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Warm White vs Cool White [Differences Between]

Looking for a new flashlight can be hard sometimes, once you pick the one that you want then you have to decide on LED color? What is that? In this article we will talk about warm white vs cool white and the differences between them.

Scientifically there is a color spectrum of white color.

In this article, we’re going to go over the differences between light with a cool tint versus a light with a warm tint.

When you go to buy a new light bulb or a new flashlight you will see the same flashlight available with lots of different tints most people go with cool white since it is perceived as brighter and has more lumens but you might want to go with a warm tint.

Warm tint does not show up as much in flashlights as some others but just in case you have to make this decision we hope this will help.

I know we just want a pure white but what does that even mean? Is pure white what the sun puts out or is is just a colorless bright white? Do you want range and brightness or great color accuracy?

Cool White vs Warm White on the white spectrum

What is the difference between warm white and cool white?

Technically according to Cree warm white is the color range between 2700 and 3000 Kelvin and cool white is the color range between 4500 and 5500 Kelvin. What you will see is that that warm white will be more yellow and orange and cool white will be bright white with a bluish light tint.

Now lets cover a couple of definitions before we move on and go through all of the other questions we get often.

Correlated Color temperature (CCT): according to Cree the correlated color temperature is it scientifically formalized measurement that idealizes if you had a perfect blackbody radiator the color that would come out at certain degrees Kelvin temperature. This going back to incandescent light bulbs where a filament was being heated to produce light.

Color rendering index (CRI): rendering index is how close colors look to the color they actually are when a certain light is on them. Getting an accurate color reproduction is more important in some functions like photography and fashion as opposed to hunting. We have another article on CRI here.

Luminous flux (Lumens): luminous flux or lumens is the total light output from a light source.

A couple questions we get all the time are:

Is cool white or warm white better for eyes?

As long as the light is not too bright they are both fine for your eyes. The more blue that your eyes perceive does communicate to your brain a time a day and can shift how your body feels. Check out our article on flashlights damaging eyes.

Is cool white brighter than warm light?

With the same amount of power a cool white LED will have more lumens than a warm white LED. This is measured in Lumens.

Is warm white good for sleep?

When we hear this question we assume that people are referring to the fact that they heard that blue light is bad for sleep and they are then assuming that since warm white does not look as blue as cool white it is fine for sleep.

In reality there is still blue light in a warm white but just not as much. So they are probably better than cool white lights but still not recommended and definitely not “good”

Is cool white same as daylight?

No, cool white is the color temperature between 4500 and 5500 Kelvin while daylight goes all of the way up to 6500 Kelvin.

What is the color temperature of cool white?

The color temperature of cool white is between 4500 and 5500 Kelvin at this color temperature the blue tints come out more and is perceived brighter by the human eye.

What is the color temperature of warm white?

The color temperature of warm white is between 2700 and 3000 Kelvin at this color temperature the light looks more yellow and closer to an incandescent bulb than cool white.

Why would you pick cool white over warm white?

We actually prefer the look of warm white but the obvious reason to go for cool white over warm white is that cool white can give off more lumens and appear brighter with the same amount of power. Pretty much all of the highest lumen flashlights have high Kelvin LEDs

Why would you pick warm white over cool white?

For us we want things to look more like how they do when the sun is or how they look with a fire going. We like the tint of warm white better than cool as long as we still have enough light to do what we want to.

Also, it just does not bother our eyes as much.

Final Thought, Which One Do You Want?

It’s really up to you, personal preference, and you have to decide whether or not you care more about light being bright or if you care more about a light having a warmer tone that is not as harsh when you look at it.

We also compare cool white and neutral white here.

What kind of beam tint do you want?

For instance, right now I’m looking at a flashlight it has three LED option 1 is around 5500k and another is around 3000k.

If you get the LEDs that are 5500k you can go up to 2000 lumens but if you get the LEDs that are 3000k you only get up to 1300 lumens so a 35% reduction in lumens but, 1300 lumens is still a lot and the light looks and feels more inviting.

Now this does not mean that color temperature and CRI are exactly the same thing.

It just means that typically a certain color temperature values have higher CRI by default.

But, CRI is still a separate metric that can be optimized for. Some of the top brands in regards to CRI are Nichia, Samsung, Osram, and Luminus

Thanks for visiting our site. If you are looking for more information on light or flashlights we have a ton of information so poke around to find it. For flashlights, we recommend checking out or list of buyers guides here.