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 LED color temperature. For a more detailed understanding, please continue reading.

Color temperature2700K3000K4000K6000K7000K
Light appearanceWarm whiteWarm/Soft whiteNeutral/Natural whitePure/Daylight whiteCool White
AmbianceCozy, invitingWarm, comfortable, relaxingCrispInvigoratingCold
Suitable applicationsHomes (living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms), restaurants, and hotelsKitchens, bathrooms, and laundry roomsCorridors and hallsTask lighting, agricultural purposes, security lightingHigh illuminance environments such as museums

1. What is Color Temperature?

Regarding LED white lights, we often talk about warm white and cool white. This is how we feel about these two kinds of white led light strips. 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(The standard black body does not exist, it is just an ideal object) after being heated.

As the Kelvin color temperature rises, the standard black body slowly changes to red, orange, yellow, white, and then blue. Kelvin's color temperature shows the LED 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 2700K and will appear orange, so the 2700K light 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 or pure white, a crisp daylight glow (white hues)
•  Above 7000K, Cool white, a cold glow (bluish hues)

2. What Color Temperature is Right for me?

2700K, 3000K, 4000K, and 6000K are often used in white light fixtures. Is white a warm or cool color? It depends on the white light color temperature. Different color temperatures with different light colors.

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

1000K-10000K Color Temperature Scale

2.1 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 LED home lighting (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 LED lighting, just like bathing in the sunset, the 2700K LED strip is the best choice. 

Although 3000K 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
More yellow tone, DarkerLess yellow tone, Brighter
Suitable for Bedroom, Living RoomSuitable for Kitchen, Bathroom
  • Soft white vs warm white: Soft white and warm white are actually the same things, refer to the same range of LED white color temperatures 1800K-3200K, and both make people feel warm, relaxing, and comfortable.

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

There is only a slight difference between the two warm white color temperatures. You may not notice this difference when you first look at the 2700K light and then at the 3000K light. But when the two white lights are placed in front of your eyes, you can tell at a glance which is 2700K and which is 3000K. 

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2.2 Soft White vs Daylight

Daylight 6000K color is cooler than 2700K-3000K soft white, it is similar to a cloudy sky, commonly found in various display cabinets or office areas. 

The 6000K daylight white lighting installed in the jewelry display cabinet can display the beauty of the jewelry without any dead ends. At work, a 6000K light is refreshing and helpful to work enthusiasm.

  • Bright white vs daylight: 6000K to 6500K is the range of daylight white light, and it is the whitest color, so daylight is also called pure white or bright white.
  • Soft white vs bright white: Warm white has a comfortable color, which is a warm yellow white. Bright white, as its name suggests, is brighter than warm white, with more white tones and fewer yellow tones.
  • Cool white vs daylight: Color temperature above 6500K starts to turn blue, so cool white is suitable for industrial lighting with hard requirements for light brightness. Cool white light is not suitable for daily use because it has a burden on the human eyes.

2.3 Cool White vs Warm 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.

3. Enjoy 2700K, 4000K, 6000K

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

If you want a warm, comfortable, relaxed, and pleasant atmosphere, you can choose 2700K warm white LED strip light or 3000K soft white LED strip lights. 4000K neutral 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 led strip light can be used with a 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