Warm, cold, dynamic or variable spectrum light: keys to use in lighting projects
Answering questions about what light is and how it behaves has been the subject of study for some of the most restless minds in the history of physics. Understanding the impact it has on physical, emotional and biological perception, as well as the difference between light colour temperature and spectral power distribution is key to proper lighting application.
Light colour temperature
When choosing a suitable colour temperature, it is necessary to understand the type of task to be carried out in a given space, as there is usually a close relationship between lighting levels and colour temperature, but it is also necessary to take into account the atmosphere to be created, as well as other cultural and biological aspects related to the people who will use the space.
To standardise the perception of light colour temperature, the scale based on the Kelvin (K) unit is used, a unit that determines at what temperature a black body should be heated to achieve a particular colour. Thus, reddish shades in light correspond to a lower colour temperature, as opposed to bluish shades.
Therefore, light can be classified into:
Warm: from 1000 to 3500 K
Neutral: from 3500 to 5000 K
Cold: over 5000 K
To have a clear idea of equivalences in this scale, it should be taken into account that sunlight at noon is around 6500 K, so it is a cold light, while at dawn and dusk these values decrease, becoming a warmer and redder light.
However, spaces are increasingly not being used in a fixed manner, on the contrary, they are becoming flexible, allowing for a multitude of activities with changing technical and environmental requirements to be developed.
For this reason, lighting solutions in tunable white are currently being implemented. It is lighting that uses different colour temperatures, ranging from 2700 K to 6500 K, so that users can select the most appropriate colour temperature depending on the time or the activity being performed in the space, thus obtaining emotional benefits, as it enables to achieve lighting according to the required atmosphere.
Choosing the right light
Soft ambient lighting is a very important issue within the most current lighting designs. This concept addresses the emotional and biological aspects of light, beyond the purely functional, and is defined as the concern for human response to lighting systems. Once the technical requirements of lighting systems aimed at visual capacity have been met, it is time to go further and incorporate strategies related to colour, spectral power distribution and user perception. All this will contribute to generating an emotional attachment with the spaces through light, and will intensify the comfort sensation.
As a consequence of these new realities, a detailed space function analysis is necessary. The most effective lighting designs are those that adapt to users' needs: spaces to relax, concentrate, perform a task, activate themselves... An intimate corner designed to enjoy a book will not have the same characteristics as a lab or a work station. It is also common for a space to be designed to accommodate different activities and, in these cases, dynamic lighting must respond to any needs that may arise.
To meet these changing needs, smart lighting systems make it possible for different light scene designs to be applied in a practical and simple way.
Lamp's experience implementing integrative lighting solutions
At Lamp, we are experts in the application and consultancy of the most appropriate technology at the service of lighting and space design. Let's see two specific examples.
In this case, the design of the space sought to connect with nature in order to express the company's commitment to natural ingredients and traditional manufacturing. To this end, Hance 2000 directional projectors were chosen for the counter area. These luminaires have a light colour temperature of 2700 K, located within the spectrum of the warm shades. This is a very good choice to get bread colour reproduction, highlighting their more appetising side.
For the cafeteria area, a dynamic control system was chosen, using Bluetooth Low Energy which allows for a variation of light colour temperature between 2700 and 6500 K, with the purpose of creating dynamic lighting that varies according to the time of day.
Yoga One by DIR
Bluetooth Low Energy Technology is a cross-cutting element to light different spaces in the centre. In a space with these characteristics, which is oriented to relaxation, it is essential to be able to play with light and enhance the effects of the activities hosted in the centre.
Thus, several dynamic scenes were designed with different light colour temperatures focused on the intensities the activities require.
- Warming-up is planned with a colour temperature of 3000 to 4000 K.
- Energetic Yoga practice was established at a colder temperature of about 4500 K.
- Meditation and restorative Yoga is established at 3000 K.
- Relaxation (Savasana): dynamic scene in which the CCT varies for 5 minutes from 3000 to 2700 K, staying at this last figure for the next 10 minutes.
Our experience and capacity to adapt to all types of projects make us a benchmark in the lighting industry. Our differentiating factor is our commitment to projects from the design phase. This allows us to plan and manufacture adaptations of our products to achieve optimum results. Contact us without any commitment and discover what we can do for your project.