What is Color Temperature

The color temperature is that human eyes see the variation of the color when light waves are in different energy. We regard Kelvin as the unit for color temperature, and the radiation of object is 0 °and Kelvin is -273 ° C as the starting point of calculation. When the object is heated, the color temperature will go up while the energy rises up and the light will become visible for human eyes. For example, the color temperature of the object is 2800° K, the light it emits is the same as a light bulb’s. And we refer that the color temperature of light bulb is 2800° K. So the changes of color temperature from low to high, We can see it through the light that is orange —— white ——blue .

  color temperature
warm white below 6000k
pure white 6000-6500k
cold wihte above 6500k

The feature of color temperature:

1 Color temperature is higher in the high latitude region, the color we see is a little bluer than its original’s.

2 Color temperature is lower in the low latitude region, the color we see is a little redder than its original’s.

3 During the day, the color temperature changes with the incident angle of sunshine. When the incident angle is oblique, energy is absorbed more by clouds and air, the color temperature is lower; when the incident angle is direct, energy is absorbed less by clouds and air, the color temperature is higher

4 Windows sRGB color model regards 6500 ° K as standard color temperature, which is expressed by the D65.

5 The color temperature is approximately 4400 ° K in the morning.

6 The color temperature is about 6000 ° K on the mountain.

light source

color temperature(k)

sunrise

2000

20min before or after sunrise

2100

30min before or after sunrise

2400

40min before or after sunrise

2900

1hr before or after sunrise

4500

3hr before or after sunrise

5400

 average light at the noon

5400

cloudy day

6500-8000

Fluorescent

7000

Electronic flash

5500

Blue flash bulb

5400

White flash bulb

3800

floodlight

3400

Photographic tungsten

3200

household 500W bulb

3000

  household 100W bulb

2900

How to choose the right color temperature:

Color temperature is the feeling of our eyes about an object which is emitting light or reflecting light. So it a feeling which is different for every person and it is affected by physics, body science and psychology. The color temperature of illuminant bodies (television) or reflectors (photograph) could be changed manually. For example: we can raise up the color temperature on a photo by using 3200 K incandescent lamp and installing a red light filter on the lens  in a camera. As the same reason, we can increase the color temperature on a television by reducing red light.

The color temperature preference varies from person and this closely connects to the daily scene we see. For example: people who live nearby the equator see the average color temperature of the daily things which are 11000 K (8000K (dusk) ~ 17000K (noon)), so they prefer a high color temperature which looks more real. On the contrary, people who live at high latitude region see the average color temperature of the daily things which are about 6000K, so they prefer a low color temperature (5600K or 6500K). It means that if you see the performance of the Arctic landscape by a high color temperature television, it seems that it is a little greener than its original’s.  On the contrary, if you see the performance of the subtropical style by a low color temperature television, it seems that it is a little redder than its original’s.  So, you may ask: what is the best color temperature for us in the display? For example: Chinese people see the average color temperature of the daily things which are between 8000K and 9500K, so the television programs are made in the color temperature of 9300k for the audiences. But people in Europe and America see the average color temperature of the daily things which are between 5600K and 6500K, so the television programs are made in the color temperature of 6000k for the audiences. So in generally speaking, Chinese who have black eye balls see Europe and America’s movies would see redder because they are used to see the objects of higher color temperature. For the same reason, people in Europe and America who have blue eye balls see Chinese TV drama programs would see bluer because they are used to see the objects of lower color temperature.

You may be interested in these articles:

Fill out my online form.