×

2700K vs 3000K : What’s the Difference?

Lighting is one of the most important aspects in designing a home. There are so many different types of lights to choose from, but not all are created equal. The color of the white light is your choice, so here we discuss the differences between 2700K vs 3000K to help you determine the best choice for your space.

To help you decide what light will be best for your needs, we have broken down the difference between these two units and how they compare to each other!

What is a Color Temperature?

A color temperature is a specific measurement designed to let you know the relative warmth or coolness of colors of white light.

2700K is the degree of kelvin that has a visibly warmer tone of white than 3000K, they emit light at two different temperatures that have a direct impact on the appearance of everything around them and the subsequent mood of the room.

2700K Lights: – Soft White Light

The white light of 2700K began with incandescent light bulbs, that when turned on the filament inside would heat up to the point where over 80% of the energy was heat and 20% became light. The heat of that filament is 2700 degrees Kelvin, which is why they are rated at 2700K.

A 2700K light bulb has a yellowish appearance that makes colors look more natural and comfortable in your living spaces. This can be especially useful for tasks or activities like watching TV, relaxing with friends, reading books, etc., which are generally better suited to warm lighting. A color temperature of 2700K is also typically recommended for living spaces and bedrooms.

3000K Lights: – Cooler White Light

The white light of 3000K became more popular with the creation of low voltage lighting that surrounded the tungsten filament with a halogen gas. The heat interacts with the gas and emits a light at around 3000K, which is a slightly whiter light, with cooler tones which can make colors appear crisper and truer under the illumination of this temperature.

This may be preferable if you are either working or playing in an environment that requires clear sightlines and good detail recognition for accurate quality perception, such as when painting, reading a book or cooking.

In general, 3000K lights are more suitable for kitchens, dining rooms, offices and bathrooms due to their impression of being a brighter illumination that reflects off of cooler colored surfaces like tile and glass very well.

So a 3000K light bulb has a whiter appearance that makes colors look crisper in your working or entertaining spaces, so tasks like cleaning and preparing food, hosting guests , etc., are better suited to cooler lighting.

Choosing Between 2700K or 3000K

The difference in light is not very big. For most people you may not be able to tell the difference between two homes that each use the 2700K and 3000K. But you will see the difference if you compare two different light bulbs, one with 2700K and one with 3000K.

We recommend that you do not necessarily have to separate these two colors when in the same room as long as a light with 2700K (or 3000K) is not next to another of the same color temperature, it will look good.

2700K vs 3000K LED

LED makes your choices so convenient as manufacturer’s offer both in most formats of bulb and in their own products. However, when using LED the color rendering of both 2700K and 3000K becomes more important.

2700K vs 3000K Light

The 2700k light is a much warmer color temperature. It emits an orange-yellow hue that makes objects look more natural and comfortable in your living spaces, while the 3000k lamp has a slightly cooler tone that appears whiter with bluer undertones which make colors appear crisper and truer.

2700K vs 3000K Kitchen

The kitchen is a multi functional space that can integrate both color temperatures and use them to enhance the function of the area being lit.

For example, you can use 2700K LED light bulbs for ambient lighting and 3000K LED strip lights for under-cabinet installation in the same area to place on a countertop. The combination of both should still have a cohesive look.

Generally when a kitchen is not a part of a larger open plan space, the 3000K cooler warm white is preferable as it has a more task orientated feel yet still inviting and flattering to skin color. When a part of a bigger space, 2700K light becomes the primary choice to ensure the overall mood of the room is relaxed and inviting at all times. bathroom

2700K vs 3000K Bathroom

Bathrooms require the crisper 3000K as the ambient general lighting as the 3000k lamp has a slightly cooler tone that appears whiter with bluer undertones which make colors appear crisper and truer.

The 2700K light is a much warmer color temperature. It emits an orange-yellow hue that makes objects look more natural and comfortable for relaxing in the bath.

2700K vs 3000K Mirror

The crisper 3000K light is more suitable for checking yourself out in the mirror as it creates a better reflection on your skin.

The 2700K light has an orange hue that tends to distort colors, so while it looks natural and flattering in living spaces where you are not directly facing the lamp itself, this may not be true when inspecting yourself up close.

2700K vs 3000K Living Room

The living room is the most common area in a home to use 2700k and 3000k color temperatures, as you can have a mix of lighting in your living room. You can put overhead lights, lamps or reading light, and spotlights for artwork. You need to know what kind of bulb you need depending on the type of light. For inside lights, use 2700K bulbs for general illumination and 3000K bulbs for indirect lighting or spotlighting artwork.

The main thing you need to take into consideration when choosing between these two options is how much natural light your property gets. If there are large windows that allow lots of sunlight to enter the room, then 2700k light will be more effective. If there are no windows or very little natural light, 3000k is preferable.

The 2700K warm white gives your living spaces a cozy and inviting feel that makes you want to come home after work, sit down on the couch with family and friends as well as entertaining friends over dinner.

The cooler temperature of the 3000K white light makes it more task orientated which is suitable for when you are watching TV or reading a book in your living room at night and want to concentrate on what’s happening around you. It also means that if there is less natural lighting, colors will appear truer than with the warmer 2700K light.

2700k vs 3000k Bedroom

The bedroom is for rest and relaxation and should be lit with a warm color temperature such as 2700K which emits an orange-yellow hue that makes objects look more natural and comfortable, while the cooler tone of the white appears whiter with bluer undertones which make colors appear crisper and truer.

2700K vs 3000K Office

The office is typically a space that requires more concentration than relaxation, therefore the 2700k light will be preferable as it has a warmer tone which makes objects look more natural and comfortable in your working spaces, while the cooler 3000k white light appears whiter with bluer undertones which make colors appear crisper and truer.

The 2700K warm white gives your working spaces a cozy and inviting feel that makes you want to sit down and get on with work in the morning, while 3000k light has more of an efficient task orientated quality about it which is suitable for when focusing on activities that require high levels of concentration.

It is important to choose the right light for your working environment, especially since studies have shown that 2700k warm white LED lighting can help keep you more alert and attentive while 3000K cooler bright white LED lighting has been proven to enhance productivity in workplaces.

2700K vs 3000K Outdoor Spaces

The 2700k warm white LED lighting is perfect for outdoor spaces as it emits a cozy and inviting feel that makes you want to sit down with friends, family or your significant other outside in the garden during summer evenings. The cooler 3000K bright light enhances productivity making this option great if there are high levels of concentration required outdoors such as working on cars, mowing the lawn or DIY tasks.

2700k vs 3000k Hallway

The 2700K warm white is perfect for hallways as it emits a cozy and inviting feel that makes you want to come home after work, sit down on the couch with family and friends and entertain guests over dinner in your living room, while the cooler tone of the 3000K white light makes it more task orientated which is suitable for when you are reading a book in your bedroom at night and want to concentrate on what’s happening around you.

What Does This Mean For Your Spaces?

So, we know that 2700K is warm whereas 3000K is cooler. 2700K is sometimes referred to as a soft white and 3000K as warm white.

Use 2700K to relax your occupants and 3000K to enliven them without spoiling the mood of a room with too cool a light.

3000K is the better choice for when reflecting light out of hidden linear lines of LED and within coffered lighting, as it brightens and bounces more effectively off of the white surfaces.

Color Rendering

The light created by the LED is changed to either choice as it passes through a phosphor coating on top of the LED chip. The quality of the yellowish looking coating will affect how well the light renders the real colors it falls upon.

The quality of artificial lighting is measured and quantified in various ways, traditionally as a color rendering scale (CRI) and now in the age of LED more accurately as part of a TM-30 scale.

You might have thought that a 2700K bulb is too yellowish and this might be because it has a low CRI value. It doesn’t matter what color the light is, the CRI value will make objects look worse. So you need to ask yourself if your issue with these bulbs was their color temperature or their CRI value.

If you want a light that is bright and clear, but also shows colors correctly, then you should try to get a light with a color temperature of 3000K. It can have the same high quality of CRI as 2700K but it’s crisper feel makes colors look truer in feeling, even if not technically accurate.

Always look for a CRI of at least 80Ra when referring to the packaging or box of your choice of lamp and bulb.

Circadian Lighting Choices

The choice between 2700K and 3000K is within the warm end of the white scale and both contain far less blue light than higher degrees of kelvin such as 4000K and daylight 5500K.

However, you should be aware that 3000K has more blue light in it’s mix of red green and blue light, which magically makes white in lighting – yes it’s true – and so should be used sparingly in situations where the you want to decrease melatonin and relax the body rather than invigorate it.

There is a hazard to using too much 3000K in bedrooms and in within LED reading lights when close to sleeping times, as it will stimulate an awakening more than 2700K

Conclusion

So, in conclusion 2700K lights are good for when you want to relax your occupants and 3000K is perfect if the main focus of a space is concentration.

Since both lamps emit very little blue light it’s no wonder that they have become so popular with office workers who need work areas full of natural daylight but also due to their minimal blue light content, can be used in spaces where sleep is required.

Understand that 2700K emits more yellow/red light and 3000K has more blue-green components to their mix of red green and blue (RGB) which make white colour when mixed together – it’s true! So use sparingly within close proximity at night for tasks and activities.

Lighting choices should be made based on the feeling and mood you want to achieve in a space, not only color temperature or CRI value! If someone is sensitive to light then they will choose 2700K regardless of whether colors look correct or not – this means that often people who need 2700K are choosing it for all the wrong reasons.

If you are not sure, consult with the lighting designer to ensure that your choice is correct for what it’s being used for! If in doubt go for 2700K as this will be more relaxing and calming rather than invigorating or stimulating at night before bedtime. You can always supplement a cooler color temperature if needed with warmer 2700K lamps or bulbs.

Andrew Orange , the owner of Orange Lighting qualified and worked as an interior designer in 1993 before specialising in lighting working on high profile projects based in London. Since starting Orange Lighting Ltd in 2003 he has been sharing his knowledge and unique teaching style mostly to his designer clients, offering practical real life advice born from running a busy consultancy and lighting supply business. Launching in 2020, his blog has evolved into Quick & Easy Lighting, curating some 25 years design experience into making the lighting choice and design process achievable and easy to understand for all.