What is colour temperature?

Colour temperature is a measure of how the different output of white lightbulbs are distinguished.

It reflects that the vast majority of an incandescent bulb’s light comes from thermal radiation – essentially the temperature of the filament indicates the colour of the light.

Because compact fluorescents and other lamps generate light by different processes, they are assigned a Correlated Colour Temperature which indicates how the human eye would perceive it.

Low temperatures are “warmer”, with a yellow tinge that makes them suitable for home lighting. The higher temperatures are bluish-white – suitable for task lighting.

Kelvin colour temperatures in chart form
At the Lamp Company, we indicate the colour temperature in our compact fluorescent part codes by the following abbreviations:

82 2700K Very Warm White
83 3000K Warm White
835 3500K White
84 4000K Cool White
86 6000K Daylight

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