I went to buy some LED lights for the house today I could not find 5000K or 5500K for the size I wanted. All I found were 3200K. 3200K is a lousy temperature of light.
We are so used to tungsten lighting in our homes we tend to think that orangish glow is what we need. On the contrary, it is a lousy temperature for lighting because it is (a) hard on the eyes and (b) leads to depression in some people. Recently, my wife was prescribed 5000K (or higher) lights to help with insomnia. When you start getting below 5000K those melatonin and Vitamin D producing cells don’t produce the necessary hormones for good sleep patterns and serotonin in the brain.
Frustrated, I came home and I wrote Lowe’s about the lack of 5000K lighting. I also let them know I would be going to Home Depot tomorrow morning to get the lights I want. I wonder if I will ever hear from them.
What do people buy 3200K lights? Tradition!
I remember back in the 70s when offices started switching out 2700K fluorescent tubes for 4000-6500K tubes because of all the bad press about how the flicker and color issues. Soon, 4000K (which is a tad bit better than 3200K, but not much) became the norm.
Ideally, halogen is a good choice but they burn very hot, creating a fire hazard. Halogen has a great Color Rendering Index (CRI). (That’s how well you can see different colors under that type of light.) While they are still 3200K, they are brighter making your brain think they are whiter. For me, the bad outweighs the good when it comes to halogen for the house. (And, they burn out sooner.)
LED lights vary in their CRI, so I tend to look for ones that have a higher CRI. (A CRI of 100 is perfect.)