Colour Temperature: 3000K vs 4000K

Lighting bollard comparing 3000K vs 4000K

It’s time to re-evaluate the preferred choice of colour temperature for outdoor lighting projects.

When LED technology was first introduced, 4000K luminaires offered a higher lumen output, superior efficiency, and a brightly lit environment. It was the obvious choice, transforming streets from saturated yellow High Pressure Sodium to a crisp bright light. At the time, 3000K technology couldn’t offer the same levels of luminaire efficacy as 4000K.

However, improvements in LED chip technology mean that 3000K luminaires now offer virtually the same light output and efficacy as 4000K. Some even offer an 80+ CRI option. From a performance perspective, 3000K can now offer the high output light levels required for outdoor lighting applications.

3000K luminaires can deliver in terms of performance and also come with the added benefit of a much lower percentage of blue light than 4000K luminaires. Blue light has shown to have negative impacts on our health, wildlife, and the night sky. It has been suggested unnatural levels of blue light suppress melatonin production and disrupt sleeping patterns, while similar disruption of biological clocks have been observed in wildlife.

Higher percentages of blue light are said to increase light pollution and contribute to skyglow. The International Dark Sky Association has set a benchmark for luminaire quality moving forward and will accept colour temperatures no higher than 3000K on their Approved Fixture List. As the global trend moves towards a preference for 3000K, we are seeing those trends reflected locally. With some councils beginning to adopt those IDA guidelines as standard.

There is a common misconception that 3000K means an overtly warm or yellow light. But the reality looks quite different – see the difference for yourself below!

Street lighting comparing HPS vs 4000K
residential street showing 3000K street lighting

Advanced Lighting Technologies (ADLT) has been a leader in the lighting market for over 25 years. With an established presence in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, we specialise in architectural, commercial and industrial lighting solutions designed for dozens of industries. Whatever the application, whatever the budget – we’ll have a solution that fits your needs.

Contact us for more information on an energy-efficient LED lighting solution today.