LED Light Color Temperature and Choosing the Right Temperature for Your Home

LED lighting colors and temperature requirements vary depending on your usage. One room may need a cool or neutral color, while a warm LED light color temperature may be a good choice for another room.

When buying your LED lights, it’s important to consider:

  • Light color temperature
  • Temperature recommendations by space
  • Color temperature scale

If you’re shopping for LED lights for your home or business, understanding the following points is of the utmost importance.

Understanding LED Light Color Temperature

When shopping for lighting, you’ll notice that LED lights have color temperatures. These temperatures are different hues of white and use Kelvin (K) for measurement. There is also something called “CCT” or correlated color temperature.

If you see CCT, this relates to:

  • Warm colors, or yellow.
  • Cool colors, or blue.

Kelvin is really what’s important because it’s a good representation of a light’s temperature. When at 2000K, the light is very warm, but when it’s at 6000K, it’s a very bright, cool color. In most cases, you’ll find lights that range between 2000K and 5000K.

What are the Different LED Lighting Colors?

You’ve likely seen an array of LED lighting colors, but when speaking of color temperature, there are three main colors of choice:

  1. Warm. When looking at Kelvins, anything that is to a little over 3000K and under.
  2. Neutral. Neutral would be somewhere between 3000K and 4000K.
  3. Cool. A cool light would be anything 4000K or above.
LED light color temperature scale

Of course, unless you deal with lighting every day, you probably don’t know what you need for your specific use. A general rule of thumb is that lighting that is over 4000K is bright and would be what you would find in a hospital or medical setting.

The lighting may be good for other spaces, too:

  • Kitchens
  • Offices
  • Workspaces

When you need to perform detailed tasks, brighter lighting may be a good option. Anything in the 5000K range or higher is normally only seen in commercial settings and will have a blueish hue.

The light emitted by these bulbs often mimics daylight and is blue-white in color.

Neutral Colors

A neutral LED light can be described as a warm white and is warm and welcoming. You’ll often find these lights in overhead lighting and vanities, but they’re also used for outdoor lighting, entryways and bathrooms.

If you’re looking for an LED that produces lighting similar to a halogen lamp, the 3000K to 3500K range is a really good option.

Halogen bulbs are what a lot of people, especially in residential settings, are accustomed to using in their homes. If you want the benefits of a long-lasting LED while also enjoying the warm white light of a halogen, this is the perfect choice.

At the higher Kelvin range, these lights may go from a neutral color to having a slightly blue tint to them.

Warm Colors

Warm lighting is what you find in the 3000K and below range. A 2700K bulb also offers a warm white color, but it’s a cozy and inviting color. You’ll find these bulbs primarily in bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms where you want a nice ambient light.

A few good options for these bulbs are:

  • Chandeliers
  • Pendants
  • Floor lamps
  • Table lamps

In terms of appearance, this lighting is orange or yellow-white in appearance.

When choosing the right LED light color temperature, it’s vital that you choose the temperature on a room-by-room basis. It’s not uncommon to have a warmer color in your dining room or a cooler color in your office because the additional light is perfect for detail-oriented tasks.

How LED Lighting Changes Wall Colors

Your LED lighting colors will also have an impact on the paint color of your walls. When you add lighting, you need to consider the following:

  • Soft lighting will make your bright colors more intense. Walls that are red, orange or yellow (or various shades of these colors) will have their color intensified when you use softer lighting. Your green, blue and gray walls will be duller.
  • Warmer lighting adds an amber hue to the room and works exceptionally well for rooms that have warmer paint colors. You can expect the richness and warmth of the paint on your walls to be enhanced with warm lighting.
  • Cooler lighting is the ideal choice for cooler paints. If you want to pair your lighting with gray, green or blue walls, choose a cooler lighting.

Experimenting with the temperature of your lighting is a good way to change the appearance of a space. Lumen output will play a role in how the paint on the walls is accentuated with light. Brighter lighting will provide a “truer” color to the paint on your walls.

LED Kelvin Range for Each Room

There are no concrete guidelines on what each room in your space must use in terms of lighting. Different rooms can use different LED temperatures and brightness. But there are a few recommendations that we have for different rooms in your home or commercial building:

  • Bedrooms do well with warmer lighting that is in the 2700K to 3000K range.
  • Bathrooms look best with lighting that is in the 3000K to 4000K range.
  • Dining rooms are a good choice for warmer colors.
  • Living rooms look best with warmer light that is 3000K and under.
  • Kitchens are tricky because there may be other lighting in the space, so the range is between 2700K and 4000K.
  • Office or garage spaces normally do better with cooler lighting that ranges from 3000K to 5000K.

If you’re not sure which LED light color temperature to choose, there are dimming options that allow you to change the color temperature and optimize the look of each room based on your own preference.

Dimming options are great for spaces, such as living rooms or kitchens, where you may want a range of lighting, from nice ambient light to brighter lighting that’s great for reading recipes and preparing food.

LED lighting colors adds function to a space. The right lighting will make wall colors pop and is made even more versatile with dimming options.