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Colour Temperature Explained

Warm White or Pure White?

Here at LC we offer both......

Warm White - is a comfortable white colour that is used in living areas and residential applications.  It is what we are used to in UK households.  More than 95% of domestic lighting is warm white and most households opt to install 100% warm white.

Pure White - is an artificially whiter light that is normal in retail shopping centres, offices, and useful in household work areas like laundries and garages.  Cool white, and it slightly less harsh "Natural White", and much lower demand than warm white for domestic use.

 

The technical measurement of light colour is in Kelvins, and this is detailed below.  As many LED lights are sold with a Kelvin colour specification it might be useful for you to read our simple explanation of the Kelvin light colour scale.

 

Kelvin ScaleThe Kelvin Scale

LED colour temperature is measured using the Kelvin scale represented by numbers followed by a “K”.  Manufacturers and retailers can differ in their definition of the light range titles, but typically:

  • Warm White is around 2700K to 3500K,
  • Natural White is around 4000K to 4500K
  • Pure White is around 5000K to 6500K

As an example, consider the colour temperature of other light sources:

  • Candle flame: around 1850K
  • Traditional incandescent lights: around 2700K to 3300K
  • Moonlight: around 4100K

Warm White and Pure White are the most commonly used colour temperature in LED applications.

I want to match the light colour of my old lights?

If you are replacing incandescent lights or halogen downlights almost all lighst sold for general household purposes have been Warm White.  You can always check the model number of the light if you are unsure.

One difference in light colour you will be likely to notice is when you dim your lights.  When you dim incandescent or halogen lights the filament would become increasingly orange (warmer).  With LED chips, however, the light colour will always remain the same regardless of the brightness.  So if you dim an LED light only its brightness will reduce.  This is easy to get accustomed to, and regarded as an improvement by most of our customers.

I have seen LED lights that are colour adjustable?

This is where the LED colour can be changed - often with a remote.  Here at LC we offer this.  What is actually happening is the light strip usually includes a warm white LED chip set and a cool white LED chip set.  To change the colour you are actually switching between the two or using a combination of both.

Which colour temperature is best for me?

It all depends on your needs.  Work out what the function of the space is and then select your light colour.  

Commercial and Task Lighting 

If you are fitting a retail shop, office, factory or a hospital, Pure White is the best choice for you because it its "whiter than white" colour exaggerates colours and is ideal for working and task based lighting.  It is sometimes called "icy white" and is equivalent to the light you get from the normal fluorescent tube lighting in offices and commercial buildings.   In the home most customers opt for Warm White but Pure White can also work depending on application and surrounding lighting.

Living Areas

Warm White is by far the more practical and most popular colour temperature for home installation, especially if traditional light bulbs are to be replaced.  Our customers tend to stick with the kind of lighting they already have and Warm White LED lights offers a similar lighting colour.   Warm White is regarded as almost essential for living spaces as anything above this is generally regarded as too harsh and cold.

Outdoor Lighting

The selection of light colour for outdoor lighting is again a matter of preference.  Some prefer the icy cool bluish feature of Pure White on their garden or drieway, and others prefer the Warm White.  We recommend Warm White for outdoor living, this has always been far more popular for garden, roof terraces and other outdoor lighting fixtures.  The exception might be specialised security lights and access lighting.

Of course, if you would like any further advice please do not hesitate to get in touch with us, call 020 3137 7283 or email info@litecentric.com