What is Correlated Colour Temperature?

CCT stands for Correlated Colour Temperature (which is often shortened to just Colour Temperature). It defines the colour, not brightness of a light source and is measured in kelvin (K) and NOT degrees kelvin (°K).

Every white light has its own hue that falls somewhere along an amber to blue spectrum. A low CCT is in the amber end of the colour spectrum while a high CCT is in the blue-white end of the spectrum.

For reference purposes, a standard incandescent light is about 3000K, while the bright white xenon headlights of some newer cars are 6000K.

At the lower end, the ‘warmer’ light creates a relaxing, cosy feeling, like candlelight or incandescent lights. At the higher end the ‘cooler’ light is energising and uplifting, like a clear blue sky. Colour temperature creates ambiance, affects people’s moods, and can change the way our eyes perceive details.

Specifying Colour Temperature

Colour temperature should be specified as units along the Kelvin (K) temperature scale. We use Kelvin on our website and specification sheets, because it is such a precise way of listing colour temperature.

Although terms such as Warm White, Natural White, and Daylight are often used to describe colour temperature, this method can lead to problems as there are no absolute definitions as to the precise CCT (K) values for them.

For example, the term Warm White might be used to describe a 2700K LED light by some people, but the term may also be used to describe a 4000K light by other people!

Popular colour temperature descriptors and their approx. K values:

Extra Warm White           2700K

Warm White                      3000K

Neutral White                    4000K

Cool White                          5000K

Daylight                                6000K

 

Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT)

Application

2700K

3000K

4000K

5000K

6000K

Living Room

Low

Medium

High

High

Low

Kitchen

Low

Low

High

High

High

Bathroom / Toilet

Low

Low

High

High

High

Office

Low

Low

High

High

Medium

Warehouse

Low

Low

Medium

High

Low

Factory

Low

Low

Medium

High

Low

Shop

Low

Low

High

High

Medium

If you have any questions, be sure to give the LEDSave team a call on 01482 820099

Published at: 12-11-2018
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