How to Select the Right Color Temperature for Your Home

November 8, 2023

You are finally done with the other interior designs of your home! Now, it’s time to choose the light. Do you know that light has something called a color temperature? Yes, it does. And it is the color temperature that impacts the ambiance and functionality of any space.

Are you decorating your new home? Or are you involved in renovating or improving the overall feel of your home? Then, it is very important to understand color temperature and its effect on the overall look and feel of the home.

Let us have a look at what color temperature is, what are its different scales, what is the ideal color temperature in a home, and the benefits of using color temperatures.

What is color temperature?

Color temperature is the color of light when compared to the color of the same light when emitted from an opaque and non-reflective source. It measures the visual appearance of the light and is denoted by Kelvin (K).

Does sunlight appear to be the same brightness and shade throughout the day? No. Similarly, the color of artificial light also changes and appears in different shades of white. These shades are called the color temperatures.

The lower the color temperature of K, the warmer the light is. The light appears to be orangish or red. On the other hand, the higher the color temperature, the cooler the light is. The light will have more white elements in it.

Color temperature is usually measured using a device called the Colorimeter. The Colorimeter checks the red, blue, and green light from a light source and measures the light temperature accordingly.

In homes, the color temperatures of lights can vary from 2700k to 3500k depending on the type of light used and its color. Lights with a kelvin of more than 3500 are mostly used in hospitals and commercial centers. These types of lights will be brighter and harsher for the interiors of a home.
color temperature

What is the ideal color temperature in a home?

Now you might wonder, what color temperature should I go for when I source lighting for my home? Well, there is no definite answer to this question.

The color temperature varies from room to room. It depends on the very purpose of the room and the general activities done in the room.

●     Living room

Living rooms should be warm and friendly as you entertain your guests in this room. Thus, a color temperature between 2700-5000k will be ideal.

But this again depends on the design of the room. If you have a large living area with a reading corner, you cannot go for a generalized light temperature. In such a case, you should go for a brighter light in the reading area and a warmer one in other areas.

●     Bedroom

Bedrooms should have a warm and soothing atmosphere so that you can unwind and relax after a hard day. It is best to go for warm lights in the 2700 – 3000k range to get the desired effect.

But what if you have a reading nook in your bedroom instead of the living area? Then, you should go for a brighter light in that area to set the right mood.

●     Dining room

What do you prefer the most in a dining space? Of course, it is the aesthetics. In addition, the room should be functional.

Warm and dull colors can set the right mood in the dining space. Thus, lights with a color temperature of 1500-2700k would set the right ambiance in the dining area.

●     Kitchen

The color temperature to use in the kitchen is purely a personal choice. Do you want a warm and inviting kitchen that is more like a relaxing hub? Then you should go for lights with 2700-3000k color temperature.

But do you find work in the kitchen monotonous? Do you want to make the kitchen bright and lively? Then, a color temperature of 3000-4000k is the preferred choice.

●     Bathroom

The bathroom is an area that needs a mix of colors. Do you have a powder room in the bathroom for personal grooming? Then, the space should have a bright light that makes your task easy. The ideal color temperature in that space is 4000-5000k.

The shower area should have a more relaxing feel yet have enough brightness to see things around. A warm white tone of 2700-3000k would be ideal for the shower area.

What are the different scales of color temperature?

You want to fix a new lighting in your home but have no idea how to go about it. Here is a quick guide that tells you which color temperature to use for a specific room or purpose. Whether you want a bright light for your makeup room or a dim glow in your garden, you can select the right light with the help of the below scale.

color temperature scale

What are the benefits of understanding color temperature?

Having a good understanding of color temperature provides a whole lot of benefits.

●     Set the right ambiance for the room.

Do you want to achieve harmony and texture in interior design? The best way to incorporate this is by having a good knowledge of color temperature.

We know that warm tones of light symbolize warmth and coziness. It creates a relaxed and soothing atmosphere indoors. By understanding what color temperature provides the required effect, you can easily select the light for your bedroom.

●     Create the correct perception of the room.

Light temperature plays a key role in the way people perceive a room. For e.g., if a room has a warm light temperature, you will perceive the room to be smaller and more intimate. On the other hand, if the room has a bright light, you feel a sense of spaciousness and openness in the room.

●     Easily select the wall color of the room.

Based on the basic color temperature incorporated in a room, you can easily select other elements of the room.

If you are using warm-toned lighting in a room, you can go for orange or red as the wall color to get the right effect. On the other hand, if you are using a light tone, then you can use pastel shades to get the desired result.

●     Highlight the texture

The different textures used in a room like wood, metal, etc. can be highlighted by providing the right light temperature.

For e.g.; if you have more wooden elements in your room, you can go for a warm light temperature to accentuate the beauty of wood. Similarly, if you follow industrial-style decor with more metals, you should go for a cool light temperature to get the desired effect.

●     Sets the correct mood

Choosing the right light temperature helps set the correct mood in the room. Bright light triggers our brain and prevents us from sleeping. Thus, going for bright light in the study area is one way to keep kids alert.

Warm light, on the other hand, has more to do with warmth and coziness. Using warm light in the bedroom tells our brain it is time to unwind and relax.


Choosing the right color temperature for a room is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the mood, atmosphere, and functionality of the space. Whether you’re designing a cozy bedroom, a productive home office, a welcoming living room, or a vibrant kitchen, understanding the principles of color temperature is essential.

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