COLOR TEMPERATURE

Correlated color temperature (CCT) relates to the color of light produced by a light source, measured in degrees Kelvin. Imagine a piece of tungsten metal being heated. As it is heated the color of the metal will gradually shift from red to orange to yellow to white to bluish white. The color of light is measured along this scale, with the more orange color light being referred to as "warm white" and the whiter color light being referred to as "cool white". The table below lists the color temperature of various light sources. Realize that the color temperature of specific products may fall out of the ranges listed below.

CCT (degrees)
 
1500 K
candle
warm
1800 K
sunlight at dawn
warm
2000 K
high pressure sodium light
warm
2700 K
conventional incandescent light
warm
2800 K
warm white fluorescent light
warm
3000 K
halogen light
warm
4000 K
cool white fluorescent light
neutral
5000 K
sunlight at midday
cool
6000 K
mercury vapor light
cool
6500 K
daylight flourescent light
cool

Warm color temperatures tend to enhance red and orange colors, adding a yellow tint to white items, and are typically used in homes and restaurants. Neutral color temperature lights do not bring out any particular color, and are common in retail stores. Cool color temperature lights enhance blue colors, adding a bluish color to white items, and are often used in hospitals and offices.