The Importance of Colour Temperature in Lighting Design for Commercial and Industrial Businesses

Lighting in a order of colour temperature

What is colour temperature?

Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) is a term used to refer to the measure of the colour of light – warm or cool. Colour temperature is measured using the Kelvin (K) scale. This scale goes from 1000K red/orange tones to 10,000K blue tones. The higher number of Kelvins the cooler the colour temperature.

How does colour temperature effect mood and wellbeing?

Colour temperature is proven to have a significant impact on mood and wellbeing of employees and visitors to a workplace.

Choosing warmer white colour tones around 2700-3000K can signal the feeling of warmth, comfort, and relaxation. Lighting at 3000K is often chosen for outdoor use to limit the effect it has on wildlife and the natural world and the human circadian rhythm.

Cooler lighting colour temperatures in contrast, between 3100K and 4500K create a bright and energising atmosphere, which can help increase alertness and productivity.

Lighting colour temperature chart

Choosing the right lighting colour temperature for your business needs

When it comes to choosing lighting for your business there are several factors worth considering.

  • What is the purpose of the room(s)?
  • What type of luminaire would be appropriate for the application?
  • What time of day is the room most used?

For example, if you run a bar, restaurant, hotel or a spa then choosing a warmer colour temperature for your lighting would be ideal. You create a relaxing ambience through warmer lighting tones creating a cosy atmosphere that encourages your guests and customers to stay longer.

Businesses that require a more focused and professional environment would benefit from choosing a cooler colour temperature for lighting. Cooler lighting is useful in spaces that require precision and attention to detail, such as laboratories, workshops, and studios. This type of lighting can provide a neutral and consistent light source that doesn't distort colours or alter the appearance of objects. 4000K is the most common colour temperature chosen for a multitude of working environments from offices to manufacturing, hospitals to industrial facilities.


In conclusion, colour temperature plays a crucial role in creating the right atmosphere and environment for businesses. Choosing the appropriate lighting colour temperature can significantly affect the mood and wellbeing of employees and customers alike, leading to increased productivity, comfort, and relaxation. The purpose of the room, type of luminaire, and time of day are essential factors to consider when selecting the right colour temperature for lighting. By carefully selecting the appropriate colour temperature, businesses can create a conducive environment that meets their specific needs and enhances their overall performance.

Ask an expert

Here at CEMA Lighting our knowledgeable lighting consultants are on hand to help guide you through choosing the best lighting for your business needs. We offer a wide range of products suitable for many applications. Book a free onsite lighting consultation or call our team on 01673 840000.

This site uses cookies. By continuing your visit, you accept their use as set out in our Cookie Policy. OK