Warm white vs cool white

Light, and the way we perceive it, is one of the essential factors in how we experience our surroundings. The right light can create a cosy and inviting atmosphere, while the wrong light can make a space feel cold and uninviting. And with new modern LED light bulbs that allow the user to change their colour, it’s never been simpler to switch between colours or shades of the same colour. With that in mind, let’s look at Warm white light and cool light.

Warm vs cool light – the differences explained

When it comes to white light, there are two main types: warm white and cool white lights. Each has unique characteristics that make it better suited for specific applications. When considering the difference between warm white and cool white, it’s worth considering the usage of the room you plan to add the light to. Is it a functional place where tasks are performed or a place for relaxation and refreshment?

Warm White Light

Warm white light is a type of light that is yellowish and gives off a feeling of warmth. It is suitable for creating an inviting, calm atmosphere in a room. It has a colour temperature of 2000-3000 Kelvins and appears yellow, orange, or gold. Think about the light at dusk, often referred to by photographers as the golden hour – it’s a quality of light often used in romantic or relaxing settings.

Cool white light

Cool white light has a higher colour temperature and appears bluer in tone. It is often used in commercial spaces as it creates a brighter, more energetic atmosphere. It is best used in task-oriented areas such as kitchens and offices, where people must be alert and focused. Cool white light has a colour temperature of 4000-5000 Kelvins.

Daylight balanced

There is one final variant of white light – daylight. This type of light is closest to natural white light, i.e. light from the sun, and has a colour temperature of 5000-6500 Kelvins. It is perfect for spaces that require high levels of concentration, such as studies or art studios.

So, which one should you choose? The answer to this question depends on the usage of the space and the desired atmosphere. When considering warm light vs cool light, remember that warm white light is the best option if you want to create a cosy, relaxing space. However, if you need a bright, task-oriented space, then cool white light would be more suitable.

KelvinsLight TypeAppearanceFeelingBest in
2000-3500WarmYellow – OrangeCalming, atmosphericLiving rooms, bedrooms, gardens
3500-5000CoolBright WhiteBright, vibrantKitchens, bathrooms, home offices 
5000-6500DaylightWhite – becoming blue tingedEnergisingGarages, Workshops, security lights


As you can see, there are many differences between warm white and cool white light. So, when choosing light bulbs for your home, keep these factors in mind. Of course, there are other factors to consider, such as the type of bulbs you’re using and the wattage. In the end, the decision comes down to personal preference and the atmosphere you want to create in your home. Thanks for reading!


Which is better warm white or cool white?

There is no definitive answer in the warm light cool light debate. Your decision should depend on the mood you want to create and the task being performed in the space. If you are relaxing in the room, such as when sitting in bed reading, a warm light will be more relaxing. A cooler light will suit you better if you want to remain alert and see clearly.

What is the difference between warm and cool white?

Warm white light has a lower colour temperature and appears more yellow. Cool white light has a higher colour temperature and appears bluer. Daylight balanced light is closest to natural sunlight.

Is cool white better for eyes?

There is a lot of debate about whether bluer light is better or worse for your eyes. While exposure to blue light does not cause long-term damage to your eyes, it can lead to digital eye strain. This condition makes your eyes feel tired, dry, or irritated after watching screens for too long.

Is warm or cool light better?

Let’s take a look at the options:
Warm white or cool white for outdoors: Typically, garden light usage occurs when relaxing after dark, and warm light will make an inviting, relaxing pool of light as the night draws in.
Warm white or cool white for bathroom use: The bathroom is often a space where we relax, so it is important to have lighting that reflects this. Warm white light will be more flattering in the mirror, making the space feel more welcoming.
Warm white or cool white for kitchen use: The kitchen tends to be a more functional space where you perform tasks such as cooking and cleaning. In this case, it is better to have a bright, cool light to help see clearly and remain alert.

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