Color temperature? How does color have a temperature, and what does that have to do with you? Well, a lot more than you might think!
This difference in color tone has an impact on more than just aesthetics – it affects your body
I’m sure you’ve noticed there’s a big difference between the way the light looks from the overhead fluorescents in a hospital hallway compared to the average bedside reading lamp. The fluorescents put out a whiter light that illuminates an area well but that we generally interpret as a harsher light, whereas the bedside lamp usually has some redder tones to the light that gives it a warmer feel. This difference in color tone has an impact on more than just aesthetics – it affects your body, the way you feel, and even how you sleep. While a cooler light (akin to bright, midday sunlight) can help you see more and be more productive, a warmer light (like that of a late, lazy, summer afternoon) is more calming and can help you relax.
That’s what color temperature is all about – color temperature is basically a technical way to talk about how “warm” or “cool” the color of a light is. It’s referred to as temperature because the degree of warmth or coolness of the light is measured in kelvins, which are a unit of temperature just like Fahrenheit or Celsius. Skip the next paragraph if that’s as much technical detail as you want!
You might not have heard of Kelvin because it’s a temperature unit usually used in the scientific community – but basically, it’s the same thing as Celsius with 0 measured from absolute zero (the theoretical minimum temperature possible) instead of the freezing point of water. The color temperature of light describes the temperature that a “black body”, as it is described in physics (think of something that basically radiates bright light), would need to be to give you light of that color. The surface of the sun, for example, has a temperature of 5,778 kelvin, and so a light that produces a similar color needs to have a color temperature pretty close to that number.
For the purposes of this article, I’ll spare you more technical details than that. What it boils down to is that color temperature is measured in kelvin (K) and that any light you use is going to look different based on that number. Each type of light bulb is labeled with its color temperature – look on the box!
The picture above does a great job of showing you the range of the color temperature spectrum. This particular bulb is a 2,700K bulb, and you can see that it is closer to the red end of the spectrum. As the box says, it puts out a “warm glow”. A fluorescent light, on the other hand, is usually closer to about 5,500K. This gives a bit of a whiter, cooler light that is great for seeing what you’re doing – but it lacks that comforting warmth. Bulbs marked as “daylight” bulbs also have a color temperature of about 5,500K and again, generate a whiter light (similar to bright sunlight).
The only way to change the color temperature of a light has been to change the actual light bulb.
So, here is where we pull in the technology. Pretty much throughout the history of the light bulb, the only way to change the color temperature of a light has been to change the actual light bulb. If you had a warm 2,700K bulb in your office lamp but wanted a whiter light to work by, for example, you needed to unscrew that 2,700K bulb and replace it with something else.
This is exactly the problem we had in our office – we had limited light fixtures and depending on what we were doing, sometimes we wanted a warmer, relaxing light and sometimes we wanted a cooler, whiter light. We found that Savant now offers a novel solution to this problem.
Savant has taken the next step in lighting technology with smart light bulbs that let you change the color temperature of the bulb!
It’s amazing – we tried it in our office and we love it! Right from your phone, you can choose a range of 8 different color temperatures to give you exactly the right light for the situation, and you never have to change the light bulb.
Imagine a room in your home. Do you always use each room for exactly the same purpose? Maybe your home office has a sofa in it that you sometimes curl up in to read a book or watch some TV. Now, you can easily change the way your lighting looks without having to turn on and off different light fixtures or change out light bulbs. You can have a warmer light to relax by, a cooler light to work by, and maybe even a really warm light (resembling firelight!) to snuggle up by before bed.
There are lots of possibilities! Your Tech can help you implement this new color adjustable lighting in your home as part of your luxury technology package. We think you’ll find, like we did, that it’s pretty amazing!