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Control & Automation

In Case You Were Wondering: Best Color Temperature for Makeup Lighting

Tunable white lighting is all the rage these days, providing different color temperatures for different effects. Which temp is best for applying makeup?

Reflections lighting system from Dreamscape Lighting can be adjusted to create the best color temperature for applying makeup, day or night.
Julie Jacobson · November 25, 2016

Tunable white lighting is a really big trend these days and growing more relevant by the day.  It almost made our list of Top 5 Home Technology Trends for 2017 ... but it didn't.

Research shows that certain color temperatures can help optimize productivity, induce restfulness, enhance the appeal of food and artwork, and cure any number of physical and mental ills. 

It can also make you look particularly good ... or bad ... depending on the warmth or coolness of the white light.

As residential lighting experts, integrators really should understand how ladies (and gents) can use lighting to enhance their makeup applications. Randall Whitehead, IALD, author of Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide, provides this guidance for the publication Residential Lighting.

Q. : What color temperature should the vanity lights be for applying makeup?

A. : This is a good question. In reality, you want two types of lighting: one for day (4000K to 5000K) and one for evening (2400K to 2700K). I’ve been specifying a company, Dreamscape Lighting that will install both color temperatures in one fixture, controlled by separate dimmers. Now, there is a new product called the “Audrey” from Edge Lighting that offers a tunable LED that can produce light from 2000K to 4000K.

So there you have it.

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at

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  Article Topics

Control & Automation · Lighting · News · White Lighting · All Topics
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