Which LED Colour Temperature is right for me?

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We often hear customers say 'I want cool white light because it is the brightest.'  Whilst this is true, the same brand LED chip in cool white will always be brighter than the warm white alternative, you should choose a colour temperature which suits and enhances the interior colour scheme of your home or business.

Warm White light will bring out wood grains and enhance the richness of wooden flooring and brown tone tiles.  It is particularly suited to beiges, antique cream whites, browns, yellows, orange and red tones.  

Pure/Cool White light will make cooler colour palettes such as greys, blacks, blues, greens and vivid whites pop out.  Polished concrete flooring, marble tiles and white tiles, shiny chrome features and silvers can look stunning under cool white light.  For these reasons, it is particularly suited to contemporary modern homes and bathroom areas as the truer white light reflects colours as they would more naturally be seen under sunlight, perfect for makeup.

You should note that pure/cool white light has a tendency to wash out warm tones and can give wooden floorboards and furniture a 'bleached' appearance.  

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference.  You will often find that if you grew up with traditional incandescent bulbs in your home, you will have a preference for warm white light.  Conversely, if you grew up with fluorescent lighting, you will have a preference for cool white light.

  How do Colour Temperature Kelvins (K) work?
Below is a diagram listing the most common colour temperature Kelvins used within the LED Lighting Industry.  Whilst Warm White 2700-3000K is generally consistent throughout the industry, we find that many LED manufacturers, local retailers and suppliers have wildly varying views on Natural, Pure and Cool White light.
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  •  Warm White 2500K - 3500K - Light with a distinct orange warmth hue.  The most common Kelvins are 2700K, which is considered very orange/warm like the old incandescent bulbs, and more predominantly 3000K, which is closer to halogen lights. Natural White 3500K - 4500K - Largely white light with the ever so slight touch of warmth.  The most common Kelvins in this range are 4000K as used by Philips and 4500K used by many others.  Both have very little 'distinguishable' colour difference between them.
  • Pure White 4500K - 5500K - Only pure white light with no warm orange hues or cool blue hues.  Mostly Pure White Kelvins used by manufacturers range from 5000K - 5500K, but visually look the same.  Many local retailers and suppliers incorrectly label this range as Cool White, but cool white is traditionally considered to have a bluish hue as per next point.
  • Cool White 5500K - 6500K - Largely white light with a noticeably cool bluish hue to the light.  This colour temperature is used widely in LED fluorescent replacements because traditional fluorescents have a slightly bluish hue as well.  Cool, bluish white light in downlights is largely shunned and considered as cheap alternatives by higher end manufacturers in China and abroad.  Bluish white light in a home can make objects underneath seem 'dead' and therefore 'undesirable.'
Here at Globes-AU we classify any globe above 3500K as being Cool White as we are not privy to exact temperature of the leds used in the led globes. ie Cool White covers natural, pure and cool.
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