The color of light emitted by a bulb (technically called correlated color temperature or CCT) is measured by Kelvin temperature scale. The higher the temperature, the ‘cooler’ the color — or closer to the blue end of the spectrum. The lower the temperature, the ‘warmer’ the color – or closer to the red end of the spectrum. For screw-in light bulbs, the most common choices are 2700K (2,700 degrees Kelvin), or 3000K (3,000 degrees Kelvin), and are the color options we are currently offering. If you are interested in cooler, ‘brighter’, color temperatures you can indicate this on your Facility Lighting Intake and we can try to accommodate.
2700K: also known as ‘warm white’ or ‘soft white’ is warmer and most appropriate for residential, hospitality, restaurants, or any use wanting a more relaxed setting.
3000K also known as ‘natural white’ is cooler and most appropriate for retail, office, schools, and any use wanting a more active setting.
4100K or 5000K: also known as ‘cool white’ is generally used in office, industrial, and educational settings. Overhead light fixtures (troffers, hi-bays, strip fixtures, etc.) tend to the cooler temperatures.
A general note of caution is to beware of relying on terms like ‘soft white’ and ‘cool white’ as there is no industry standard on what term refers to what color temperature, and can vary by manufacturer. Now that you understand color temperature, your best bet is to ignore how the color is ‘named’ on the package and instead look to see what its color temperature, or Kelvin, is.