If you’re new to LED lighting and you’ve just started poking around for information, it’s inevitable you’ll encounter the word Kelvin, but what does it mean in plain English?

Skipping the scientific definition, Kelvin is used to measure the colour temperature of your bulbs and Kelvin is a unit that expresses absolute temperature.

As a guideline, the higher a Kelvin rating is, the whiter that light will be. Conversely, lower Kelvin ratings translate to warmer light.

Here’s a rough breakdown of what ratings mean in terms of actual light temperature:

Dim-Glow – 2,000K and below: With this Kelvin rating, you’ll get mood lighting roughly comparable with candlelight.

Soft White Glow – 2,000K to 3,000K: This soft, white light verging on yellow is ideal for your living room, dining room, and bedroom. This range of lighting also works well in outdoor spaces.

Bright White Light – 3,100K to 4,500K: For offices and workspaces where you need swathes of super-bright light, this band of lighting is optimum.

Bright Blue-White Light – 4,600K to 6,500K: Between these higher Kelvin ratings, the light mimics natural daylight in intensity. Any working environments where concentration is key should feature this temperature of lighting.

Bright Blue Light – 6,500K and above: For highly focused task lighting or illuminating commercial spaces, Kelvin ratings of 6,500 and above are tailor-made, and you’ll experience a very bright light with a blue-ish tinge. At the upper rating of 10,000K, you’ll get light like a blue sky.

This is a more general summary:

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Warm Incandescent: 2,700K

Warm White Halogen: 3,000K

Household Fluorescent: 3,500K

The obvious question is, what difference does this make when you’re looking for lighting at home or work?