Color temperature is the color characteristic of light. Color temperature can change the feel or mood of any room or work space in any multifamily, commercial, or institutional setting. Purchasing light bulbs with the right color temperature can help you create consistent and inviting lighting effects in any room.

Understanding Light Bulb Color Temperature

Color temperature is measured in units of absolute temperature known as Kelvin (K).

  • Higher color temperatures (4500K or more) are referred to as daylight colors that appear cool blue-white.
  • Mid-range color temperatures (3100-4600K or more) offer clean, cool whites and balanced neutrals.
  • Lower color temperatures (up to 3000K) appear as warm, inviting white colors with yellowish-white tones.
Light Bulb Color Temperature

Which Color is Right for You?

Warm White or Soft White

The traditional color of incandescent bulb produces calm, relaxing light that is ideal for bedrooms, living rooms, lobbies, and more. Look for bulbs with a Kelvin temperature of 2,700 - 3,000K.

Cool White, Neutral & Bright White

Produces balanced and efficient light perfect for kitchens, patient rooms, and work stations. Look for bulbs with a Kelvin temperature of 3,500 - 4,100K in cool white, neutral, and bright white

Natural or Daylight

Delivers more vibrant light streams suitable for bathrooms, work areas, and when illuminating displays. Look for bulbs with a Kelvin temperature of 5,000 - 6500K

When selecting color temperature, make sure you stay consistent throughout your facility. Having mismatched bulb colors disrupts the lighting harmony and ambience of your property.

The best way to avoid mismatched colors is to buy light bulbs in bulk, and keep a record of the type and brand of bulbs you use. That way you are assured new bulbs will match. Saved Lists is an easy way for you to keep this information handy.