Energy Efficient Lighting
Littman Bros Lighting |  May 16, 2013

Light Bulbs and Color Temperature

CFL Bulbs

The introduction of the CFL into residential homes has brought some great attention to color temperature; before the compact fluorescent light bulbs were popular, there were not as many options in color temperature for bulbs. The incandescent bulb has been THE residential light bulb for decades, which produces a warmer light at 2700k and has become the color we associate with warm and inviting homes. Light color is measured on a temperature scale referred to as Kelvin (k) – the higher the Kelvin the cooler the light output. Bulbs with a Kelvin of 3500 or lower will output an amber hue, 3500 to 4100 will produce a white hue and anything over 4100 will look blue.

Today there are so many light bulb choices that you truly can find a color that matches your preference. Although incandescent bulbs are typically at 2700k, they now offer bulbs with a purple coating; this unique coating filters out the dull, yellow rays revealing truer colors. Halogen light bulbs are more like natural light than the incandescent bulb at 2800k. When CFLs were first introduced they were only offered in cooler tones, once they were able to manufacture the energy efficient bulbs at 2700k to 3000k CFLs became more popular. This growing popularity is because we have come to associate warmer light with a welcoming home. LED bulbs are the next big thing in energy saving technology, which are becoming increasingly popular light bulbs as their color temperature lowers into the 2700k to 3000k range and slowly become more affordable.