What Is The Best Color Temperature For Office Lighting? Boost Productivity Now! June 28, 2018 – Posted in: Commercial Lighting, Office Lighting

Modern office space with glass partitions glowing in blue and amber lighting, featuring workstations and indoor plants.

I’ll get straight to the point, avoid anything below 3500 Kelvin in your work areas. It’s too yellow, and there is research behind it that will dissuade you from using it. The best light temperature for offices is between 3500 Kelvin and 5500 Kelvin . Anything above 5500K is just too blue and anything below 3500K will make your employees less productive. You can check out a study about the effect of lighting on the Circadian Rhythm and why so many apps exist to control your screen color temperature so you can get a better nights sleep. Essentially if your office has color temperature that is too “yellow”, it signals everyone in the room to pass out, and I’m sure nobody wants an office full of sleepers (not sleeper cells, just sleeping people).

Is Warm or Cool light better for offices?

Our recommendation overall is 4000-4500K CCT or middle of the road. Choosing the right color temperature of the light in each area of your office building is essential. Depending on the purpose of the space, you can create a different vibe and atmosphere with the right lighting.

Office Space With Suspended Linear Lighting

In a work environment, you generally want something bright, such as our seamless office light which comes in just about any color temperature (even the one that will put you to sleep!).

For offices, a color temperature between 4000K to 5500K is optimal. This range of lighting will keep employees feeling alert and productive. Too much yellow in the light can make people feel sluggish, while too much blue can be disrupting and cause eye strain. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve had people blindly order the wrong color temperature and end up trying to return it after it’s been hung up. So for that reason, check out the chart below: 

Color Temperature Sun Graph

What color temperature is best for common areas?

For cafeterias or break areas, you can use lighting that has a bit warmer color temperature (3000K-3500K). This type of light gives a feeling of comfort and relaxation, perfect for encouraging breaks and conversations among colleagues.

Small White Classroom With Suspended Linear Light

What color temperature is best for conference rooms?

For conference rooms, the most appropriate option is to go for more neutral lighting, like 4000K-4500K. Neutral light creates a more professional atmosphere which is ideal for meetings and projects that require concentration. Some people still try to go for a fluorescent / hospital type look with their lighting, but even at 5,500K you tend to get some eye strain.

Office Lobby With Recessed Lighting and Track Lights

Finally, when designing workspaces such as reception areas, lobby and hallways, you should go for a color temperature that is somewhere in the middle. A color temperature of 3500K-4500K will help to create a welcoming and more relaxed atmosphere. Many customers choose to go with a single color temperature just to simplify things and match the light throughout the building as well.

For a full list of our modern office lighting, please see this page.

Seamless Series Performance Office Light 4FT, 6000 Lumens, 50 Watt

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the brightness of office lighting affect productivity?

Yes, fixtures that are too dim or too bright can also affect productivity. For example, lighting that is too bright can cause eye strain, headaches, and make you tired quicker. On the other hand, lighting that’s too dim can cause the same symptoms. See our full guide for office standards here.

What’s the most popular color temperature for offices?

The most popular temperature people order for offices is between 4000 kelvin and 5000 kelvin. If we see orders that are way out that range, we will give a courtesy call to the customer to ensure that is the color they really want.

Can LED color temperature affect my mood and productivity?

Yes, LED color temperature can significantly impact your mood and productivity. Warm light (2700K to 3000K) is soothing and relaxing, making it suitable for unwinding in the evening or creating a comfortable atmosphere. Neutral light (3000K to 4000K) provides a balance that is good for general use and enhances visibility without causing eye strain. Cool light (4000K to 5000K) is invigorating and can improve concentration and alertness, making it ideal for work environments where productivity is essential.