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LED lighting – How to Get the Right Color Temperature

LED LIGHTING - How to Get the Right Color Temperature, A Consumer Guide

LED lighting has revolutionized the residential lighting industry. With all of the good qualities that LED lamps bring to the table, color is not one of them. We all know that an LED lamp is much more energy efficient than an incandescent which is wonderful, but where they can’t hold a candle is the quality of color rendering or color temperature. If you are thinking how bad could that be, the answer is really bad when it comes to your beautiful materials you’ve selected in the room. Your room colors could very easily be turned to mud by the flip of a switch and I do not think you would be very happy with that.

Picking the Right Color LED Lighting

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LED Lighting and Color Temperature

Color temperature is the method used to describe the color characteristics of light. Warm would be in the yellowish tone, cool toward a bluish tone, and the best way to get the right tone is through knowing about the Kelvin temperature of a lamp. The Kelvin temperature is a numeric value given to the color emitting a light source. Not to get too technical as you are only interested in how it affects the colors in your room, below is a chart that shows the range.

LED lighting - color temp chart measured in Kelvin temperature.

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How do I Choose the Right Kelvin Temperature in LED Lighting?

As mentioned before, the color temperature of an incandescent lamp is perfect so when I am designing the LED lighting for any room I want to be as closest to the color of an incandescent lamp as possible. I have found that a Kelvin temperature of 2700K in an LED lamp plays the most friendly with my room colors which are why I try to always specify 2700K and no more than 3000K. In a commercial space I don’t mind 3000K, but feel it is a little too cool for residential. Sometimes, in order to get the candle power and beam-spread I need in a lamp I have to settle on a 3000K, it’s kind of a give and take, when lighting a space. What you need to make sure you don’t go under 2700K or over 3000K.

LED Lighting and Color Rendition Index

The CRI measures the ability of a light source to accurately read a color and is rated on a scale from 1-100. The lower the CRI rating is the less accurate the colors of the room will be reproduced which is not good. You want to make sure your LED lamps have a CRI rating of 95 which is only available in quality LED lamps.

Why It’s a Good Idea to Have a Professional Lighting Design?

LED Lighting - Layered Master Bathroom Lighting floor plan legend

LED Lighting - LIGHTING PLAN VANITY ELEVATION

The color is just part of the equation for lighting a space, although it is an important one! There are other things that come into play when lighting a room and a professional can help you get it right. Lighting is mathematical and can be measured. Rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom, it is really important. A professional can measure the beam-spread of a lamp and how it will hit the space without leaving a shadow or a scallop of light where you don’t want it. They can develop a layered lighting plan that will give you the user complete control over the light levels in the room. Another important part is deciding which type of lamp is needed from a PAR3O to an MR16, each offers a different throw of light that will matter to a perfect lighting solution.

As a professional interior designer and a certified kitchen and bath designer, I have a true passion when it comes to correctly lighting a space. So often the lighting is forgotten about because the consumer thinks someone like the builder, electrician, or even the architect has taken care of it, but the facts are they do not. The only way you have a true lighting plan is if the lamps that go into the fixtures are actually specified. Most of the time they are not and it is decided on site by the guy in the field, not a good way to go. You want to think about it during the designing process and make sure each room is lit perfectly.

For a Perfect Lighting Plan

Contact me for lighting consultation PatriciaDavisBrownDesigns.com.

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Tips to Designing a Layered Lighting Plan for Your Master Bathroom


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