What Color Temperature Is Used For Landscape Lighting?

When planning a lighting strategy, you have to consider more than just brightness. This means knowing what color temperature is used for landscape lighting.


The exterior of your home or business deserves to be well-lit day and night. But what you might not know is that it’s not enough just to shine a light. The most effective landscape lighting strategies serve a purpose. Today, we’ll take a look at how you can illuminate the exterior of your Franklin, TN, home or business, and we’ll take the guesswork out of lighting by shedding light on the different types of color temperatures and what they’re used for.

What Is Color Temperature?


Color temperature is best thought of as the warmth or coolness of the light. Unlike lumens, which measure brightness, the color temperature, which is measured in kelvins (K) and typically falls into a range of 2000K to 6500K for outdoor lighting, gives you an idea of the hue your bulbs will cast when lit. 


So, then what color temperature is used for landscape lighting? The answer depends on your purpose.


If you’re planning an outdoor kitchen or want a decorative, intimate environment, consider a warm light, which will range from 2000K to 3000K. The lower the number, the warmer the light. Outdoor workspaces, sheds, and deck stairs are best served with a mid-range, cool white light with a temperature of 3100K to 4500K. For security lighting or to draw attention to a specific feature, most landscape lighting companies in the Franklin area recommend 4600K to 6500K.

Outdoor Entertaining And Landscape Features


Your deck, patio, and pool lounge areas should be bright but not overbearing. A range of 2500K to 3200K is ideal, and this promotes a sense of serenity and allows for relaxation. This temperature, combined with the right luminosity, will keep you and your guests comfortable without sacrificing your ability to see obstacles.


Landscape lighting for statues and other decorative features also falls into this 2000K to 3000K range. However, some features may be lit with a cooler light depending on your desired look.



You’ve likely spent time and money on your aesthetic landscape features, such as trees and flowers. For these, look for something in the neutral range of 3000K to 3500K, which will highlight colors while providing a bit of depth. These lights won’t be bright enough to affect the pattern of your plants.

Color Temperature Mimics The Day/Night Cycle


There is a reason that landscape lighting architects prioritize color temperature. In addition to safety, it has a lot to do with how the sun naturally illuminates a home’s features at different times during the day. During sunrise and sunset, the sun is a much warmer, calming hue. In the hours after sunrise and before sunset, color temperature remains fairly neutral. In the hours surrounding noon, the sun showcases a color temperature of between 5500K and 6000K. 

The Colors In Color Temperature


So, now that you know the numbers, it’s important to know the color palette. Toward the lower end of the scale, the warm lights flush with hints of red and orange; 1500K is similar to candlelight. Moving into the neutral zone, light will have a yellow, white, or light blue tone. Cooler lights have much bluer undertones, and a light of 10,000K will have a blue tint in the same hue as a clear sky.


When you are looking for landscape lighting for your Franklin, TN, home or business, you have to consider more than just the brightness and placement of your bulbs and fixtures. Talk to your lighting expert about your goals, and don’t be shy about asking about how each color temperature might affect the look of your landscape and architecture. Remember, we are here to help, and we’re always ready to answer questions to help you make the best decision about your exterior lighting.


Lumenate is Nashville’s premier outdoor lighting company. With years of hands-on experience and industry expertise in architectural, landscape, and event lighting, Lumenate can help home and business owners bring out the true beauty of their spaces and create exceptional gathering grounds for friends, family, and clients. Those seeking a truly customized wedding, expo, or other event can trust Lumenate to come up with the perfect lighting plan that includes full installation and on-site maintenance. Lumenate also offers expert holiday lighting for residential and commercial properties throughout the greater Franklin area, including Nashville, Brentwood, and the surrounding cities.