Lighting Lesson: Understanding Color Temperature

Finding the right color temperature for a room can be a bit overwhelming – especially if you have no idea what color temperature means! Luckily, we have everything you need to know to become a color temperature pro.


What Exactly is Color Temperature?

First things first, color temperature is the appearance of light produced by a light bulb.  For example, we often describe light as being either “warm” or “cool” in appearance.  Warm light will enhance red and orange tones in a room, while cool light beautifies purple and blue hues.  The appearance of a light bulb is determined by its color temperature.  We measure color temperature in degrees of Kelvin (K).  Unlike F° or C°, color temperature is not a physical temperature but rather a measure of the visible color produced by a light bulb.Capture2

Where Do I Find a Bulb’s Color Temperature?

The color temperature of a light bulb is listed under “Light Appearance” on the Lighting Facts label, found on Westinghouse Lighting’s bulb packaging.



Why Does Color Temperature Matter?

Knowing how to read a light bulb’s color temperature is an indispensable tool when comparing light bulbs. From warm and welcoming to crisp and invigorating, color temperature determines the look and feel of a room. To achieve the right ambience for each room of your home, it’s important to determine your desired Kelvin temperature for every space.

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So How Do I Figure Out the Right Color Temperature?

For home lighting applications, light bulbs with a color temperature range of 2700K – 5000K is most common.

Within this range, we’re going to focus on three temperatures: 2700K, 3000K, and 5000K. With these three temperatures, you can find the ideal color temperature for virtually any space, indoors or out.

Here’s all you need to know about these color temperatures, and where to use them:


As promised, you are now a color temperature expert! You have all the tools and knowledge you need to create the perfect ambience in every room of your home.To see each color temperature in action, check out our color temperature video guide.


Still have questions? Visit our Lighting Education pages or leave us a comment below.

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