Suppliers of commercial LED lighting and power solutions

What is the difference between Cool White and Warm White?

If you are new to LED technology, then you’re probably having a bit of trouble understanding everything, but we’re here to help.

The most common question is normally “what is the difference between cool white and warm white?”. LED bulbs come in different variations of “white”, most frequently found is “cool white” and “warm white”. This is the first instance LED bulbs differ from the incandescent or halogen bulbs.

Traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs did not allow you to choose the colour of light the bulb produced because unfortunately, it was all down to good old fashioned physics. Because LED bulbs are a completely different technology, it is possible to choose the colour of the light produced to match your needs and requirements.

Getting a cool white or warm white light is all down to colour temperature. The colour temperature of lights can be measures as a number on the Kelvin scale followed by a “K”, e.g 3000K. The higher the number of Kelvins the cooler the colour of the light, often with blue tones to them, lower Kelvin numbers are said to be warmer colours, often with yellow and orange tones to them. The two “white” options are warm white, around 3000K and cool white, around 5000-6000K.

More information about colour temperature and the Kelvin scale can be found here.

To help identify the sort of places you would find the cool white or warm white LED lighting, here are some examples.

The majority of customers looking for domestic lighting buy warm white LED bulbs as they are the closest match to the old incandescent and halogen bulbs they are replacing. It is a softer light with a yellow/orange glow.
Customers looking for modern style room lighting or industrial lighting often purchase cool white LED bulbs as they compliment surroundings with either bold primary colours or areas requiring a clean and minimal atmosphere. It is a harsher light with a bright white or faint blue glow.

You must be careful when considering whether to get cool white or warm white LED bulbs because even though they offer complimentary lighting to certain atmospheres, if you get it wrong, it can have an adverse effect.

Clean, crisp cool white lighting is suitable for warehouses, hospitals, wide open areas, shopping centres and jewellery cabinets to offer the best light in order to see everything you need to. However using too harsh a cool white light in offices, homes and similar atmospheres can be displeasing or uncomfortable for the eye.

Warm, soft, warm white lighting is suitable for homes, clubs, bars, smaller spaces and some shops, dependant on what atmosphere you are looking for, as it serves well as accent lighting and is not harsh on the eyes. However using too soft a warm white light in some shops or displays can be too dull and not allow you to see everything you may want to.

We hope this information helps you to understand a little more about LED lighting. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team on 0118 9823745.