Our expert, Randall Whitehead, IALD, addresses color temperature issues with dimmed LEDs.
I’m upgrading the lights in my Menlo Park, CA, kitchen. A local lighting showroom recommended LED fixtures that come in a range of color temperatures. My architect friend says low voltage halogens produce a warmer light. What’s your opinion?
Your architect friend is right. Low voltage halogens do produce a warmer light, but unfortunately they do not fulfill Title 24 requirements for kitchens in California. If your kitchen electrical upgrade is being inspected, you will need to use LEDs or fluorescents to meet the efficacy requirements.
The downside is that neither fluorescents nor LEDs get warmer in color as they are dimmed. The upside is that they could save you thousands of dollars in energy costs over the years and will last 30,000 to 50,000 hours (halogens last 2,000 to 3,500 hours and regular incandescent bulbs last around 750 hours). I have LEDs installed in my kitchen in San Francisco, but I do miss the golden warmth of a dimmed incandescent. I have taken to wearing amber glasses instead.