Best color temperature and CRI for bathroom vanity light

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Old 02-09-11, 09:01 PM
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Best color temperature and CRI for bathroom vanity light

I'm deciding on a vanity light - a light above the vanity. Some folks seem not to like fluorescent lights. But it seems a good choice from an energy standpoint. So, I'm looking at the 28W T5 "tubes".

I found out that a high CRI (color rendering index) is a good thing. But I'm not sure about the light temperature:
3000K Warm White
3500K Neutral White
4100K Cool White
5000K Full spectrum
6400K Daylight

What works best for a bathroom?
 
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Old 02-09-11, 11:19 PM
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Color temp tends to be a really subjective thing. For a bathroom i'd recommend 3500 or 4100, as this will give the most accurate colors for say, applying makeup.

My problem with this is that bathrooms are the worst place to install fluorescent bulbs. The reason is that the lifespan of fluorescent fixtures isn't really determined by hours of operation (although those tend to be lower for bathrooms than most anywhere else). The lifespan of fluoros is heavily influenced by the number of times it's turned on and off, as well as requiring a lot of power for the initial startup. If a light doesn't stay on for at least five minutes whenever it's used, it's a bad candidate for fluoros. Bathrooms get used for short periods of time so frequently, it's a bad match.
 
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Old 02-10-11, 05:54 PM
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My biggest concern is really getting the "right" light (color rendering, warmth,...). Based on your recommendation, I probably will try a 4100K.

Sounds like the starting doesn't use much energy. Lifetime could be an other story:
Energy Savers: When to Turn Off Your Lights
Lighting Design Lab Articles - How Often Should I Turn Off My Fluorescent Lighting?

How about the max lumen's that I can get out of a 28W T5. Is it around 3000?
 
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