones that generate a much wider breadth of light which reaches 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 pertaining to which rooms to use which lights in, there are best practices for where to use each type.


Cool Light: LED lights with a cool tone to them give off a hue that is most often blue, but can also be green. Cool LED lighting has an artificial look to it and is often used to highlight items in display cabinets and in 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 to it? Cool LED lights will have an intensity of at least 5500K (Kelvin) or greater.


Natural Light: As their name implies, natural LED lights produce a bright white luminosity that’s closest to the natural light given off by the sun. The most popular of the LED tones, natural lights 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 Light: Warm toned LED lights give off a color that can range from golden yellow to red. This type of 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 that an incandescent bulb gives off 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, the science behind the different LED light colors makes your decision easy. Implementing cool tone LED lighting will help show off display and décor, implementing natural LED lighting will help office employees stay focused and productive, and incorporating warm LED lighting will create a soft, relaxing atmosphere in your lounge or reception area.


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