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The K Values of Light

The actual values you will find change slightly from one published source to another, below we have a compilation pulling information from many sources.



6,500-7000  Daylight, overcast sky at noon.
6500 sunlight with blue/white sky
5,740 average noon summer sun
5,600 standard outdoor "white light"
5,500 Photographic white (approx. 9440 deg. F)
5,070 average noon winter sun
5,000 outdoor light for most of the day
4,500 late afternoon sun
3,500 sun 1 hr after sunrise
3,200-3400 photo flood-standard indoor "white light" studio lights
3,000 1000 watt incandescent tungsten halogen lamp
2,870 100 w incandescent light bulb
2,800-2,900 standard house lights
2,000-2,500 dawn or dusk
2,000 sunlight at sunrise and sunset
1,900 candle flame



  • Dull red               753

  • Dark red              903

  • Cherry red         1088

  • Light cherry red  1173

  • Orange             1423

  • Yellow              1603

See Larger Image Click on Image to see larger version

Camera settings

Based on Nikon D300 settings (others are similar) these are with fine funning set to 0.

  • Auto 3,500-8,000 where it cannot work it out its set to 8,000

  • Light Bulbs (incandescent) 3000

  • Fluorescent 2,700-7,200 (depending on type within menu)

  • Direct sun 5,200

  • Flash 5,400

  • Cloudy 6,000

  • Shade 8,000


By: Keith Park  Section: Photography Section Key:
Page Ref: white_bal_k_settings Topic: Photographic Techniques  Last Updated: 08/2010

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