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The Color Difference Between Warm White, Pure White and Cool White

Many people encounter this situation when buying white LED lights, the white light led strip will be marked with 2700K, 3000K, 4000K, 6000K, and other words.

What do they mean? This article takes you to fully understand how to choose the right white LED strip and their suitable application scenarios.

The following table is a general summary of the color temperature of the white LED strip lights. The color of the background frame roughly represents the color temperature. For a more detailed understanding, please continue reading.

Color temperature 2700K 3000K 4000K 6000K 7000K
Light appearance Warm white Warm white Neutral white Daylight white Cool White
Ambience Cozy, inviting Warm, confortable, relaxing Crisp Invigorating Cold
Suitable applications Homes (living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms), restaurants, and hotels Kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms Corridors and halls Task lighting, agricultural purposes, security lighting High illuminance environment such as museums


What is color temperature?

Regarding white LED lights, we often talk about warm white and cool white. This is how we feel about these two kinds of white light led strip. But in fact, there is a special expression for the white light called kelvin color temperature. 

Kelvin color temperature refers to the color change of a standard black body* after being heated (*The standard black body does not exist, it is just an ideal object).

As the kelvin color temperature rises, the standard black body slowly changes to red, orange, yellow, white, and then to blue. Kelvin color temperature shows the light color change when the black body is heated from a 1000K color temperature to a 10,000K color temperature. 

To put it simply, a black body is heated to a 2700 Kelvin color temperature and will appear orange, so 2700K color temperature represents an orange color. 

•  2700K-3000K, Warm white, a warm white/yellow glow (candlelight hues)

•  4000K-4500K, Natural white, a bright white glow

•  6000K-6500K, Daylight white, a crisp daylight glow (white hues)

•  Above 7000K, Cool white, a cold glow (bluish hues)


What color temperature is right for me?

2700K color temperature, 3000K color temperature, 4000K color temperature, and 6000K color temperature are the color temperatures often used in white LED strip lights.

Different locations and atmospheres have different requirements for color temperature. Choose a suitable color temperature for yourself according to the following.


2700K VS 3000K

Both 2700K color temperature and 3000K color temperature belong to warm white. 

2700K light is similar to the light of an incandescent lamp, giving people a lazy and welcoming atmosphere. It is very suitable for installation in homes (living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms), restaurants, and hotels.

2700K has more yellow tones than 3000K, and 3000K looks brighter than 2700K. If you just create a warm and comfortable atmosphere without considering the lighting, just like bathing in the sunset, 2700K LED strip is the best choice. 

3000K is a soft white color temperature. Soft white and warm white are actually the same thing, refer to the same range of white color temperatures 1800K-3200K, and both make people feel warm, relaxing, and comfortable.

Although 3000K LED light is similar to 2700K light, their actual suitable locations are not always the same. 3000K LED strip lights are brighter and more suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. 

Warm White (Soft White) - 1800K~3200K Color Temperature Scale
Warm, Comfortable, Welcoming, Relaxing, Peaceful Feeling
2700K 3000K
More yellow tone, Darker Less yellow tone, Brighter
Siutable for Bedroom, Living Room Siutable for Kitchen, Bathroom


How obvious is the difference between 2700K and 3000K?

There is only a slight difference between the two color temperatures. You may not notice this difference when you first look at the 2700K LED strip light and then at the 3000K LED light.

But when the two strips are placed in front of your eyes, you can tell at a glance which is 2700K and which is 3000K. 


►Warm White 3000K VS Natural White 4000K VS Daylight White 6000K

4000K light like moonlight, less yellow and whiter than 3000K, belongs to neutral white, and is a crisp lighting. Requires more precision for lighting objects, 4000K light strips are more suitable for you than 3000K. 

6000K LED light is similar to a cloudy sky, and is commonly found in various display cabinets or office areas. The 6000K lighting installed in the jewelry display cabinet can display the beauty of the jewelry without any dead ends. At work, 6000K LED light is refreshing and helpful to work enthusiasm.


Warm White VS Cool White

Warm white light has a low temperature value, and cool white light has a high temperature value.

Warm white LED has a yellow tone, and the higher the color temperature of cool white, the bluer the LED light color. 

Different from the warm and comfortable feeling of warm white, cool white helps to improve people's attention and create an atmosphere of distance, more modern.


Enjoy 2700K, 4000K, 6000K

If you want high-brightness LED light, 6000K white LED strip is the first choice. Regarding LED brightness, 2700K LED light < 3000K LED light < 4000K LED light < 6000K LED light.

If you want a warm, comfortable, relaxed, and pleasant atmosphere, you can choose 2700K white light LED strip or 3000K white LED strip lights. 

4000K white light is suitable for occasions that require brightness but not high requirements, such as corridors and halls. 

I want to have multiple color temperatures on the same LED strip, is this possible? Yes. The tunable white LED strip light has both warm white LED light and cool white light. The light strip can be used with CCT controller to get all the color temperature colors from warm white to cool white, and it can also adjust the brightness of the LED. Click to learn more about tunable white LED strip light products and CCT controllers


Further Reading: How to install Warm White LED light strip?

For white LED strip lights, you need a power supply or a power adapter, and an optional dimming controller can be used to adjust the brightness of the white LED lights.

More knoeledge is in "How to Wire Single Color LED Strip Lights", "How to Wire Tunable White LED Strips". 

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