October 18, 2011
As you know, if you are a follower of our blog, we often refer to articles from Wired Magazine. At one time a publication only for techies, the magazine has become much more user-friendly, especially for those of us who appreciate a bit of simplification.
In a recent issue, there was an article on lighting that explained some of the changes and new technologies that have affected color rendering. One of the most fascinating aspects of the article, written by Dan Koeppel, is the resistance that many consumers have in changing to the newer bulbs and fixtures that are so different from those products we are more accustomed to.
Credit: Philips Lighting

Koeppel observes: ”Evolutionary biologists believe that human lighting preferences are the result of our trichromatic vision—rare in non-primates—which makes us particularly suited to daylight and perception of primary colors. There’s an anthropological component as well; for 4,000 years, humankind has been banishing darkness with fire. And Edison’s bulb, at its core, is a burning filament that casts a glow of flame. Abandoning incandescent bulbs means abandoning fire as our primary light source for the first time in human history.”

I never thought about it that way, but it certainly makes sense and answers the resistance that is being shown to accepting the newer look in light bulbs. Actually, from a design standpoint, some of the squiggly shapes of the newer energy saving bulbs are really quite interesting. The challenge is balancing a lampshade on some of them. However, there are some manufacturers that are using the odd shapes as a design component.

Plumen 001

A chart explains the meaning of color temperature very simply. It states: “Expressed in degrees Kelvin, this is how we measure things like soft white or daylight. A pleasant soft white will have a color temperature of 3000K. White light ranges from 4100K to 6000K, roughly equal to noonday sun. Higher numbers get increasingly bluer”.