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Warm Light, Cool Light, Bright Light, Right Light

Does the Color Temperature of the White Light I Use to Illuminate My Graphics Really Matter?

~ Guest Blogger Rob Cohen

Blogger PhotoLighting, whether front, back or internally illuminating graphics, really has a major effect on your graphics. The color temperature of the lighting used significantly impacts the appearance of the graphics.

What do we mean by color temperature and its impact on graphics? Without getting into the specifics of a particular light’s kelvin temperature, in general terms the color temperature of white light is  categorized as warm white, natural (or neutral) white, day white and cool white. While the color temperature of similarly looking products varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, here is what you want to keep mind:

Warm White Color Temperature – Tends to be on the pinker or yellow side of the white lighting spectrum. This color temperature has less of a punch of light and turns white and lighter colors in graphics more pink.

Natural White Color Temperature – This is a more neutral color of white, but lacks the maximum punch often needed for internally or back lighting a graphic. It is a great color temperature for front lighting a graphic to deliver the true colors of an image.

Day White Color Temperature – While having a slight blue/green hue, when considering the punch of light delivered, this is the preferred color temperature for internally or back lighting a graphic. This color temperature is ideal for light boxes and similar applications.

Cool White Color Temperature – Be careful of getting too cool of a color temperature. Not only does this add too much blue to the white and lighter colors, but it also can turn black colors more grey looking.

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Light Temperatures

While other factors must also be considered in the product selection process (such as beam angle, wattage, lumen output, driver selection and UL safety) color temperature must also be at the top of the list. Make sure that all known factors regarding the use of your graphics are shared with your graphic professional to help select the best lighting solution for you.

For more information on how to properly light an exhibit space contact your exhibit professional and make sure that they get the right talented people involved in the process.
Rob Cohen
VP Display Supply & Lighting, Inc.
4 Brewster Road Framingham, MA 01702
Office: (508) 405-4162
Cell: (774) 930-1963

DS&L is your source for lighting and supply products, lighting layout design ideas and installation oversight services. Contact DS&L and learn how we can bring your designs to life with impactful illumination!

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, other Authors, Optima Graphics or Taylor Corp.

Light Temperatures

  1. April 9, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Praise be, Rob, I have seen the light.

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