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Color Temperatures

Light sources and color irradiation

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The Correlated Color Temperature - CCT - is the absolute temperature of a black radiating reference light source - which emits the same color irradiation as a given light source measured in degrees Kelvin (K).

Light SourceCorrelated Color Temperature
- CCT -
Clear blue sky 12000 - 24000
LCD or CRT screen 6500 - 9500
Uniform daylight - overcast sky 7000
Average natural daylight 6500
Xenon short-arc (continuous compact 250 W) 6200
Electronic flash 5500 - 6000
Horizon daylight
High intensity carbon arc 5000
Moonlight 4100 - 4150
HP mercury cool white lamp 4000
Fluorescent warm white lamp 3000
Warm white LED lamp 3000
Halogen filament lamp 3000
Soft white LED lamp 2700
GLS tungsten filament 2700
Soft white incandescent lamp 2550
Standard incandescent lamp 2400
HP sodium lamp, Paraffin flame (flat wick) 2050
Candle flame 2000
Sunset, sunrise 1850
Match flame 1700
  • cool colors (bluish white) are color temperatures over 5000K
  • warm colors (yellowish white through red) are color temperatures 2700 – 3000 K
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  • en: color temperature light source absolute black radiator
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