Whether you’re using an LED light panel as your sole source of light or to create visual appeal, you’ll want to consider color temperature. Color temperature refers to where the color falls on the Kelvin spectrum between blue and red. Blue temperatures are cooler with higher Kelvin ratings while red temperatures are warmer, and there’s a right time to use color of a specific range.

When you buy LED light panels, you’ll typically want natural light if you’re using the lights indoors where many people will be reading and especially if there is no source of natural light available. This is around the 5500K ranges. If you want to promote a relaxed atmosphere for your staff and clients, even warmer light in the range of 2,000K might be preferable. Restaurants, for example, are among the type of businesses who want to keep customers relaxed. The right shade of blue, however, also has a calming effect and might be more appropriate when you’re using LED light panels as decoration rather than the main light source.

Cooler white or blue lights are often better if you’re showcasing a product or want to provide brighter light in cramped spaces. For example, when you mount LED light panels under cabinets to light up the space between the cabinet and tabletop below, a warm light temperature might not cut it. Furthermore, cool lights offer stark contrast, especially when paired with black or white backgrounds. It can create a contemporary environment in which to display products or even art without distraction. On the other hand, the blue glare from a computer screen can cause eye strain and headaches, which is one reason you might consider installing software on your computer to adjust color temperature based on the time of day.

If you plan to take photographs or recording videos in a space with LED panels, then color balance becomes important because you want to recreate the setting accurately. Photographers have long used physical color gels on the light source to correct color balance issues while digital image processing enables you to adjust your photos as well. However, starting with a balanced color temperature enables you to take photos what have fewer shadows and aren’t washed out or orange. Light in a range between 3,000K and 4,000K tends to be balanced, without showing either blue or orange hues.

Of course, you might use warm colors at one time and cool tones at others to get the right results.