Selecting the correct LED kelvin temperature for your wood grain cabinetry can be tricky. Terms like Daylight, Warm, Cool or Netural can often be deceiving. It’s important to consider your application and how you will use the space once illuminated.
For wood grain cabinetry, a warmer color temperature in the range of 2700K to 3500K is usually ideal. Depending on the type of wood species, this kelvin range can highlight the cabinetry and eliminate “white out” caused by higher color ratings (4800K+) from occurring.
Here are some examples of LED color temperatures in 2700K Warm, 3000K Warm/Neutral and 3500K Neutral. You can see the change occurring as we go through each kelvin rating.
2700K (Warm) color temperature mimics incandescent fixtures…
This color temperature is recommended for earth tones and is often used primarily for residential applications due to its yellow-ish hue. If your cabinetry has plenty of outside sources of light and you need some extra accent lights, the 2700K is perfect. The temperature is subtle, but still highlights the wood grains and can limit glare.
3500K (Neutral) color temperature will start to “white out” cabinetry…
Once you get to a slightly higher kelvin rating with 3500K you can start to see a bit of “white out” occurring. Depending on the type of wood grain and location to outside sources of light, the 3500K is still a great option and is suitable for kitchens.
3000K (Warm/Neutral) color temperature is the optimal choice…
It really brings out the highlights in the wood while providing excellent light. At 3000K it is slightly “whiter” than the 2700K, so you can start to eliminate a bit of the yellow you get from a 2700K light and make your cabinetry pop.
Some of these examples may not be completely applicable to your cabinetry due to differences in the wood species, but generally the warm/neutral temperature will suffice. The importance of beam spread is also a topic to address as it can ultimately save you time and money.
So, not only consider the right color temperature and the light fixture, but the light spread as well. Depending on the manufacturer, you can usually find a 3000K fixture with a large 120 degree beam spread.
We appreciate you reading the post! Let us know if you have any questions or concerns about products or color temperatures.