One of the top selling points of LED technology, other than the obvious energy efficiency, is its capabilities beyond the simple “on or off” of older fixtures.
LED lighting gives people the opportunity to customize their lighting to the needs of their space. And one of the customizations that packs the most punch? Color temperature.
Let’s look at why color temperature is so important, along with why selectable LED color temperature & wattage fixtures can make your life – and your balance sheet – a lot brighter.
The Impact of Light Quality
Correlated color temperature, or CCT, describes the appearance or tint of a particular light, ranging from warm to cool. CCT is measured in degrees Kelvin on a scale from 1000 to 10000. The warmer a light is, the lower its temperature will be. A cooler temperature will have a higher value.
Here’s a rough guide to how each temperature range should be used:
- Warm White in the 2000-3000 CCT range is ideal for dining rooms, restaurants or commercial ambient lighting.
- Cool White in the 3100-4500 CCT range can help people stay alert and is well suited for work environments, kitchens and restrooms.
- Bright White in the 4600-6500 CCT range is similar to daylight and may be needed for task lighting, display areas, security lighting or garages
Wattage also plays a major role in how employees feel and perform at work.
Dimmer light may not be adequate for focused task work like assembling parts or reading spreadsheets. It may cause eyestrain and headaches because the eyes must work harder to see. This can also cause drowsiness and lack of focus, especially when an afternoon energy dip kicks in.
On the other end hand, too bright lighting can also cause eyestrain, and has been known to trigger migraine headaches. It can also interfere with employees’ circadian rhythm that regulates sleep. Well rested employees can be more productive.
The key is to look at how the lighting benefits the people using it. Not only should the lighting be optimal for the work being done, it should not detract from the employee’s health. (Mark Halper at LEDs magazine wrote an excellent piece in 2017 about how lighting affects our circadian rhythms – as it turns out, blue frequency light at night is really, really bad for us.) This is what makes selectable wattage and color temperature fixtures such a slam-dunk for today’s more human-centered workspaces.
Related Reading: 3 Big LED Lighting Trends to Prepare for Now...and How to Do It
The Benefits of Selectable LED Color Temperature & Wattage Fixtures
LED fixtures with selectable wattage and color temperature simplify the upgrade process for multiple stakeholders involved in a project: the distributor, the ESCO or contractor, and the end user.
Easier on the Distributor
Managing a large inventory of fixtures of different types, brands, wattages, etc. increases the workload and the risk for a distributor.
Stocking fixtures with selectable color temperature and wattage means fewer SKUs to carry. When they only have to keep one SKU in stock instead of nine, there is less risk of having to warehouse or ultimately unload stock of a less-used SKU.
Knowing all the ins and outs of a product and being able to help customers make good purchase decisions is a lot easier when you’re talking about one SKU versus many. This makes their salesforce more confident and a more valuable resource for ESCOs and contractors, which can lead to more repeat business.
Easier for the ESCO or Contractor
A speedy and complication-free install is the key to profitability for ESCOs and contractors. The more fixture models the installers need to become familiar with, and be able to install at speed, the greater the odds that somebody’s going to make a mistake that can lead to delays, or worse, the need for return visits to make adjustments.
Another source of mistakes? Keeping track of multiple SKUs and where each needs to go.
Any confusion puts the brakes on the install while questions get run up the chain for clarification. Working with one fixture across an entire facility completely eliminates those possibilities.
Another way selectable LED color temperature and wattage fixtures benefit contractors? They help make sure the customer is satisfied with how the lighting looks after it’s installed and turned on.
Think about it: Commercial lighting doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The existing paint colors, shadows, amount of sunlight, etc. will impact how the light appears in the real-world environment of the facility. The LED lighting color temperature will interact with these elements in a way that can’t be predicted at the time of project scoping.
In one instance, during a project in an office building, the contractor went with the warmer tones agreed upon, only to find that the gray walls everyone liked suddenly looked pink…which no one liked.
Because the contractor chose a selectable wattage and color fixture, they were able to make adjustments until they found the “Goldilocks” setting of 3.5K which gave adequate light, a warm and comfortable feel, and didn’t turn the walls pink. The rest of the facility was done at that setting, and the customer was pleased.
Easier for the Customer
Speaking of the customer, the pandemic has caused many of them to rethink how they use their spaces. Hybrid work schedules, shared workspaces, and smaller footprints mean businesses will need the flexibility to adjust wattage or color temperature after the fact. Even businesses whose operations have gone unchanged will still agree that different areas in their space can benefit from different lighting at different times.
With selectable fixtures, those adjustments can be made without extra expense.
Being able to select the LED lighting color temperature from warm to cool and customize the wattage to allow customers to meet the needs of the specific space:
- Warm light can make a reception area feel more welcoming and comfortable.
- Higher lumens and cooler light are necessary for production workers to see what they’re doing.
- Dim, cool light is good for seeing presentations in a conference room while still being able to take notes.
In one instance, a project in a hospital found that the 4000 CCT that worked for the rest of the facility to ensure the high levels of visibility and hygiene needed wasn’t bright enough for the surgical suite. That area required 5000 CCT. In that project, because the settings were selectable, one fixture could still be used throughout.
Make Your Life Easier With Selectable LED Color Temperature & Wattage Fixtures
From the distributor to the contractor to the customer, everyone in an LED upgrade project benefits when an LED fixture can offer more flexibility. With Litetronics’ adjustable wattage and color temperature fixtures, each can be set to one of multiple output settings, therefore capping energy use at a specific wattage for assured efficiency.
With all the curveballs you can expect in a project, it’s nice to know you can have one fixture that can adapt to any situation. That can go a long way in addressing any concerns customers may have about loving the end result of an LED upgrade.
It’s always smart to be prepared to counter customer concerns so you can win more projects. You’ll find plenty of good ideas in our e-book: How to Sell a Skeptical Customer by Proving ROI.