Outdoor Lighting: What is Light Color Temperature?

Outdoor Lighting: What is Light Color Temperature?

When choosing the right lights for your outdoor environment, there is a multitude of different factors to take into consideration. For example, the wattage and the design of the lights you select will impact the effect of your landscape lighting. Another important aspect to consider when picking lighting for your outdoor space is the color temperature of the lights. Here’s an overview of what light color temperature is and how it will affect the look of your outdoor lights.

Light Color Temperature

Light color temperature is a way to describe how the light appears to the naked eye. Color temperature is measured on the Kelvin scale from 1000 to 10000. So, for example, lights that indicate they have a 2000k to 3000k range will produce warm white light while anything between 4600k and 6500k will mimic daylight in its appearance. Choosing the right light color temperature for your outdoor space is just as important as choosing the right wattage when is come to aesthetics and visibility.

The best color temperature range for outdoor lighting is warm white light or anything below 3000k. Anything above the 3000k range will give off a bluish hue that will make your outdoor space look unnatural and jarring. This is especially true of LED lights because their light quality is crisp and clear in comparison to other lighting choices, and therefore, they can have an overpowering appearance when they have a high light color temperature range. For the best outdoor lighting results, warm white LED lights are ideal.

Layering and Other Lighting Effects

In simplest terms, light layering refers to the use of highs and lows to create beauty or drama in your space. This is especially important for outdoor areas not only because layering creates different moods for different locations, but it allows you to tailor different lighting experiences for different uses. For example, you may want your pathway lighting to be brighter than that of your patio.

Additionally, if you have your pathway lights on an independent transformer from that of your patio lights, there is a wide variety of dimmers and controllers you can take advantage of to create a different look and feel for your patio space. It’s important to note that these effects only work if your color temperature is 3000k or below because anything above this would be too garish and overpowering to be orchestrated properly.

What light color temperature do you use for your landscape lighting? Do you agree that warm light looks best? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.