We would argue that color temperature and optics are as important as lumen output in determining your choice of an LED light. Today we want to talk about Color Temperature. In the simplest of terms, color temperature indicates the color of a specific type of light source.
- Let’s keep it simple and take the sun at its highest and brightest point in the sky: high noon. At noon, assuming no additional effects from weather and atmospheric conditions, the sun has a perceived color temperature anywhere between 5000K and 5400K.
- Since the sun is our only external light source, our eyes have evolved to see best at this color temperature.
- So, doesn’t it make sense to use LEDs that mimic this color temperature, thereby allowing our eyes to perform at their optimal level of receiving and processing light? We sure think so. In fact, once the color temperature surpasses 6500K, which many other LED light companies use, it now actually looks like twilight or the light that the sun would produce through cloudy conditions.
- At Baja Designs, we not only select LEDs out of the highest lumen output bin but also accept only those LEDs with a color temperature of 5000K, thus producing a light that truly shines like the sun at midday.
Now, this selection doesn’t come without a price (literally). LEDs come in a wide array, and one of the sorting criteria is by color temperature. 5000K is more expensive than the bluer LEDs used by most other lighting companies. Here is what Chuck Hovey, BITD and SCORE champion has to say: “When driving at night, fatigue is certainly a factor. With a bluer LED, it is more difficult to process terrain at speed. Baja Designs has the perfect color temperature, therefore making it easier on the eyes and brain. When doing 120MPH down a dirt road at night, you need every advantage you can get.”
Bottom line, a light with the proper color temperature allows for optimal terrain recognition and less driver fatigue.
2, 3, 4) Kip, Arthur. Fundamentals of Electricity and Magnetism, McGraw-Hill Series in Fundamentals of Physics