What Is LED Color Temperature?

Color temperature (CT) is a temperature measurement method, this concept is based on an imaginary black object, when heated to different temperatures, it shows different colors and emits different light colors.

After the black object is heated, it gradually turns from black to red, turns yellow, turns white, and finally emits blue light. It is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a color temperature scale from 1,000 to 10,000.

Due to the different color temperatures, 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 Kelvin 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 as “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 increases 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 light color temperature is relatively high, so the photos tend to be cooler. And if you shoot at dusk, the color temperature 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

1. What is the best color temperature?

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

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

2700K, 3000K, 4000K, 6500K, and 7000K

The warm white 2700K LED light makes humans comfortable and warm as if bathing in the sun.

The soft white 3000K LED lighting is closer to white, and it has a less yellow color. It looks cleaner than the 2700K color temperature. 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 light soft color temperature from 2700K to 3200K is suitable for kitchens, restaurants, and hotels. 

The difference between 3000K and 4000K LED lighting is that 4000K color temperature has no yellow color, suitable for task lighting like kitchens or offices.

The 6000-6500K daylight color temperature represents more details, creating clarity and a transparent environment. 6500K is the brightest white color. Many jewelry and watch stores use bright white color temperature – 6500K LED lights to represent the whole beauty of jewelry and watches.

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

Click the picture to know more about the LED white light color difference

2. Difference places with different color temperatures

Different LED 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. 

3. LED strip lights with color temperature

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


Tunable white led strip light is a light strip with two color temperatures from 2800K warm white to 6500K pure white. 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 these 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 LED lighting effect. 

RGBW led light strip is the RGB 3 in 1 LED color and white LED color, or the RGBW 4 in 1 LED light 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 led 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 the led light color temperature is as wide as 2800K-9900K.

The non-mixing technology RGBW led strip light, 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 is fused by four-color mixing technology with a more accurate LED color temperature.

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

LED strip lightsRGBWRGBCCT
LED arrangement oneRGBW 4 in 1 LEDRGBCCT 5 in 1 LED
LED arrangement twoRGB 3 in 1 LED + white color LEDRGBW 4 in 1 LED + white color LED
LED arrangement threeRed + green + blue + white LEDsRGB 3 in 1 LED + two white colors LEDs

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

4. 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 as a few months ago and a few months later. If your led strip lights are 6000K pure white color temperature, a few months later, it may be 4500K natural white. The reduced color temperature is lost during the use of the led strip. So please use led strip lights purchased in the same batch during installation in order to ensure the same color temperature.

What color temperature is best for night?

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 LED lighting, but will think it is time to sleep under low color temperature lighting. Therefore, the LED light color temperature should be adjusted according to your time.