LED lights – Choosing the right “temperature”

When we consider LED lights to improve our daily life, it seems we need to be more considerate in choosing the right one to meet our needs. For one – the color temperature to suit the atmosphere we wish to attain.

LED lights are offered most often in 3 kinds of white – warm white, natural white and cool white. They cover the most common demand for softer, warmer form of illumination, or sharper and colder effect.

The Kelvin scale is used to measure the “color” range of LEDs. Any bulb below 2000K is yellow / orange tinge, while 4000K is considered neutral. The nuance associated with any particular LED products is described as “warm white”, “natural white”, or “cool white”. When the temperature (measured in Kelvins) goes down the light appears warmer and as it goes up it becomes cooler to the eye.


Image credit to borderstates.com

Each type can address different needs and create a particular atmosphere. Usually, “warm white” is good for indoors, as it gives the living space a cosy, warm feel. “Cool white” is a mostly used in outdoor lighting, or anywhere where “sharper” illuminating approximating daylight is required. Most common definitions are as follows: 

  • Warm white is 2700K-3300K
  • Natural white 4000-5000K
  • Cool White 5000K-7000K

There is no strict definition of how “warm” or “cold”a light is. Perception varies from person to person and what one might consider “warm” could be on the other end of the spectrum for the next person. Companies also have no strict naming convention. Some refer to “cool white” as “daylight” and “natural white”. This, again, varies with different led bulb manufacturers. Most, however, have offerings in these 3 categories.