There’s no doubt that new LED technologies have entered our lives, and quickly. This year, we’ve introduced a new portfolio of color selectable LED fixtures. Understanding color selectable LEDS means understanding the basics of color measurement to help you in your search for the perfect light color for your room.
Color selectable fixtures have LED light sources built right into them. “Selectable” means that there are multiple distinct white light settings within the LED. With just a flip of a switch, color selectable LEDs can change between pre-set color temperatures of white light, from warm to cool settings. Color selectable should not be confused with tunable white, which blends white colors along a continuous scale. Lastly, it is not RGB or RGBw, which uses red, green, blue and/or white to create colors other than white.
Distinguishing and Defining Color
Here’s a quick primer on the basics of color metrics: correlated color temperature (CCT), the color rendering index (CRI) and the Kelvin scale (K), and how they work together to give you the best possible light for your room application.
Kelvin Scale (K)
The color temperature of light is measured in Kelvin. The lower the Kelvin number, the warmer the light will appear. Warm, or yellow light measures lower on the scale (typically 2000K- 3000K) and creates a cozy, relaxed mood in a room. Lights that measure 3100K – 4500K create a more energetic mood in a room. Color temperatures from 4600K – 6500K offers a crisp white light and are ideal for environments where more light is required.
Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)
CCT refers to the visual appearance of white light. White light can appear either warm (more yellow) or cool (bluer). Warm light corresponds to a lower CCT on the Kelvin scale, and cool light measures higher on the Kelvin scale. This color influences the appearance or mood of the spaces in which artificial light sources are used. Warmer light is ideal for living rooms and bedrooms; cooler light is perfect for bathrooms, workspaces and outdoor security lights.
Color Rendering Index (CRI)
CRI is a measure of light quality on a scale of 1 and 100. It measures color perception or how accurately colors are visually perceived compared to a natural light reference source. Simply said, a higher CRI value offers better color rendering: the colors will show truer and can appear more saturated, as opposed to appearing washed out or faded. In general, look for a CRI over 80. A CRI of 90 or more offers very accurate color rendering.
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