Bright And Clean Or Soft And Inviting? Using Smart Lighting And Color Temperature To Bring Your Decor To Life April 26, 2017 00:00


The world of lighting aesthetics can be broken down into a few different characteristics. 

You’ve got the design and appeal of the fixture itself, the functionality of the light (static brightness or dimmable), and the actual type of light produced such as color and color temperature.

And while it’s crucial to ensure your lighting options are both attractive and flexible, the third characteristic is really the most important when it comes to setting the mood of a space.

Cool vs. Warm Lighting: What’s the difference?

Image by Festoon Lighting Adelaide

There are a couple of options when it comes to trying to determine what kind of light will really reflect the personality you’re looking for.

One of the newest innovations in lighting is using color psychology to help control the feel of your home, a technique which is becoming even easier to take advantage of thanks to the rise of color changing smart bulbs.

Another option is using color temperature to cater to your desired design scheme. Color temperature isn’t new to the interior decorating industry. In fact, choosing the right kind of bulb has always been one of the most important steps in determining how your home should look and feel.

This critical aspect of lighting is used to describe the color of the light produced by a fixture. It ranges from yellowish light (warm) to blueish light (cool).


(Image by Holek via Wikimedia)

In the past, warm color temperature used to only come from incandescent bulbs and candles while a cool color temperature light was produced by fluorescent and LED bulbs.

As lighting technology has advanced though, you can now find a lot of bulbs that cross these lines, from incandescents that give off cool blue light, to LEDs that specialize in producing a warm yellow glow.

The trick is matching the type of light you want to the Kelvin that each bulb gives off, usually indicated somewhere on the packaging. The scale shown above will give you a good idea of what kind of light is produced by a bulb.

Using color temperature in your interior design

Now that you know the basics about color temperature we can get into what a masterfully chosen bulb can do for your design scheme.

You see, each type of light carries with it a different feel. Warm light, for instance, tends to help you and your guests feel safe and comfortable. It can help create a restful setting where conversation flows and, given the right company, romance can bloom.

The restaurant setting pictured below has created a cozy atmosphere with their lighting that lends itself well to intimacy, relaxation, and luxury.



Cool lighting on the other hand tends to add a bit of sleekness to a room’s feel. The crisp bright whites and blues of higher temperature lighting gives a sense of freshness to a space that warm lighting simply can’t.

While the burst of purple and the interesting design of the overhead light tend to draw the eye first, the room pictured below is a great example of how cool lighting contribute to the feeling of cleanliness and modernity of the space.


 Mixing and matching

For the most part, warm and cool lighting have been used exclusively for traditional and modern design respectively. The relaxed, inviting nature of warm lighting matches well with the similar atmosphere of traditional design and the clean bright feel of cool lighting lends itself well to modernity.

But just because you are going for a more traditional design scheme doesn’t mean you can’t employ cool lighting to alter the feel of your home. The kitchen pictured below, for instance, incorporates elements of wood in the chairs and island along with iron overhead lighting, but bathes the room in cool bright light. And it still looks great!


It can go the other way too. The living room pictured below, for example, is a great indicator of how a modern design scheme (with the black and white colors and contemporary décor) can still feel warm and inviting given the right kind of lighting.


So don’t be afraid to mix and match. The examples above show that with a bit of tweaking, you can pull it off!

One of the best ways you can play with your design is by investing in light bulbs that not only have variable brightness settings (like built-in dimmers) but also that have the ability to change their color temperature output.

That way you don’t need to keep running back to the store for a bulb with a different color temperature.

Set the mood with smart lighting 

How has your design benefited from changing your lighting’s color temperature? Do you have any tips for incorporating color temperature into your décor? Let us know in the comment section below and use color temperature to your advantage with the Flux Smart product line!