If you’ve ever walked into a room and thought, “Wow, the light in here is very warm!”, you may not have thought about why you said it, but you knew that the room felt very comfortable and inviting. Light fixtures play a big part in creating a room’s ambiance, and the color temperature of the light can go a long way in impacting how a space functions and feels. At Lighting One of Cincinnati, we want our customers to find the perfect options for every room, and in this post, we’ll look at understanding color temperature.

The Kelvin Scale

The Kelvin scale is mostly used in thermodynamics, but simply put, Kelvin (K) is used to measure the color temperature of a particular bulb. As the K rating goes higher, the whiter the light will be! Most home lighting fixtures fall between 2000 and 6500 on the Kelvin scale, and it’s important to know which bulbs are best for which rooms.

Warm Light

On the lower end of the K scale, we find “warmer” colors that are meant to invoke cozy and calm feelings. These bulbs fall within the 2000 to 3000 scale, and the colors can range from orange or yellow to a “warm” white. Living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms are prime candidates for warmer light, and there are several commercial applications where 2000-3000K bulbs are ideal.

Cool Light

In the middle of the Kelvin scale (3100-4500K), we have cool white light. These bulbs provide brighter light that is ideal for spaces such as bathrooms, garages, and other spots where adequate task lighting is needed. If you have a basement that needs new light bulbs, cool white options are often the best choice. Some bulbs emit light with a slightly blue tint, and overall, you want light that won’t put strain on your eyes.


At the high end of the K scale, we have 4600-6500K bulbs that provide crisp light that mimic daylight almost perfectly. These bright and invigorating bulbs provide a blue-white light that is great for work areas or anywhere task lighting is needed, as well as security fixtures and display areas. If you want a room to have light that is as close to daylight as possible, the higher Kelvin numbers will be your best bet.

Every house should have a range of bulbs and fixtures so that there is plentiful light in every space, as well as a range of color temperatures throughout the home. There should be a distinct difference as you go from the warm light of your bedroom to the cool light of your master bathroom, and if an area doesn’t have the proper lighting, it’s important to update it as soon as possible. The wrong color temperature can make a room feel dingy or oversaturated, and if your task lighting isn’t right, it can put a serious strain on your eyes.

If you’re looking for new home lighting fixtures, come to Lighting One of Cincinnati today. At our showroom in Loveland, you can find outstanding options for every room in your house, and if you’re not sure where to start, you can schedule a comprehensive consultation with a certified lighting expert.

We look forward to seeing you soon!