Outdoor Lighting Color Tones

Simply put, all the colors should match.  White bulbs have many colors.  We take for granted the type of bulbs and wattages we buy at either a local hardware store or our favorite home store.  Typically, we are so taken by the selection and the rush to get things done that we miss out on an important part of our personal experience.  Especially when it comes to outdoor lighting for your landscaping and architectural features.

This has been stated to me time and again, “I never thought color tone and wattage intensity would make a difference”.  But you will find it makes a huge difference. 

Part One – Color Tones explained practically

This, of course, is referencing the subtle, but oh so dramatic change in selecting the right color tone for the kitchen vs. the living room, the workshop vs. the ambiance of the outdoor living space.  However, there are many color tones associated with bulbs and they each have their function.

 For example, if I were to light my workshop area I would use a bright white color tone of a fluorescent bulb and the same could be said of some of the lights used in my kitchen.  These lights are used for performing precise or even possibly dangerous tasks.  The same light color tone would not inspire you to relax and sit down to read a book as it is far too harsh.  

At the same time you would not want these lights to have differing color tones in the same room for the same function.  Could you imagine and evening in the living room with each lamp having a different color tone?  That would start to bother you even if you didn’t know what it was, it would irritate you.  It is that subtle.  The same way a piece of thread on a jacket or your pants is picked up by your eyes. Subtle.

Northwest Outdoor recommends for adding ambiance to most residential outdoor living spaces warm white color tone specifically (2,700K to 3,200K).  This applies to ALL lights on the outside of your residence such as carriage lamps and entry lamps and obtrusive flood lamp.  When a property is lit correctly all the lamps have the same color tone and your eye will pick up on it immediately.

There are a few cases where a bright white is applicable.  A mid-century modern or contemporary could be dramatically lighted with warm white, bright white/blue tone and possibly multi-colored lights.


These links are used as references for the color charts only.

Basic light bulb color tone chart - https://www.lightbulbsdirect.com/colortemp

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    Karen T.- Seattle, WA
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    Mike L. - Kent, WA
  • "They have a very good artistic sense about what materials to use, which plants to feature, and where these lights should be placed. They are very hard working, efficient, and reliable. They are also a pleasure to work with."
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  • "Their attention to detail made the whole designing process easy for us.  Our yard is so beautiful now, we love coming home late at night and seeing how inviting and safe our yard looks."
    Keith & Julie - Magnolia, Seattle, WA
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  • "All the wires are nicely hidden and a couple of the lights are in locations that we are actually a bit baffled how they managed to do the install without leaving a trace."
    Jennifer C. - Renton, WA
  • "The landscape lighting really makes a tremendous difference. Your work was perfection!"
    Stan - Kirkland, WA
  • "If you want lighting and you want it done with excellence and lasting results, you would be well served to work with Northwest Outdoor Lighting."
    Karen T. - Bothell, WA
  • "I really appreciate your annual maintenance service!"
    Henri - Medina, Bellevue, WA
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