Have you ever needed to change the lighting over your bathroom vanity? Pick the wrong color and you will have some very unhappy family members! It can truly be the difference between “Send in the Clowns” and The Walking Dead. That may be a little dramatic, but lighting plays an important role in our lives.

Selecting the right color and quantity of light are major considerations when choosing lighting, especially for our customers. Consumer acceptance, dark sky compliance and the American Medical Association’s guidelines are just some of the concerns that can affect selection. Luckily, Department of Energy (DOE) LED labels can provide a wealth of information to anyone who’s curious. Let’s review what this information means.

Color Temperature

A quick review of the DOE label will provide a reference to color (from warm to cool) and often show a color chart, like the one seen in the example.  We primarily use 4000K or a neutral white for outdoor lighting. Warmer color temperatures (2000 to 3000K) are used to create a welcoming, cozy feel as well as to accent warm interior finishes such as wood and warmer color palletes of red and yellow. If you are predominately using glass, metal or a blue-and-green pallete for the interiors, choose LED lights with cooler color temperatures of 4000 to 5000K.

Color Accuracy

Color accuracy or Color Rendering Index (CRI) identifies how much of a shift you have in color due to lighting. Incandescent is 100 and the top of the index for identifying colors like your blue and black socks. High-pressure sodium (HPS) lights have a CRI of 22 and tend to shift colors, especially reds to brown or gray tones. This significant shift can affect your ability to identify your beautiful red convertible in the parking deck!

Light Output

Lumen output and watts are critical to most tasks. With LED lamps, you do want to have close to the same lumen output as the source you are replacing. You’ll also likely save 75 to 85% of the energy for an equivalent light output. Once you move from lamps to fixture-based solutions, you will not be looking for equivalent lumens and a good understanding of LED systems is required.

Do you need assistance with your next lighting project? Whether it’s a building, parking lot, roadway, or warehouse, we can help you find the right solution. Contact our lighting experts today.