LED 101 - Color Temperature
As the world progresses toward renewable energy sources, LED lighting is the natural next step. Using an average of 80-85% less energy* than traditional bulbs that lose most of their energy through heat, LED lights are generally cool to the touch and can easily mimic warmth, daylight and pure white light temperatures. And unlike CFL bulbs, they do not contain mercury which is harmful to humans and the environment.
Understanding color temperature and wattage replacement value of LED lights is key to buying the type that will best fit your needs. For instance, I recently replaced the bulbs in my homes entry way. The two original bulbs were each 60 watt incandescent (traditional) bulbs. It had always been a little brighter than necessary and when both burned out due to an electrical issue (ancient wiring), it was time to change. I replaced them with two 5 watt LED bulbs. Yes, 5 watts. As each 5 watt LED bulb is equivalent to a 40 watt traditional bulb, I now have 80 watts of light. Less than I originally had, which is what I wanted, and enough to illuminate the space. Most LED boxes provide wattage comparisons.
And to get that nice, warm bulb glow we are all familiar with, I used the 2700° color temperature to mimic the old bulbs and create cozy ambiance. 2700° and 3000° are well suited for this effect. A higher temperature, such as 4000° - 4500° will match daylight (i.e. light from the window) and 5000° - 6500° are pure white and great for clear illumination. One visual I found to be helpful in remembering which color is what temp, is that of a flame. It burns hottest at the source (high temp. = white light) and cooler at the tips of the flame (lower temp. = yellow light).
In closing, another major reason to switch to LED is longevity. The average lifespan of an LED bulb or LED lamp is between 36,000 and 50,000 hours. Or between 24 and 35 years based on usage of 4 hours per day. And the color of light will not degrade over time. Change it once and forget about it!