How Cool Lighting and Warm Lighting work with LEDs
Is this a cool white or warm white? This is one question customers frequently ask us when shopping for an LED bulb.
So, we decided to clear this up in this post.
Cool white or warm white is used in reference to the colour temperature of an LED bulb in regard to the Kelvin Colour Temperature Scale. While a 2700K LED bulb will emit a warm, nearly gold light, an LED with a temperature of 7000K will give an extremely cool white light. In fact, in some applications that may appear to having a light bluish glow. On the other hand, 3000K LED bulbs produce a soft warm white light and LEDs with a colour temperature of 4000K or 3500K produces light that is bright warm white.
This may raise the obvious question: Compared to 3500K, how bright is 2700K? Or compared to, say, 4000K?
Keeping aside personal tastes, LED bulbs with a colour temperature of less than 2700K are generally used in those areas where there’s no requirement for a bright light, like a regular accent lamp in a living room whose sole purpose is to moderately warmish glow. LED bulbs with colour temperature in the range of 2700K – 3500K produce warming glow and you can safely use them in those parts of your house where ambiance as such is not very important, like your dining room. When the colour temperature increases to around 4000K, lighting starts to resemble natural white. As such, these LED bulbs are frequently used for task lighting. Depending on your likeness for cool versus warm lighting, you can use 3500K to 5000K LED bulbs in your kitchen. However, LED bulbs with a colour temperature of over 5000K are rarely, if ever, used in homes.
Well, that’s just about it as far as colour temperatures are concerned. However, there’s another term — CRI — that you should be aware of while shopping for LEDs.
LEDs, like fluorescent lighting, are more efficient than incandescent, but between the two — LED and fluorescent — LED wins hands down. While fluorescents consume 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, LEDs use 90% less. Also, unlike fluorescents, LEDs don’t contain traces of mercury, which is harmful for us.
In short, LEDs offer a far better deal than fluorescents, but remember, all LEDs are not created equal. Some offer better light quality than others.
The CRI measures how accurately an LED bulb renders colours compared to natural light. It is measured on a scale from 0 to 100, and closer the reading is to 100, the better the light quality.
If you want LED bulbs that emit balanced light, go for LEDs with a CRI rating of 90+. Anything less than CRI90+ and you’ll be compromising on light quality.
At LiquidLEDs, we only sell CRI90+ LED bulbs because we want you and your family to enjoy the best LED lighting experience.