CCT or Correlated Color Temperature

Posted by Aqsa Barjis on

Now everyone knows about LED lights. But very few people know the complicated jargons involved, and boy without, the knowledge, we end up spending more on the wrong product.
In this post, I will address the meaning of color temperature or CCT (Correlated Color Temperature).

According to LRC-Lighting Research Center, NLPIP Publications, 

"Correlated color temperature (CCT) is a measure of light source color appearance defined by the proximity of the light source's chromaticity coordinates to the blackbody locus, as a single number rather than the two required to specify a chromaticity (Rensselaer, 2004).

NLPIP Publications, Volume 8 (1)

In simple words, it means the color temperature is a measurement or a tool to measure of light color visible to us. The measuring unit is Kelvins (K). It measures different shades of white in a LED. All of us are aware of the soft light or the warm white and the cool white. Let me provide the range of different color temperature and their preferred names and applications.


1500-2400K are warmer (yellowish) and, they look good with mood lighting applications. This CCT is favored for accent lighting in bars, bedrooms, and other similar areas.

2700-3500K are warm, similar to the incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. These are in-demand single-color white strips used in various residential and commercial spaces for direct and indirect lighting applications.

4000-5000K are nearer to the daylight mostly, used for work light in offices, educational institutes, jewelry stores for featuring products, etc.

6000K- These lights are too cool and are preferred by photographers, lighting designers, and movie production.

8000K- The higher is the kelvins, the bluer the light gets. This color is very intense and, one cannot work so long under this light. They are fairly common in indoor agriculture.

In summary, the color temperature tells you the color of the light, and the increased temperature makes the light cooler or whiter. And the decreased temperature makes the light softer or yellower. However, we need to understand that brightness can not be determined from the color temperature and depends upon the lumens. All the color temperatures have similar brightness. And if you want to buy brighter lights, then make sure to check the luminosity before buying.
The color temperature is not just limited to LED Strips or the tape lights. It goes to all the LED lightings.

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