Outdoor lighting is important for many reasons including safety, security, aesthetics and mood-setting. When installing lights around your home, it is also important to keep the color temperature in mind. Color temperature can affect the overall mood and energy. The best color temperature for outdoor lighting will vary based on your unique landscaping setting and personal tastes. With that being said, there are a few things you should know about color temperature. Here, Georgia Lightscapes discusses everything there is to know about color temperature for outdoor lighting.
What is Color Temperature?
The majority of lighting products are offered in a variety of color temperatures. Correlated color temperature, or ‘CCT’, is a term for how warm or cool the color of light emitted from an LED bulb or fixture appears. It is measured in units of Kelvin (K) on a scale of 1,000 to 10,000. Typically, Kelvin temperatures for residential lighting applications fall somewhere between 2500K and 5000K.
Using Color Temperature at Home
Generally for residential homes, ‘warm‘ light is anything 3000K or lower, while ‘cool‘ light is 4000K or above. 3500K, a middle ground often called ‘neutral’, can look at either temperature depending on surroundings and another lighting nearby. Color temperatures higher than 4000K are commonly used for commercial and hospital applications because the light is very bright and has a daylight cast. Keep in mind that the following are guidelines and the choice is ultimately up to you. Whether you need an ambient source of accent light or one for highly-focused task lighting, keep in mind the following Kelvin ranges:
- 2200-2700K: produces a warm light that’s best for low-light areas where ambient lighting is needed.
- 3000-3500K: produces a soft white light that’s crisper than 2700K, similar to halogen lamps.
- 4000-4500K: produces a bright white light that’s ideal in kitchens, offices, workspaces and vanities.
- 5000K and up: produces a bright bluish hue of light, mostly found in commercial locations.
Mixing Color Temperatures
Mixing color temperatures in a single room can be difficult, but if done properly, can give great aesthetics. There are three main lighting layers: task, ambient, and accent. Choosing the right temperature for specific areas of the home, such as under the cabinets or in accent lighting, can add a personal touch. Knowing how to layer lighting can help determine how to best mix temperatures in your home or business.
Choosing The Right Color Temperature
- Landscape Lighting – Slightly cooler color temperatures are used to accent plants in the landscape (generally 3000k-4000k). For the popular moonlighting effect, use downlighting where the light shines down from a higher point into trees. The best color temperature for moonlighting is 4000k which most closely mimics the color of natural moonlight.
- Your Business or Home’s Exterior – Warmer color temperatures are used to highlight architectural elements (between 2500k-2700k), however cool white color temperatures between 5500k-6000k may be chosen for a higher level of security.
- Outdoor Areas – Lighting your outdoor entertainment area sets the whole mood for outdoor entertainment. Warm white lighting choices are popular as they create an inviting, intimate atmosphere for spending time outdoors with friends and family.
Need Outdoor Lighting?
Georgia Lightscapes, a top-rated outdoor lighting company in Atlanta, provides residential outdoor lighting for Metro Atlanta and most of Georgia. Our complete outdoor lighting services include design, installation, and superior service. Georgia Lightscapes works with you to design an outdoor lighting system that meets your budget and needs, whether it is to illuminate your home in the evening, your outdoor living areas for nighttime enjoyment, or provide functional lighting for increased safety and security. Georgia Lightscapes is a start to finish lighting installation company. Our goal is to see your home beautifully illuminated with outdoor lights and build a long-term relationship with our clients. Give us a call today!