Last updated: 2023-02-12

Light Color

Table of Contents
Color Temperature - Warm White through Day Light

Color Temperature. Warm or cool light?

image for light in kelvins Color temperature in lighting describes how the color of the light appears from a lamp, measured in kelvins (K).
Imagine a scale from 1000K (very red) to 10,000K (very blue) (actual scale is wider). The higher up the scale you go, the closer the light resembles blue daylight.
Color temperature does not describe the actual temperature of the lamp itself but the color it produces. The higher the color temperature the “cooler” a lamp will look.
A light bulb’s (lamp’s) color temperature lets us know what the look and feel of the light produced will be.
Color temperature is a way to describe the light appearance provided by a light bulb. It is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000. Typically, Kelvin temperatures for commercial and residential lighting applications fall somewhere on a scale from 2000K to 6500K.

image of color temperature scale in kelvins

What is a Lumen?
A Lumen (lm) is the International Standard unit for the total amount of visible light emitted from a source. Like Watts, Lumens are a standard measurement within the lighting industry and can be found on the box of most light bulbs.
To illustrate the relationship between Watts and Lumens across different lighting technologies, consider the following. The information below shows the typical Lumen levels expected from traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • For Warm White Color, Day Light is much brighter
  • 40w incandescent = 380 – 460 Lumens
  • 60w incandescent = 750 – 850 Lumens
  • 75w incandescent = 1100 – 1300 Lumens
  • 100w incandescent = 1700 – 1800 Lumens
  • Direct sunlight = 100,000 Lumens
The information below shows the typical Lumen levels expected from LEDs.
  • For Warm White, Day Light is MUCH brighter
  • 5w LED 400 Lumens
  • 7w LED A19 = 600 Lumens
  • 12w LED PAR30 = 850 Lumens

Beam Angle

Fixtures and Bulbs Determine Beam Angle

Beam angle is how quickly light spreads as it leaves the fixture.Quality bulbs have a beam angle rating and color temperature rating, along with wattage. Beam angle determines how quickly the light output spreads wider as it leaves the fixture. Smaller values (narrow beam angle) for distant targets. Wide beam angles for close in wide light saturation.
Beam angle of bulb makes a big difference. A 20 degree beam angle focuses light output with a narrow beam angle. The spot light will use a narrow beam angle. A flood light, or wall wash light will use a wider beam angle.
image for beam angles of light

Up Light / Spot Light Fixtures

Bala Down light / path light

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