Colour temperature is measured in Kelvins, which designates the type of white light emitted. Historically, LEDs were only capable of producing cool light, limiting the overall effect that could be achieved using them. However, as technology has advanced, so has the colour temperature availability. To distinguish between the different tones of white, lights are labelled Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT.)
Using the information we understand about CCT, we are now able to use lighting to create ambiance and atmosphere. Over the years, it has become increasingly more apparent that colour and light impact on human emotion. The colour, brightness, contrast and CRI of lighting all affect our experience of a space, altering our mood and shaping our reactions to it. Exploring this further, it has been scientifically proven that males prefer the cooler or bluer hues of light, whilst females enjoy the softer and warmer tones of golds, yellows and pinks!
Think about the hues produced by natural daylight at various times of the day and throughout the seasons of the year – a crisp winter morning in the mountains will produce cool, blue tones which will feel clean and fresh and have been proven to evoke an energised and invigorated emotion, which is perfect for creating stimulating environments in areas such as health clubs and commercial spaces.
In comparison, using warmer tones of light that replicate candle light or a relaxing sunset can often induce sensations of calm, warmth, comfort and romance. These tones are ideal for bedrooms and entertainment areas, where there is little desire to create a cosy, intimate atmosphere with flattering light in the evenings for entertaining.
A solution to creating either of the above ambiances is to use a dim to warm fitting. This allows the user the opportunity to enjoy a fresh and crisp quality of light during the day with the option to dim the fittings to create a warm, intimate glow in the evening. Colour switchable fittings also allows the user to swap between different colour temperatures depending on the time of day and the current use of their space.