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  • Writer's picturePeter

'Street Lighting and Colour Temperature'

Street lighting and colour temperature, a relationship which has existed since the first street lamp. Today we have a decision to make with the specification of new modern LED lighting and the effect the lighting will have on the end user.

We often (unless you're a lighting enthusiast) do not notice how a lamps colour temperature changes our state. For example, the colour temperature of a lamp can make the end user feel cold or warm.

I was involved with and designed one of the first LED street lighting installations in the UK - over ten years ago - at the time we installed over 500 LED street lights with a colour temperature specified at 5700K. This, for a street light installation was very blue, a very cool colour - cool in feel.

We surveyed the residents before and after the installation - the majority thought the works were an improvement to the area. Interestingly and I guess not surprisingly, a lot of residents commented on the cold feel and appearance, especially compared to what they had installed before, which were SOX lamps.

With the previous installation having a colour temperature of 2700K and the new 5700K, it is easy to see why members of the public commented on the difference. Nowadays the jump is not so great, especially with the street lighting industry norm for colour temperature settling at the 4000K mark (a neutral white). I prefer this mid-point of the range to the harsh blues and hot reds.

I'll be digging deeper on the subject of colour temperatures in future posts - in particular the health implications and sleep concerns.

All the best,



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