Lights, Kelvin, Action: the light spectrum and how it affects where you live and work

If you’re interested in DIY, or an electrician, you should know when selecting a light (globe) brightness (lumen output) is not the only factor to consider; the colour of the globe is also important. For example, you wouldn’t want your cosy living room awash with bright, harsh light; a warm, soft light provides a calmer and soothing resonance in a living area; somewhere you can drift off for a snooze on the couch.

An illustration of lighting colour spectrum

What is the colour of an average living room light?

The colour of a globe/light is measured in Kelvin temperature (also known as K). Named after a Scottish engineer and physicist; the higher the number, the bluer the light is, as the spectrum ranges from yellowy-red to blue.

A table featuring the Kelvin spectrum

Image from Wikipedia

Your average halogen downlight lamp, installed across Australia has a typical colour of 3,000 K. This places it in a warm, inviting range, creating a cosy atmosphere. Our LED upgrades include 3,000 K LEDs to replicate this warm environment at a fraction of the energy use of old halogens. Enquire about a free upgrade here.

What colour is the average office light?

A helpful comparison:

Typical homes have lights of 3,000 K

Businesses need staff to stay alert and motivated, so a cosy atmosphere is probably best avoided and therefore 5-6000 K lights are ideal for a business.

Businesses that have high ceilings and busy staff, like warehouses will use lights like highbays with a typical colour of 6,000 K

From the image below (a photography example) you can see the effect different lights have on the atmosphere of a room and why it’s crucial when installing your lights to select a colour that’s most appropriate for the use of the room

the light spectrum and how it affects ambience
Image from Apogee photo


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