When you begin planning your outdoor lighting, there are several factors to consider. Each one can impact the final results you achieve. One that is new to many people is the concept of color temperature. While it may not be a factor that is widely understood, it is one that can significantly impact the look and feel of your outdoor space.

What is Color Temperature?

Color temperature is the measurement which indicates the extent of the bluish or yellowish tint to a white light. Higher color temperatures appear bluish in color, while lower color temperatures look yellowish. Something that is quite interesting is the fact that human vision will compensate for these tints and can perceive both low and high color temperature lights as actually being white. In fact, it is only in situations where there are two sources of color temperatures presented side-by-side that they look different. However, there are a few other subtle effects these differences present.

Getting to know what these differences are can help you determine what type of light you would like to use for your outdoor lighting and landscape needs.

History of Color Temperature

The measurement was first developed in the later part of the 1800s by William Kelvin. He experimented with a block or carbon and heat to see what colors would be produced when the carbon reached certain temperatures. At first, the heated carbon block produced a dim red light, but eventually, a bright blue-white glow appeared when the temperature grew. He also noticed that with the lower temperatures, the majority of the energy was converted into heat.

The Importance of Color Temperature

This measurement is important for many reasons, but especially in the lighting industry. The fact is, color temperature can affect the color seen, and as a result, the emotional impact and mood created. Some of the most commonly used color temperatures of LED lighting and how it is best used in your landscape are found here.

  • Very Warm White (2200K): This is considered the lowest possible color temperature for a white light – anything lower is yellow. This is also commonly called candlelight and used for romantic, low key settings such as around hot tubs and outdoor fireplaces.
  • Warm Light (2700K): This light is similar to the halogen-style of landscape lighting. It is the most common and popular option for landscapes. According to research, this light is believed to be more soothing and welcoming compared to color temperatures that are higher.
  • Natural or Warm White (3000K): This is noticeably cooler than 2700K and there are some landscaping professionals that like this option. It helps to accentuate the blues and greens present in vegetation.
  • Cool White (4000K): This is more bluish in color and often used for illuminating blue vegetation. It can also simulate moonlight.

As you can see, the color temperature of the lighting selected can impact the look and feel of your outdoor space. If you would like more information, contact The IDL Company to learn more.