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What is meant by light color or color temperature?

The term light color describes the impression, the mood of light. In order to give this subjectively perceived impression a quantitative framework, the color temperature, with the unit Kelvin (K), was created.

In simplified terms, a distinction is made between three color temperature categories

  • Warm white 2,000° 3,300° Kelvin
  • Neutral white 3,300° 5,000° Kelvin
  • Daylight white over 5,000° Kelvin

Kelvin - Farbtemperatur. Anwendung der Farbtemperaturen Warmweiß, Neutralweiß, Tageslichtweiß.

Depending on the area of application and the mood to be achieved, attention should be paid to the color temperature when selecting the light source:

  • Warm white: has a cozy, homely effect; area of application:
    from 2,700° K: living rooms, restaurants, hotels
    from 3,000° K: entrance area, kitchenette, desk, meeting rooms, sales rooms
  • Neutral white: looks more functional, yet homely; area of application: kitchens, bathrooms, corridors, in offices or sales rooms, doctors' surgeries
  • Daylight white: has a technical, cool effect; area of application: mainly in industry, outdoors, but also in garages, for example

To better illustrate the abstract unit Kelvin, here are four examples:

  • a candle has a color temperature of approx. 1,500° Kelvin
  • an incandescent bulb with 100 watts corresponds to approx. 2,800° Kelvin
  • the light of a halogen lamp corresponds to approx. 3,000° Kelvin
  • the evening or morning sun has a value of approx. 5,000° Kelvin

Our experience shows that if an incandescent lamp with a warm white light of 2,800° is replaced with an LED light source of 3,000° K, this light is often perceived as bluish. This is particularly true of 1st generation LED lamps. If you would like to achieve the warm white light of an incandescent lamp, please ensure that the Kelvin number is below 3,000° K. If you are interested in purchasing a luminaire with built-in LED technology and are still unsure about the light temperature, please contact us and we will be happy to inform you about the manufacturer-specific light temperature of the luminaire.

Color rendering level (Ra) of different light sources

Colors are rendered most "realistically" in sunlight or incandescent light. LED lamps and halogen lamps come very close to this Ra value. This is important, for example, when illuminating pictures or at the workplace.

Light sourceColor rendering index CRI
Sunlight, incandescent lamp100
LED lamps75-95
Metal halide lamps with ceramic burner>90
Fluorescent lamps, five-band lamps70-85
Fluorescent lamps, three-band lamps>80
Compact fluorescent lamps, energy-saving lamps80-89
Metal halide lamps65-96
Fluorescent lamps, standard lamps60-75

Source: wikipedia

Want to replace your old light bulbs?

Here is a comparison table LumenWatt.