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What is color temperature?

Color temperature (CT) is a temperature measurement method, usually used in the fields of physics and astronomy. This concept is based on an imaginary black object that emits different colors of light when heated to different temperatures, and its objects appear in different colors. After the black object is heated, it gradually turns from black to red, turns yellow, turns white, and finally emits blue light. Just like when heating an iron block, the iron block first turns red, then yellow, and finally white. It is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000.

Due to the different color temperature, the white color is diverse. The warm white light is 2800K-3200K, neutral white is 4000K-5000K, daylight white is 6000K-6500K, and the cool white light is 7000K-9000K. Here is a general rule so that you can better understand the color temperature. The lower the color temperature, the warmer the color. The higher the color temperature, the cooler the led light color, and relatively speaking, the brightness will be brighter.

The color temperature calibrated by this method is exactly the opposite of what the general public thinks of "warm" and "cold". For example, people usually feel that red, orange and yellow are warmer, white and blue are cooler, but the color temperature of red is actually the lowest and then gradually increase are orange, yellow, white, and blue, with blue being the highest color temperature. 

When shooting with natural light, because the color temperature of the light is not the same in different time periods, the color of the photos taken is also not the same. For example, when shooting under a clear blue sky, the color temperature of the light is relatively high, so the photos tend to be cooler. And if you shoot at dusk, the color temperature of the light is lower, so the photo is warmer.

· 1800k color temperature - Candlelight

· 2800k color temperature - Extra Warm White

· 3000k color temperature - Warm White

· 4000k color temperature - Cool White

· 5000k color temperature - Daylight

· 6500-7500k color temperature - Overcast Sky

· 8000k-12000k color temperature - Blue Sky


What is the best color temperature?

Different color temperatures lead to the distinct appearance of installing led strip lights. Under high color temperature light source, if the brightness is not high, it will give people a cold feeling. And if under low color temperature light source, too high brightness will give people a stuffy feeling. So please ensure that the color temperature is suitable for your place.

2800k, 3000k, 4000k, 6500k, and 7000k

The 2800k makes human comfortable and warm, as if bathing in the sun.

The 3000k is more closer to white, and it has less yellow color. It looks more clean and clear than 2800k. You maybe think the color of 2800k and 3000k is the same, but when you see them at the same time, you will distinguish them immediately.

The low color temperature from 2800K to 3200K, which is warm white color, is suitable for kitchens, restaurants, and hotels. 

The difference between 3000k and 4000k is that 4000k have no yellow color, suitable for task lighting like kitchens or offices.

The 6000-6500k represents more details, creating a clarity and transparent environment. 6500k is the brightest white color. Many jewelry and watch stores use 6500k lights to represent the whole beauty of jewelry and watch.

Color temperature above 7000k begins to appear blue with bluish tint.

Difference places with different color temperature

Different lighting needs affect which color temperature you use. Generally speaking, the warm color temperature is suitable for comfortable scenes, such as a bedroom for rest. Cool color temperature is helpful to improve people's productivity, make people concentrate, and improve their attention. It is very suitable for use in the study or office. To create a warm and comfortable environment, choose a warm color temperature. If you want to increase the brightness to attract people's attention, choose a cool color temperature. 


Led strip lights about color temperature

There are tunable white led strip lights(also called dual white light strips, dual color temperature strips or CCT led strip lights), RGBW light strips, and RGBCCT led strips that all related to color temperature.


Tunable white led strip light is a light strip with two color temperatures from 2800K to 6500K. For example, if your led strip light is 3000K and 6000K. When using two color temperatures alone, it will be warm white or daylight white. And turning on two color temperatures at the same time will neutralize and produce a new color temperature, which is a neutral white of 4500K.

You can through the video to see the lighting effect. 

RGBW led light strip is the RGB 3 in 1 color and a white color, or the RGBW 4 in 1 color, or red, green, blue, and white four colors. You can choose the white color temperature is 3000K, 4000K, or 6000K.

RGBW 4 in 1 light strips use RGBW four-color mixing technology, 360 degrees full color gamut arbitrary dimming, as you want to get full color light with a wider color gamut and a more pure hue. In the dual color temperature luminous mode, the mixing of RGB has greatly expanded the color temperature range of the traditional cold white + warm white mixed light which is usually around 2800K-6500K. The addition of RGB makes the adjustable range of color temperature is as wide as 2800K-9900K.

The non-mixing technology RGBW light strip, whose RGB LEDs and white LEDs are independent of each other and they emit independently, in the case of the same number of LEDs, the illuminance of the four-color mixed light is stronger. White light fused by four-color mixing technology with more accurate color temperature.

RGBCCT led strip is more a white color than an RGBW light strip. And it is equivalent to the RGB led strip light plus the dual white light strip. The RGBCCT 5 in 1 led strip light has a variety of change modes, which can be used as an RGB light strip or as a dual white strip, and five colors can also be lighted at the same time. The function of the RGBCCT strip light can be changed through the controller to realize the function conversion of the colorful RGB light strip and the tunable white light.

More led strip light usage is waiting for you to develop.

Led strip light RGBW RGBCCT
LED arrangement one RGBW 4 in 1 LED RGBCCT 5 in 1 LED
LED arrangement two RGB 3 in 1 LED + white color LED RGBW 4 in 1 LED + white color LED
LED arrangement three Red + green + blue + white LEDs RGB 3 in 1 LED + two white colors LEDs

Related led knowledge:

What are led strip lights?

Is it worth getting led strip lights? 

Are led strip lights safe?

How to choose the right color for your led strip lights?

How to choose led strip light controllers?

How to choose led strip light power supply?


Further reading

Does color temperature keep the same as time goes by?

Actually, led strip lights exist light decay. It means that the color temperature is not the same a few months ago and a few months later. If your led strip lights is 6000K, a few months later, it may be 4500K. The reduced color temperature is lost during the use of the light strip. So please use led strip lights purchased in the same batch during installation in order to ensuring the same color temperature.

Recommended reading: 

Why do white LED light turns to yellow? 

Why are your led strip lights not the same color?


What color temperature is best for night?

Since the natural light source in the daytime has a higher color temperature, and the natural light source in the dusk has a low color temperature, the human brain will be more energetic under high color temperature lighting, but will think it is time to sleep under low color temperature lighting. Therefore, the lighting color temperature should be adjusted according to the time. 

Recommended reading: 

What is the most relaxing color for LED lights? 

What color led lights is best for sleeping?

Are led lights bad for your eyes?

Is cool white or warm white better for eyes?

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