What is CCT and how to choose right color temperature for led light?

March 14, 2024

About CCT definition

Correlated color temperature is a measurement used in lieu of color temperature for lights that do not approximate a blackbody radiator (that is, they emit light through processes other than thermal radiation). Both fluorescent lights and LED lights (light emitting diodes) fall under this category and thus are evaluated using CCT. Correlated color temperature is a specification used to describe the dominant color tone for non-blackbody light emitters such that they can be accurately compared and contrasted with those light emitters that do approximate blackbody radiation (like incandescent bulbs). CCT is defined in Kelvin, a warm light is around 3000K, cool white at around 4000K, and daylight at around 6500K. Each of these has its own unique benefits and can be selected based on your own specific environmental needs. Each colour appearance is also available in different styles to suit your space - whether that is inside or outside, a workshop or an office. 

How to choose CCT?

We have a wide range of CCT selectable lighting available, meaning that you can choose the setting you require. In many products, you will find that the colour temperature is adjustable between 3000K warm white, 4000K neutral white and 6500K cool white. There are even some options for outdoor spaces. Here are some typical choices of CCT for popular spaces:

Very warm whites (< 2700K) -not commonly used. Yet. Typically reserved for indoor general and task lighting applications.


Warm White (2700K) – Similar to halogen style lighting, it is the most preferred colour temperature for landscapes. Psychologically, it is thought to be more welcoming and soothing compared to higher colour temperatures. It is also starting to appear in more residential schemes. It can use in Parks, Gardens, Architectural landscape lighting 

Warm or Natural White (3000K) – Noticeably cooler than 2700K but emits less blue light than 4000K. Offering a natural, warmer tone, which helps with facial recognition and clearer nighttime vision, so ideal for local and residential roads. It tends to be good at accentuating greens and blues in vegetation, so also great for flora and fauna in more sensitive locations. Mostly used in hotel, café and household spaces, heritage, residential roads, parks and gardens. This encourages a warm and cosy feeling. 

Cool or Neutral White (4000K) – Close to moonlight, it is most widely used for major road applications in the UK. Offers clear nighttime vision for busy roads and motorways, said to help with driver alertness due to the higher blue light content. Mostly used in minor roads, car parks, commercial lighting, retail settings, supermarkets, showrooms, display garages, offices, education settings, hospitals and in manufacturing spaces.

Very Cool White (6500K) – Crisp and clear it imitates natural daylight, helping to bring attention to detail and drawing in one's eye to a central focus point. Perfect for security lighting in high crime areas. It can use in hospitals, research sites, warehouses.

In conclusion

The right CCT for your LED lights will depend on your personal preferences and the specific requirements of the space. Experiment with different CCTs to find the perfect fit for your needs. If possible, test the CCT of LED lights in the space before making a purchase. This can help you choose the best CCT for your specific needs and preferences.

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