Can Light Temperature Improve Productivity?
Have you ever walked into a restaurant with super bright lighting and felt that the space felt "off"? If the answer is yes, you aren't wrong! To first understand why this feeling occurs, let's understand the basics of what light temperature is.
So what is color temperature anyway?
As a review, color temperature (Correlated Color Temperature, or CCT, in lighting tech jargon) is essentially a gauge of how yellow or blue the color of light emitted from a light bulb appears.
It’s measured in the Kelvin unit. Most light temperatures are found between 2200 (warm light) Kelvin degrees and 6500 (cool light) Kelvin degrees.
Warm light sources, such as incandescent bulbs, have a low color temperature (2200-3000K) and feature more light in the red/ orange/ yellow range.
When you think of a warm color temperature, think of the warm, inviting light of a fire in the fireplace or a nice high-end restaurant with classy dim lighting.
Cool light sources, such as some HID or fluorescent lamps, have a high color temperature (>4000K) and feature more light in the blue range.
When you think of a cool color temperature, think of the crisp white or blue light of school hallways or hospitals.
Affects on Productivity
Recent studies looked at the effect of color temperature on visual acuity in schoolchildren.
Optometrists conducted vision and reading tests for children under 3 different scenarios:
SS00K (white) light at normal light level
3500K (warm white) light at normal light level
SS00K light at half the level of the first two scenarios.