Understanding LED Lighting Terminology: CCT

Understanding LED Lighting Terminology: CCT

Author Ronnita Dumas

LED (Light-Emitting Diode) technology has revolutionized the lighting industry by offering energy-efficient, long-lasting, and versatile lighting solutions. As LED lighting becomes more prevalent in our daily lives, it is crucial to understand the terminology associated with it. In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) and explore its significance in LED lighting. By the end, you'll have a clear understanding of what CCT means and how it affects the quality of light emitted by LEDs.

What is CCT?

Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) is a metric used to describe the color appearance of light emitted by an LED or any other light source. It quantifies the warmth or coolness of light, typically expressed in Kelvin (K). CCT is determined by measuring the color of light emitted by an object when it is heated to a specific temperature. The color of light can range from warm white to neutral white and cool white.

Understanding the Kelvin Scale:

To comprehend CCT better, let's briefly explore the Kelvin scale, which is used to describe the color temperature of light sources. The Kelvin scale starts from absolute zero (-273.15°C or -459.67°F) and measures the temperature at which an ideal black body emits specific colors of light when heated.


Warm White (2700K 3500K):

Warm white light resembles the color of incandescent bulbs and has a cozy, yellowish hue. It is commonly used in residential settings, hotels, and restaurants to create a warm and inviting ambiance.

Neutral White (3500K-5000K):

Neutral white light falls between warm and cool tones. It provides a balanced illumination, neither too warm nor too cool. It is often preferred in offices, retail spaces, and task-oriented environments to promote focus and clarity.

Cool White (5000K-6500K):

Cool white light appears bluish-white and has a crisp, refreshing feel. Commonly used in commercial and outdoor lighting applications where high visibility and clarity are required, such as street lighting, parking lots, and warehouses.

Choosing the Right CCT:

The choice of CCT depends on the intended application and the desired atmosphere. Here are a few factors to consider when selecting the appropriate CCT for your lighting needs:


Consider the purpose of the space and the mood you want to create. Warmer CCTs are more suitable for creating a cozy and comfortable environment, while cooler CCTs are better for tasks requiring focus and visibility.

Color Rendering:

Pay attention to the Color Rendering Index (CRI) in conjunction with CCT. CRI measures the light source's ability to accurately render colors. Higher CRI values ensure better color accuracy, which is essential for areas like art galleries, retail spaces, and photography studios.

Understanding CCT is essential for making informed decisions when it comes to LED lighting. By considering the CCT, you can achieve the desired ambiance, functionality, and aesthetics for your lighting installations. Whether it's a warm and inviting living space or a well-lit office environment, the right CCT will enhance the overall lighting experience. So, next time you're shopping for LED lights, remember to take note of the CCT and choose the one that best suits your needs.