How Lighting Affects Your Mood

3000K? Color temperature? Ambient? Task? What does it all mean? In the world of lighting, terms are thrown around every day by interior designers, builders, or contractors like they are speaking an entirely different language. It is important to know the variations between not just the types of lights but also the amount of light a fixture gives off and the color of the light each fixture emits. all of this comes with vocabulary terms that might be brand new to most. Lighting color temperature and the amount of lighting used in a home can often affect ones mood.

For example, in a restaurant setting, compare the images below.


 The image of the diner on the left uses a combination of the natural light from the windows and whiter overhead lighting to create a bright and cheery environment for this fast casual establishment. The image of the restaurant on the right uses more dim, yellower lighting that comes mainly from the wall sconces. This creates a more romantic, sultry environment that matches this fancier, upscale restaurant. 

The lighting used in the diner is described in the lighting industry as having a color temperature of 4000 Kelvin (or 4000K), which is a cool white that gives bright and vibrant ambiance. The lighting used in the restaurant has a color temperature is 2700K, a warm white that is cozy and inviting. 

When lighting your home, using the right color temperature can make the atmosphere and mood so much better.

Warm White

  • Color Temperature: 2000K-27000K
  • Best for: living rooms and bedrooms
  • Mood: cozy, inviting, intimate

Cool White

  • Color Temperature: 3000K-4500K
  • Best for: work environments, kitchens, and bathrooms
  • Mood: efficient, welcoming


  • Color Temperature: 5000K
  • Best for: basements, garages, display areas
  • Mood: Crisp, invigorating