So you come into one of our galleries, and you’re wondering what my art will look like in your home vs. what the gallery lighting is doing. At the Lauderdale by the Sea, FL gallery, we custom designed the lighting from the ground up, so I chose 5000K LED lighting to best highlight my work. That gallery has big windows occupying about 40% of the walls, so not only does it blend well with the natural daylight coming in, but it also looks great after dusk, showing off the art’s generally contemporary feel, and letting the the pieces with bolder colors reach their fullest potential. But if you visit our gallery inside the Fort Lauderdale’s Galleria Mall, you’ll see an eclectic hodgepodge of 2700-6000K made up of numerous types of LED, halogen, and metal halide. That’s all because the mall space was occupied by a jewelry store for 30 years prior to us taking over in 2015, and while the mall doesn’t want me modifying the ancient metal halides, every time one of the 100+ halogens (2700K) burns out, I’m replacing it with a high-K LED, but since almost all the LED’s on the market come from overseas, any particular store on Amazon.com
typically orders a few thousand, and when they’re gone, they’re gone, so when you reorder in 6 months, this 6000K bulb from Asia is no doubt a bit different (maybe off by 200K or so), leading to inconsistencies that are only avoidable by over-ordering for the future…..and let’s face it, most of us won’t feel like ordering double the necessary bulbs just to store backups in the closet, right? So anyway, when you’re in our mall gallery, try to not look up and criticize! Actually, there’s a silver lining to our lighting chaos there – feel free to ask the sales consultant to move the piece you want under some old 2700K halogens, under the old 3500-4000K metal halides, and then under the new 5500-6000K LED bulbs. I bet the difference will shock you!
*3000K is warmer yellowish; 5000K is cooler white/bluish. Natural sunlight at high noon is 5600K. And it’s nothing but personal preference as to what’s “best”.
*You don’t have to have it absolutely consistent throughout the home, but each individual room should remain consistent with only one color temperature.
*Try a few different K options to see what you like best – for probably less than $5-10 per bulb, you can order (on Amazon, or one of the dozens of lighting specialty sites, for example) 2 or 3 bulbs for a particular fixture in different K ratings. The only way to see what’s best for your lifestyle is to try them out!
In a future post, we’re going to tackle the other two factors: bulb angle of coverage, and dimmers, so look for those tips next time!