Garages are rapidly becoming more than just somewhere to park our cars. We’re now using them as entertainment spaces or workshop areas. When using any space, you want it to be as functional and fit-for-purpose as possible. There’s a whole host of factors to bear in mind, but one of the most underappreciated is the color temperature of your lighting.
For most applications, the best color temperature for garage lighting is between 4000 and 5000 Kelvin. In this post, we’ll cover why this is the best color temperature level for your garage space. We’ll also explore what color temperature is and why it matters.
What is color temperature?
In its simplest terms, color temperature is a method of describing the color tone of different lights. You’ve probably heard the terms “warm lighting” and “cool lighting” before. These two types of color temperature are often contrasted with each other.
Color temperature is measured in Kelvin (K). Generally speaking, a warm color temperature will have a lower Kelvin value, usually between 1000K and 3000K. Light with a warm color temperature tends to have a hue ranging from orange to yellow. For example, a candle will measure around 1000K, while sunrise and sunset give off warm light at around 2000K to 3000K.
A light with a cool color temperature will have a higher Kelvin value, ranging anywhere from 5000K to 10,000K. Different degrees of natural sunlight usually fall on this cooler end of the color temperature spectrum, with typical noon daylight measuring around 6000K to 7000K. Lights with a cooler color temperature tend to have a blue tone.
Towards the higher end of the Kelvin scale, some color temperatures can be harmful to us if used in artificial lighting. Generally speaking, any color temperature greater than 6500 k will start to put a strain on our eyes and could potentially be blinding.
Why does color temperature matter?
So now that we know what color temperature is, why is it important? There are several reasons why you may want to control the color temperature of lighting in a space.
Practicality is one of the main reasons for controlling color temperature. Light with a cooler color temperature usually creates a starker contrast between objects, allowing you to see things more clearly. This can be useful for a workshop, for example. Commercial stores and hospitals will usually use a slightly cooler color temperature of 3500K and over.
When choosing light bulbs to use in your home, you may notice that each bulb displays a different color temperature value. This is designed to help you choose the right kind of lighting for the function of the room. Most domestic light bulbs will cover a Kelvin range between 2700K and 5000K.
Different color temperatures can also complement different styles of decor and furnishings. If your room or garage is decorated with more natural tones such as brown or tan, then a warmer light is your best bet. For spaces painted with blue, gray, or white, a cool color temperature will be better.
Different color temperatures can also have psychological effects. For example, we usually feel more relaxed when exposed to warm light such as a candle. This is ideal for bedrooms or living rooms. By contrast, we’ll generally feel more awake and alert when exposed to cool light temperatures. Cooler lights may be used more in offices or workspaces.
Which is the best color temperature for a garage?
The answer to this question depends on what you’re using your garage space for. But for most people, a cooler color temperature of between 4000 and 5000 Kelvin is probably going to be the best garage lighting color temperature.
This temperature range is a good middle ground suited for a range of different uses for your garage. It’s stark enough to help during DIY projects when you need to see things clearly, but it’s not so cold that the light will be harsh on your eyes. Most garages are probably going to be painted in more utilitarian colors such as gray or white, which both work well with colder light temperatures.
But even within this Kelvin range, there are going to be applications better suited to either 4000K or 5000K light color temperatures. Let’s look at a few different garage uses and compare a 4000K vs 5000K LED garage light.
Many people are now using their garages as a workout space, such as a home gym. As discussed earlier, cooler light temperatures make us feel more active, so a gym will usually use colder light or let as much natural daylight in as possible. Our 4000K to 5000K spectrum suits the needs of a gym, especially if the color temperature is around 5000K.
For those who do a lot of DIY, the garage is an ideal place to create a workshop. In these instances, you want to see what you are doing in detail without being blinded by overly harsh light. This is especially true if you’re working with wood. Again, the 4000K to 5000K color temperature range is ideal here. Lights that are closer to 4000K will be the most effective, as the slightly warmer tone will work well with natural wood tones.
If your garage is being used for more commercial applications or for working on your car, the 4000K to 5000K color temperature range is going to be the minimum that you’d want. For domestic garage work, 5000 k is going to be more than enough.
When it comes to color temperature, cool garage lighting measuring between 4000K and 5000K is going to be the best option for your garage. This temperature range is a nicely balanced spectrum that can be useful for a wide variety of activities that you might perform in your garage.
Colder temperature lights will also work better with the colors of garage walls and floors, as well as helping you to feel more alert during important projects.