The implementation of LED lighting has surely, transformed our homes, offices and streets. With their impressive characteristics, LEDs have made a significant impact on our lives. Colour tuning is the technique of adjusting the colour of electric lighting in a space. Moreover when compared to dimming it is more complex, colour tuning further amplifies the ability of lighting to dramatically and beautifully change the look of a lighted space. Basically, dimming simply results in more or less light while colour tuning actually changes the appearance and ‘feel’ of colour. When used together, dimming and colour tuning renders a way to greatly expand lighting’s role in a person’s visual and emotional experience.
According to Lutron Electronics Company, as LEDs (or solid-state lighting – SSL) becomes more advanced, new technologies allow LED colour to be adjusted almost infinitely to deliver the perfect light. Colour tuning can be warm dimming, tunable white or full-colour tuning.
Three different types of colour tuning are:
- Warm Dimming
Warm-dim LED products were created to mimic the effects of incandescent dimming. This technology was highly sought after by restaurants, hospitality, multi-living centers and other applications where the relaxed warm dimming environments created by incandescents were needed. As an incandescent light source is turned on to full output, the filament of the lamp gradually glows whiter. The dimming process in incandescents naturally results in the filament cooling, moving it from white to yellow and then red. This alluring setting has been replicated by certain LED light sources that are capable of dimming down to a warmer colour by lowering the CCT of the LED light engine throughout the dimming curve.
- Tunable White
Tunable white LED lighting fixtures enable adjustment of colour temperature and intensity. The advancement of LED lighting technology and the proliferation of cost effective LEDs have brought the capability of tunable white lighting into the mainstream of lighting design, and to a much broader customer audience, but this new capability also adds complexity to existing lighting systems, and to lighting designs.
- Full-Colour Tuning
The third type of colour tuning is full-colour tuning which is making its way onto the scene. Initially it was used almost exclusively in theatrical applications; this type of tuning is now finding applications to generate theatrical effects in commercial and residential spaces. The manufacturers of products from residential lamps to commercial luminaires have now implemented full-colour tuning. There are various ways to control full colour tuning LED bulbs. Some connect to a local area network (LAN) giving any computer or device with the requisite software the ability to change colors. There are also USB devices as well as remote controls that allow for varying levels of control. This gives the user total control of the colour of a given set of lamps and luminaires. They can be grouped together and changed simultaneously or can be selected individually and changed.
With the transient changes in the lighting industry it would come as no surprise if you see developments in the colour control in LEDs as the demand for additional control continues to grow.