Enhancing Spaces Using Color Tuning Techniques

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Last month, we explored Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) and its impact on the appearance of light. This month, we will dive into the exciting realm of color tuning and its transformative potential beyond merely selecting a CCT for your project.

Color tuning offers the flexibility to enhance any space by adjusting the color of LED lighting for various purposes such as ambiance, comfort, and well-being. With advancements in LED technology, it’s now possible to fine-tune LED colors almost infinitely, creating the perfect lighting for both commercial and residential settings. Lutron’s controls and systems enable three predominant color tuning techniques: Dim-to-Warm, Tunable White, and Full Color Tuning.

Image courtesy of Lutron


Dim-to-warm lighting adjusts the color temperature of a light source in proportion to its intensity. This mimics the behavior of incandescent lamps, which shift to a warmer color temperature as they dim. To recreate this familiar incandescent effect, LED sources capable of dim-to-warm dimming blend multiple LEDs of different colors. The Lutron Diva LED+ dimmer is a simple control input that achieves this effect, with the LED driver translating the control input to adjust both intensity and color temperature.

Image courtesy of Lutron

Tunable White

Tunable white lighting allows for the adjustment of color temperature and intensity independently within specified parameters. Traditionally, light sources, especially fluorescent lamps, came with a fixed color temperature. However, recent studies indicate health, comfort, and productivity benefits from adjustable color temperatures. Tunable white applications use sophisticated LED drivers and light engines to provide this flexibility. Ideal tunable white fixtures utilize one control input for intensity and another for color temperature. This setup can feature presets and raise/lower controls for user preferences, accessible via keypads or the Lutron App through the Athena commercial lighting control system.

Recently, the Athena Wireless Node (AWN) has been designed to harness the power of natural light through tunable white automation. This innovation allows users to adjust color temperature automatically throughout the day to mimic the natural cycles of the sun, promoting well-being and enhancing building efficiency. The AWN’s tunable white automation is also compatible with the Ketra Natural Show, enabling users to synchronize their lighting changes with specific times of the day. By scheduling Ketra’s Natural Light to match outdoor lighting conditions, users can bring the benefits of natural sunlight indoors, which aligns with our natural daily rhythms and creates a more satisfying environment for working and living. The key to Ketra’s Natural Light solution is its patented technology, which allows for dynamic shifts in color temperature and intensity across a nearly infinite spectrum of correlated color temperatures.

Image courtesy of Lutron

Full Color Tuning

Full color tuning enables altering the mixture of multiple independent base colors (like red, green, and blue) within a single light fixture. Initially popular in theatrical settings for its dramatic color changes, this technology has spread to commercial and residential environments. Full color tuning allows designers to accentuate different areas or architectural features with any color within the visible spectrum. Unlike dim-to-warm or tunable white, this technique is not restricted to white light but aims to produce a diverse range of colors. This dynamic method is perfect for applications requiring vibrant, shifting colors, using advanced controllers and software like Ketra design software to intuitively manage the RGBW modules in every Ketra light source.

Color tuning in LED lighting provides an unparalleled level of customization and enhancement for any space. Whether aiming to replicate the warm glow of incandescent lamps, adjust the color temperature for optimal comfort and productivity, or create dynamic, vibrant lighting effects, the advanced capabilities of dim-to-warm, tunable white, and full color tuning offer a solution for every need. As LED technology continues to evolve, the potential for innovative lighting design expands, offering exciting possibilities for both residential and commercial applications.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next month’s blog post!

About Western Lighting and Energy Controls

Western Lighting and Energy Controls is one of the leading Lighting, Controls, and Energy Management manufacturers’ representative agency in Southern California.

In business for over two decades, Western Lighting and Energy Controls offers an unparalleled level of service and support through dedicated teams. These teams work to ensure that project requirements and unique business needs are delivered on time and within budget. With its uniquely proactive approach, Western can serve customers in a way that achieves maximum growth and success. Western Lighting and Energy Controls has been an employee-owned company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Trust since 2019. To learn more about Western Lighting and Energy Controls, visit www.westernlightingandenergycontrols.com.

For more information, contact us here at Western Lighting and Energy Controls

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