The kelvin is used as a measure of the colour temperature of light sources. Colour temperature is based upon the principle that a black body radiator emits light with a frequency distribution characteristic of its temperature. Black bodies at temperatures below about 4000 K appear reddish, whereas those above about 7500 K appear bluish. Colour temperature is important in the fields of image projection and photography, where a colour temperature of approximately 5600 K is required to match "daylight" film emulsions.
The lower is the colour temperature, the warmer the white light appears, while a higher Kelvin will appear cooler. Colour temperature generally ranges from 2700-3300K (warm) to 3300-5300 (cool) – and 6500K is daylight.
Choosing a colour temperature is very subjective and everyone has his own preference when creating an ambiance.
When choosing the colour temperature you really need to consider the finishes and colour palette of each space. Reds, orange, yellow, and wood all look beautiful under warm white light. Whereas blues, and greys can look ‘flat’. Cool white will make blue colours look amazing and can make white look ‘crisp’. However reds and yellows can appear a little brown and wood can look ‘dull’.
- Warm White (2 700-3 000 K): Welcoming and smooth lighting. Highlights reds and yellows to create an inviting space!
- White (3 500 K): Dynamic and even lighting. Create a neutral light for a balanced environment!
- Cool White (4 100 K): Radiant, clean and stimulating lighting. Helps increase contrast, perfect for task
- Daylight (5 000 K): Pleasant and luminous lighting. It imitates sunlight to create a stimulating and lively environment!