Difference between Warm White, Cool White and Neutral

Figuring out the difference between Warm White, Cool White and Neutral White LED lights can be a tricky prospect… especially between the cool and neutral white.

What is Warm White light?

The key feature of this white light option is in the name. ‘Warm’ tells you exactly what you’ll see from warm white LEDs. Warm white light means a softer hue, with a hint of red and yellow tones. When lit, warm white LEDs mimic a sunny colour (comparable to the colour emitted by most traditional 60W incandescent bulbs). With a value in the range of 2800-3200K on the Kelvin scale, warm white LEDs are ideal for home-lighting applications, especially bedrooms and living rooms.

Entrance area using warm white LEDs

What is Cool White light?

Like warm white LEDs, the ‘cool’ part of this colour’s description also gives you a good idea of what to expect from it. Installing cool white LEDs will give you a brighter, clearer light. Think of the lighting in a hospital or a professional kitchen, where clear bright light is essential in order to see what you are doing. Measuring this white light on the Kelvin scale, you’ll find it in the range of 5000-6500K area. This light has a slight blue tint to it, producing an icy effect, and is usually found in professional working areas. Domestically, it can look striking in clinical white bathrooms or kitchens.

Two LED lighting zones - cool white and amber LEDs

What is Neutral White light?

Neutral White is found right in the middle of the space between warm and cool white LED light. On the Kelvin scale, that places it around 4000K. This white light is less diluted by other colours bleeding. (Such as reds and earth colours in warm white, and crisp icy blues in cool white.) Neutral white LEDs are typically used in signage (because it works better with filters, producing more accurate colours of storefronts and displays). Neutral white can also be an excellent choice for office buildings and home installations as well.

Bookcase lit by pure white LED Tape

If you are looking for these colour tones then head over to our White LED Tape range. All white shades are available in a choice of wattages and voltages.