Choosing the right LED light color can be difficult as there are phrases and technical terms that need explaining before you can use light successfully in your home or next project.
We simplify the lighting jargon and explain what the most important LED light colors mean, so together with our tips on best practice, you’re equipt to get the best results.
When you are choosing to light your space, now LED is the primary source of light you may have noticed there are options of color choice to decide upon?
You can now easily choose different types of white light around your home and create more colors of light than the eye can actually see!
So to understand LED light colors better, you first need to understand that there is a differentiation between white light and the choices on offer and RGB colored lighting and all that color changing lights offer.
White light is categorized within a visible color spectrum of light with a measurement system called the Kelvin scale to differentiate between color temperatures.
The Kelvin scale is a way to designate the light appearance given by a bulb or fixture. The lower the number on the Kelvin scale, the more reddish or warmer the light will be. The higher the number, the more bluish or cooler the light will be.
Your challenge is to use the best LED light colors for different situations around your home and create the right atmosphere by using LED light colors for moods.
Let us show you how.
LED creates white light the best by sending either blue or violet light from an LED chip through a phosphor coating that fluoresces to create a broad spectrum of colors that the human eye sees as white light.
The Kelvin scale is a guide to help us see the different colors of light.
Very warm white begins at 1,000 Kelvin and daylight white light is at 10,000 Kelvin. As we go up the scale, we see different colors of “white” light begins from orange to yellow to blue.
For ease of use, manufacturers have associated popular and useful whites that have specific degrees of kelvin, with descriptive labels. Whilst useful and accessible to all, it is important to note that the definitive guide to LED light colors should still be the Kelvin scale.
You will see some ambiguity on the market and within Amazon especially as there is no industry standard to adhere to. You will find Daylight White categorized as 5000K to 6500K as well but at this end of the scale, all these whites contain the most blue in the mix than all the others and look similar.
Whatever the white light color temperature choice, look out for the color rendering index of that light too, as it determines the quality and color consistency of it’s illumination amongst multiple light sources. The higher the number on the index up to 100 rA, the better.
The opportunity to adopt colored light within a space has never been more accessible with smart lighting. Whether from color changing LED strip or bulbs, the benefits of LED light colors are that they allow you to change the mood and feel of a room at the touch of a button.
LED creates colored light by mixing the three primary colors: red, green and blue (RGB).
You can find these in different forms such as RGB LED light bulbs that you can use around your home. These are most commonly used for decorative purposes to create unique lighting effects or create different moods.
Incredibly there are 16 million colors of light on offer but unfortunately, your eye can only see a limited number of these but you are still spoilt for choice!
The categorization of colored light is a number when programming, but for the user, the interface to colored light is chosen as you drag your finger across the screen color wheel or simply a name – like – blue!
You may also see RGBWW on some products, which means the light source has LED chips of Red Green Blue and Warm White – this is a mix of the four colors to give even more creative possibilities.
The WW or warm white comes from a dedicated white LED chip that is included for mixing purposes but primarily to create a better quality of warm white light as although red, green and blue can mix to create white light, it is inferior.
There is also a RGBW which means Red Green Blue White – this uses a fourth diode to produce a “cool white” light in addition to the standard red, green, and blue output. For the same reasons as RGBWW, the red, green and blue diodes are switched off when the user wants to illuminate with a good quality cool white light and not have to mix a white that is controlled very well.
Different colors evoke different human responses. This can be seen with RGB lights that change color, or even with white light that changes temperature.
Each color and type of white light influences the overall feel of a lit environment. It is more than simply choice, the human emotion and internal chemical reactions, are triggered by color type.
Industry lighting bodies, such as the IES (Illuminating Engineering Society), have done extensive research into the effects of light on people and how it can be used to achieve the desired effect.
Here are some examples:
Here are some examples:
More can be found IES lightng standards on color within The Lighting Library
Now you know the different types of light color available and the effects that they can have, it is time to start thinking about how you can use them in your home or business.
The most important thing to consider is what feel or atmosphere you are trying to create. Once you have decided on this, you can start to look at the different options available to you.
This is the most popular choice as it is very versatile. It can be used in any room to create a warm and inviting feeling.
It is often used in living rooms and bedrooms as it helps people to relax and feel comfortable.
It can also be used in kitchens and bathrooms as it provides good task lighting without being too harsh.
It’s a subtle but important difference choosing between 2700K vs 3000K
A soft white light is perfect for creating an intimate and personal feeling without a yellow tinge of light. It is often used in libraries and office areas as it helps people to focus and concentrate without being too cool and uninviting.
It can also be used in retail stores to create a more exclusive and luxurious feel.
There is a big difference choosing between 3000K vs 4000K
A cool white light is perfect for creating a clean and efficient feel. It is often used in office areas, retail stores, hospitals, and classrooms as it helps people to focus and concentrate without being too warm and inviting.
It can also be used in garages and home offices as it provides good task lighting without being as harsh as a daylight lamp.
A cool white light is perfect for creating a clean and efficient feel. It is often used in office areas, retail stores, hospitals and classrooms as it helps people to focus and concentrate without being too warm and relaxing.
It can also be used in garages and home offices as it provides good task lighting without being as harsh as daylight.
If you are looking for a light that is bright and alerting, then daylight white is a perfect choice. It is often used in spaces where people need to see things more clearly and accurately.
It can also be used in garages and storage areas as it provides great task lighting without the worry about being too stark.
Colors other than white are best used as accent lighting in the home. A touch of color to a space creates interest and an entirely different mood to a space such as:
There has never been a better time to utilize the benefits of LED light colors in your home. With clever uses of different white light choices and accent lighting from RGB color-changing products, great lighting design is at your fingertips!
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