Colorful lights set the mood at poolside

Outdoor lighting is perfect for helping boost the aesthetics, safety, and overall feel of your home and outdoor living space. Whether you are looking to light up an outdoor entertainment center, a pool, or just the walkways of your garden or driveway, you will need to know what color temperature you are looking for. What is color temperature and how do you know which one to use for your home? Here is a simple color temperature guide, courtesy of the design team at Creative Nightscapes, to help you find your perfect light color:

What Is Color Temperature?

Color temperature is a term that helps individuals looking for outdoor lighting know what kind of shade/color the bulb is going to give off when it is on. These colors are measured in degrees Kelvin (K). The lower the Kelvin number, the warmer the light is. Here is a more detailed look at the color ranging scale for LED lights:

2000K-3000K: This temperature range produces a nice and cozy warm white light. It helps create a calming and intimate atmosphere, making it perfect for outdoor living rooms, outdoor kitchens, and decorative outdoor lighting.

3100K-4500K: This temperature range creates a gorgeous cool white light. This temperature range is bright and vibrant, helping to chase away shadows and give individuals a clear look as to what is around them. This is perfect lighting for areas surrounding stairs, sheds, or outdoor workshops because this color keeps the light focused and encourages individuals to stay alert and attentive.

4600-6500K: This temperature range imitates natural daylight/moonlight. It is crisp and clear, helping to bring attention to detail and drawing in one’s eye to a central focus point. This is why this temperature range is used for security lighting, to light areas around a garage, or to help show off gorgeous water decorations such as a fountain or a pond.

Where Should I Use Certain Color Temperatures?

Stone work and landscaping brightly lit in front of a home

It can be hard to envision what a certain temperature range is going to look like, especially for those who were not aware that lights can come in different shades and temperatures to begin with. This, in turn, makes it difficult to choose which color is best for you without the knowledge of how it is going to look. Because of this, we have decided to give some of Creative Nightscapes experts’ opinions on what types of lights look best in different situations:

Display Elements

If you have a garden full of beautiful statues, stonework, and even a stone fountain, you’ll want to stick within the 2000K-3000K range. While most warm light temperatures tend to work best in entertainment areas, there is a feeling of calmness when combined with the cooler look of stone. We strongly advise against using colder light temperatures, such as 4600K-6500K, because this creates a spooky and unsettling look to your stone. (The cooler lights may be an interesting touch during Halloween, though, if you are looking to create a haunted vibe.)

Outdoor Living/Entertainment Areas

You want your entertainment area to bring out a sense of calming relaxation so that your guests can just enjoy the space. Warm lights, such as 2000K-3000K, tend to work best for these purposes. They are not too harsh on the eyes but still give enough light for everyone to be able to move around safely and see what is around them. If you are wondering what this would look like, just imagine sitting next to a firepit. That warm glow is exactly what you are going to get from a warm temperature light.

Garden Lighting

If you are looking to show off any beautiful plants you have spent countless hours taking care of, you will want white LED lighting inside the range of 3000K-4000K. This neutral white light gives a more natural appearance of your plants, helping to show off their gorgeous natural vibrant colors.

Outdoor Lighting Design Specialists

The world of color temperature is exciting, beautiful, and perfect for helping you to create the outdoor living environment of your dreams. If you are looking for a design team that can help take your outdoor lighting to the next level, the experts at Creative Nightscapes are your solution. From garden lighting to security lighting, we can do it all and leave you and your neighbors saying, “wow!” Contact us today for more information.

Color temperature ranges infographic