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Deciding on Warm Versus Cool Lighting for Your Home

For decades, people have chosen lighting for their homes to illuminate their houses. Fast forward to today; just going to the nearest hardware store will present you with hundreds of lighting options, which can even double if you try to check online. There are different selections for energy-saving bulbs, but colors depend on the warmth or coolness you would want for your space. 

With this, you might ask, "What is the difference between warm and cool lighting?" Let us help you distinguish between these two types of lighting and help you decide the best lighting option for your home.

Warm versus Cold Lighting: Difference in Color Temperature

Color temperature can be defined as the temperature of an ideal black-body radiator that transmits light of a comparable color to a designated light source. The color temperature, in this case, is an indicator of the heat level as the light processes, the ideal black-body projector projecting light simultaneously in a particular color. 

The measurement of color temperature is in Kelvin (K). If the color temperature goes over 5000 K emanating from a light source, it will be considered a cool color. On the other hand, if the color temperature measures 2700-3000K, the warm light will be transmitted. In terms of appearance, cool light appears as bluish-white light, while warm looks yellowish to reddish.

The Ideal Color Temperature to Use in Different Areas in Your Home

While there are no absolute strict rules as to choosing the lighting in different areas in your house as to color temperature, here are guidelines you can follow that may help you decide if warm or cool light is ideal for a specific room in your home:

Living Rooms, Dining Room, and Recreation Areas: Warm White Light

These spaces are places where your family and guests can convene and socialize. Aside from this, these areas are places where you can relax and unwind, maybe watch a tv show after a tiring long day at work, or sit down and chat with your loved ones. To provide a cozy and homey atmosphere in these rooms, very warm white light (1800-2700K) is the most suitable color temperature you can choose for your lights, such as lamps or overhead light fixtures. 

Kitchens and Canteens: Warm White Light

The kitchen in most homes serves a double purpose: where food is prepared and where it is shared and eaten. Although considered a working space, it should still have an ambiance where people can sit down, relax and have a good conversation over good food and drinks. Warm white light (3000K) is perfect for this setting, which will not be too warm but also not too cool, making the place seem so formal.

Bedrooms: Very Warm White

Bedrooms are for sleeping. There's no debate about this, and since this is its primary function, lighting in the room should be conducive to relaxation and facilitate downtime for its inhabitants. The light colors of very warm white (2200-2700K) and warm white (3000K) are the most ideal for this area of the house. 

Bathrooms and Toilets: Either Warm White or Cool White

Depending on people's functions in these rooms, you can go for warm or cool lighting. A warm white light (3000K) for bathing and going to the toilet is ideal for providing a comfortable and at ease atmosphere. However, for light fixtures that would illuminate your mirror where you would do the shaving, plucking, or skin care, cool white light (4000K) is the ideal temperature.


While color temperature defines the mood and atmosphere you want to set in different spaces in your home, it is a subjective matter left to your preference at the end of the day. Hence, with proper research and a little window shopping session in your nearest hardware or light store, you may be able to find the lighting perfect for your home.