How does colour work in LED lights?

The white colour spectrum is the standard used for determining emitting colour of commercially available LED lights. When we say warm white we are actually referring to the 2900 to 3200 kelvin colour temperature on the colour spectrum. 4800 to 5500k is natural white and 5800 to 6500k is daylight.

Here is the difficult part. Commercial lighting experts in Australia and some European countries call 4000k cool white, but Chinese manufacturers and many consumers know cool white as 6000k (daylight). Confused?

Why do we need to know this? With the development of high power LED bulbs, consumers are spoiled for choice in emitting colours. This can also become confusing when words such as 4000k (cool white) and 6000k (cool white) are used. What is cool white? Answer: It depends where you’re from.

We can avoid the confusion with using general terminology like ‘cool white’ by understanding the white colour spectrum chart as pictured above. You will find that on LED bulb packaging and websites that sell LED lights, the specific colour in kelvin (colour temperature) will be clearly stated. Take a mental picture of the chart above and you will reduce your chances of being caught by getting the wrong colour bulb.

By the way, if you are after that candle like effect for mood lighting, that is ‘interna’ (2700k). This too is also often referred to as super warm or warm white by suppliers and manufacturers.


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