The Rainbow of Light

A room landscape featuring a fireplace on side and a winter landscape on the other. The scene is overlaid with a color spectrum graphic ranging from 1000K to 10000K with various lighting options included on the chart.

If you shine a light through a prism, a rainbow appears. And the colors in that rainbow actually emit a different temperature. So when we say red, orange, and yellow are “warm” colors – they actually are warmer. Just as cool colors – violet, blue and green – are actually cooler when you measure the temperature of the light.

Unlike the temperature associated with weather, light temperature is measured on the Kelvin scale. Most of the light we use in our homes today falls on the warm end of the spectrum, between about 2000K – 3000K.

Bonus Fun Fact: Some say that people prefer light with warm color temperatures because early humans relied on firelight for survival. It was everything: a source of warmth, a way to cook and keep safe. Makes sense that we'd hold on to our preference for something that did so much for humankind.