Register Here | Login | My Account | Shopping Cart | Customer Service | Search| Items in Cart (0) | Quotes (0)
Call 1-800-369-6671
(Military/Intl Sales - 214-616-6180)

Vast Inventory for Fast Shipping. Custom Builds Available, Rentals and Sales.
Most items in stock for fast shipping!! UPS Ship Map Credit cards & Paypal Accepted
Home - Articles You're NOT logged in, Please log in   

Company Information

Product #:

ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
Automotive Lighting
Class Rated Signals, Alarms, and Systems
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
HID Equipment Lights
Hot Work Permit Lighting and Equipment
Hunting Lights
Industrial lasers
Industrial Transformers
Light Towers
Outdoor Lighting
Remote Security and Surveillance Systems
Temporary Construction Lights
Vehicle Mounted Spotlights
Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
Magnetic Work Lights
Crank-up Light Masts
Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
Magnetic Control Lights
NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
Power Supplies
Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
Utility Lights
Hazard Lights
Strobe Lights - Battery Operated
Strobes & Beacons
Strobe Light Bars
Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
New 12 / 24 Volt Lights
Explosion Proof Accessories and Replacement Parts
Explosion Proof Lighting
Explosion Proof Hand Lamps (Drop Lights)
Explosion Proof Lights - Stand/Dolly
Explosion Proof Tank Lights
Explosion Proof Phones and Intercoms
Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
Crane Lights
Explosion Proof Light Rentals
General Light Rentals
Light Tower and Light Plant Rentals
Power Distribution Rentals
Power Plant Lighting
Refinery lights
Environmental Services Lights
Aerospace Lights
Chemical Plant Lights
Food Grade Safe Lights
Film and Entertainment Lights
Handheld Meters and Devices
Waste Water Treatment Lights
Mining Lights
Ship Yard Lights
Work Site Lighting

01/30/12 Lighting Color Temperature in Basic Terms and Applications

Article- January 2012 By Larson

1500 Watt Metal Halide Tower Security Spotlight

Larson Electronics 1500 Watt Metal Halide Tower Security Spotlight

Very often, when we are about to purchase some form of lighting, whether it be for the home, garage or job site, we almost instinctively seek out lamps rated as being “warm white” in color. It’s not often though that we even give this choice much thought. For instance, just what do terms like “warm white” or “cool white” actually mean? Does it matter which we use, and are some color ratings more important or useful than others? For the most part, the average person chooses warm white simply because it is what they are accustomed to, and they really aren’t sure if another type might be better suited to their needs. The fact of the matter is that different color ratings do indeed have an impact on how effectively a chosen lamp will perform under specific conditions, and better performance can be had by matching a lamp to a particular application. However, in order to understand why this, it is first important to understand just what these color distinctions mean.



When we see lamps labeled as “warm white” or “cool white”, what we are looking at is the lamps color rating according to temperature. As you can guess, color temperature relates to heat, and denotes the temperature in Kelvins of a black body (piece of metal) as it heats and radiates light energy. For example, the wire filament in an incandescent lamp when no current is present is cold, and thus no heat or light energy is being radiated, thus it is “black”. If we apply current and cause the filament to heat up due to electrical resistance, the filament begins to radiate energy as light as well as heat, and we can then begin to note the temperature of the filament at the point where it begins radiating light. A small amount of current will cause the filament to heat up a little and glow reddish orange, higher current will heat it more and cause the radiated light color to shift to yellow, and still higher current will cause the filament to become even hotter and begin radiating yellowish white light.


Now, while simply applying more current is one way to make the filament hotter and thus change the color temperature, the more practical way this is done in real world applications is by changing the properties of the filament and thus altering how well it can conduct electrical current. Either way, making the filament hotter either by increasing current or modifying the filament, raises the color temperature of the light emitted. Regardless of how it is done however, the temperature at which light of a certain perceived color is radiated generally remains the same. The following chart provides a general example of how light color shifts as temperature increases. As can be seen, lower temperatures produce light in the yellowish-orange to red part of the light spectrum, while mid-range temperatures produce yellowish white and eventually bluish white light at very high temperatures.






Temperature Ranges and Application:

Lamps with color temps in the lower ranges of 2500 to 3000 Kelvin are generally considered warm and preferred for common residential uses due to the soft and subdued properties of the yellowish white light they produce. Light with a temperature of 5000 Kelvin and above is considered cool because it tends to be bluish white in color. This might initially seem somewhat contradictory since hotter temps are considered “cool” and vice versa, but the terminology is more intended to refer to perceptual appearances rather than actual temperature since how light is perceived is far more relevant in real world applications and easier to associate with appearance than actual temperatures.


Cool White and Warm White:

Lamps considered warm white are most commonly used in residential settings where a subdued and more relaxing type of illumination is desired. Warm white lighting has moderate to poor color rendering, but produces a softer and more diffused quality of light that is pleasing to the eye.

Commercial applications most often make use of lamps producing cool white light in the 4000 to 6500 Kelvin range because their light is sharper and more intense, with better color rendering and contrasting properties. Objects illuminated by these lamps appear brighter, more sharply defined, making these lamps well suited for offices, retail stores and commercial areas where detail and sharpness is important.

Lamps with temperatures around 5000-5500 Kelvin are usually considered to produce natural or “daylight” quality illumination and used where it is important to closely mimic how objects would appear under natural sunlight conditions. These lamps are typically used in automotive paint booths, retail showrooms, and in agricultural applications where the most natural appearing light possible is desired.

Lamps in the 6000 Kelvin range and up are considered cold and generally preferred for commercial and industrial applications due to the high intensity and sharp contrasting produced by their strong shift towards the blue-white spectrum. Lamps in these ranges are commonly found in warehouses, construction sites, and in large scale lighting applications like stadium or arena lighting where sharp detail and extended range is needed.

The chart below shows some of the average color temps for common light sources. It must be noted, that each type of lamp generally adheres to a somewhat broad temperature range and they often vary within their specific types according to minor differences in design. Manufacturers routinely modify lighting type designs to give them a broader application range, shifting their color temperature to some degree either up or down in order to fulfill a specific application. However, most types of lights are limited by their design and thus remain well within a set temperature range




Correlated Color Temperature:

At the basic level, color temperature is based on the temperature of a non radiating black body as we noted earlier. This is usually assumed to be a metal filament that when heated radiates light energy of differing perceived colors according to the temperature of the filament. However, incandescent lights are becoming obsolete, and there are many varieties of lamps which do not rely on heating a black body to produce light energy. As a result, it is necessary to relate perceived color temperature of these non-filament lamps to that of a black body radiator which to the human eye most closely matches the light from the lamp. As a result, non-filament lighting like fluorescents and LEDs are assigned a correlated color temperature in order to provide homogeny across lamp types.

Related Categories/Products
Category/Product (click on link below for more information)
Explosion Proof Fluorescent Lights
Paint Spray Booth Lights
Linear Class 1 Division 2 Lights
Paint Spray Booth LED Lights
Explosion Proof LED Lights for Hazardous Areas
Class 1 Division 2 Paint Spray Booth Lights
LED Light Tower - Battery Powered - 48 Watt LED Lights on Telescoping Pole - Case with wheels
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light / Trouble Light -10 Watt LED - 120-277V AC - 100 Foot SOOW Cord
Explosion Proof LED Flashlight - 200M Waterproof - Lightweight - Battery Operated
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light / Trouble Light -10 Watt LED - 120V AC - 25 Foot SOOW Cord
Explosion Proof Compact Fluorescent Drop Light - 26 Watt Bulb -1700 Lumen - 50' SOOW Cord
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth LED Lighting - 2 Foot, 2 Lamp Fixture - Class 1, Div. 1
Explosion Proof Emergency Light - 4 foot 3 lamp - Class 1 Div 1/2 & Class 2 Div 1/2 - 120/277VAC
Low Profile - Explosion Proof Light - 4 Foot, 4 Lamp - Class 1 Division 2 - Paint Spray Booth Rated
Low Profile, Explosion Proof Light - 4Ft, 2 Lamp - Class 1 Div. 2 - Paint Spray Booth Rated - T8
Low Profile, Explosion Proof Light - 4ft, 2 Lamp - Class 1 Div. 2 - Paint Spray Booth Rated - T5HO
Low Profile, Explosion Proof Light - 4ft, 6 Lamp - Class 1 Div. 2 - Paint Spray Booth Rated - T5HO
Explosion Proof Emergency Fluorescent light Combination - 4 foot - 2 T5HO lamps - Class I, Div I
Explosion Proof LED Light w/ Emergency Ballast Back Up - 4 Foot, 4 Bulbs - Class I & II, Div. I
2, 40-Watt LED Emitters on Industrial Tripod Mount - 120-277VAC - Extends 3.5' to 10' - 100' SOOW Co
HID Work Light - Tripod Mount -Extends 3.5' to 10' - 2 X 70 Watt HID - 12,600 Lumen - 12/24VDC - 120
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth LED Light - 2 Foot 2 Lamp Fixture - Class 1, Div. 1 - Low Voltage
Home | Contact Us | Return Policy | Privacy Policy | Security Policy | Copyright © 2006-2018. All Rights Reserved.