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How to choose between warm white and cold white

How to choose between warm white and cold white

Choosing the most appropriate color temperature for lighting is crucial. The color temperature of your lighting fixtures can help create the ideal atmosphere or ambiance for your desired location, whether it's your home, office, or store.

LED lights give you the choice of a range of color temperatures between warm light and cool light. Once you master the differences between the two, you can personalize the ambiance of your home and even improve your sleep.

This blog post explores the differences between color temperatures, the impact they can have on a room or area, and suggested applications for each.

Cool white vs. warm white vs. daylight

So what's the difference? As you can see in the photo below, the 3000k (often called warm white) has a yellow tint, the 6000k (often called day light) has almost a blue color and the 4000k cool white (often called Cool light) is a mixture of the two with a neutral tone.

Warm white and cool white refer to the color temperature of light , which is different from brightness (lumens) and power consumption (watts).

It's pretty easy to remember the difference between hot and cold by color:

Warm light is yellow and cold light is blue .

At first glance, perhaps you don't like a certain color temperature because it is too “cold”, austere and makes you think of a hospital or, conversely, too yellow and dull. However, as we've already mentioned, some applications will be much better suited to certain color temperatures, so we recommend keeping an open mind on this.

Color temperature explained

Color temperature is most accurately described by measuring kelvins, which have the symbol "K"

The color temperatures of light measured range from 1500k to 6500k. The lower the kelvin of the light, the more yellow the light will appear. The higher the kelvin, the whiter the light will be.

A vintage Edison style filament bulb has a warm color temperature of approximately 2400K and emits a soft yellow light. While a white LED daytime light has a cool color temperature of 5700K.

The color temperature has no relation to the heat given off by the light globe. In fact, most LED globe lights produce very little heat.

Where and when to use “warm white” light

Warm white is the color that most closely resembles candlelight; think of warm white as creating ambiance in a room. Rather than flooding the area with light, warm white lights will have small pools of light, creating a calmer, more relaxing atmosphere.

This pleasant and welcoming environment is perfect for a living room or bedroom where you want to relax . Personally, I didn't like warm white before I understood the effect that warm white can have in a room.

A warm white color temperature is also ideal for more traditional applications where you want to create character and depth. For example, warm white lights are often used for weddings because they create a romantic ambiance .

The color temperature of cool light is closer to daylight and can impact our sleeping patterns. This is why many electronic devices, such as smartphones, have a warm light setting for evening use.

Areas where warm white lighting is best suited:

  • Bedrooms
  • Living spaces
  • Dining rooms
  • Outdoor gardens
  • Weddings
  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Entrances and corridors

Where and when to use “cold white” light

Cool white (around 4000k) is a great option if you're unsure which temperature to choose, as it offers the best of both worlds. Cool white lighting is best suited to areas where you may need more brightness and a more "alive" feel to a space.

It is often used in bathrooms because it provides brighter, more intense light , making it easier to see when applying makeup or shaving.

Other rooms that would suit cool light are kitchens, laundry rooms, garages and offices.

If you choose to install cool white lights throughout your home, I recommend installing them with a dimmer switch. This will allow you to lower the brightness and reduce the harshness of the light if necessary. If you're looking for your space to have a modern, clean look , cool white is ideal for you.

In multifunctional rooms it is possible to have both warm and cold lights, depending on the use of the room. For example, in a bedroom with a warm ceiling light, you can also have a cool light lamp on a desk for reading and studying.

Areas where cool white lighting is best suited:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Bathroom
  • Laundry room
  • Garage
  • Desk lamps
  • Businesses

Where and when to use daylight lighting

Daytime lighting (around 5000k+) must be used with caution because it can seem very austere and somewhat disturbing, being very reminiscent of a hospital environment.

While the color temperatures in your home are an entirely personal preference, many people find this type of lighting to be too harsh and blue-looking to create a relaxing atmosphere. Some people even find it gives them headaches. We recommend that “Day light” lighting is only used in work areas , such as offices or warehouses.

The brightness and whiteness of natural lighting react with the human brain to make it more awake and alert. This is the closest simulation of the natural color of a sunny day. We therefore do not recommend installing it in your bedroom, just before going to sleep it is really not ideal.

Below is a great example showing the color of daylight at 6000k in an office.

Areas where daytime lighting is best suited:

  • Offices
  • Garage
  • Warehouse
  • Hospitals

Choosing the right light

Some people swear by cool white light to give a punchier feel or others want to create a much more relaxed environment, which means less light.

You also need to consider the climate in which you live.

If you live in a warmer, more humid area, cooler light temperatures can help create a cooler ambiance throughout your home, and in cooler climates, warmer color temperatures can create a cozy feeling. in the whole house.

Additionally, all energy-efficient LED lights are available in a range of color temperatures from warm to cool. In fact, many LED fixtures give you the ability to adjust the color temperature the same way you adjust the brightness.

Ultimately, color temperatures are a personal preference and there is no right or wrong choice.

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