Brightly lit kitchens, activating light in offices, or cozy warm lighting in the living room – LED lighting works wonders in all these areas. The color temperature of the LED is responsible for the different light colors. It determines what color the light appears and how it affects your mood. You can find out how to select the right light color in our guide.

What does the LED color temperature say?

The color temperature of an LED does not describe its actual temperature in degrees Celsius, but rather the light color in Kelvin (K). This light temperature is defined in a scale or a color spectrum. Depending on the place of use and the area to be illuminated, you should think about which light color is most suitable since different colors have different effects on your mood.

How is the color temperature of LED lamps measured?

The color temperature or light color of light-emitting diodes is always specified in Kelvin. The value provides information about whether the LED lamp emits a cool or warm light. The lower the Kelvin value, the warmer the light. At higher values, on the other hand, the lighting becomes cooler.

Information on the light temperature of a lamp can be found on the packaging of the respective product. But also in our online shop, the illuminants are provided with corresponding information. When planning your lighting, you should take the color temperature of the LED into account in order to install a balanced lighting concept that is tailored to your needs.

Color temperature, temperature, and light color: What are the differences?

The temperature in degrees Celsius describes the actual heat that emanates from an illuminant or light source. The color temperature, on the other hand, indicates the color in which the light shines. The warmer the sun gets, the colder the emitted light gets. The classification into cold or warm colors is based on subjective perception and is therefore not described by temperature. For example, an artificial light source is perceived differently than daylight. A mixture of different types of light sources can even disturb well-being.

Digression: what is the color rendering index?

The color rendering index ( CRI value ) indicates how good the color or light effect of your LED lamps is. A color reproduction that is as natural as possible is desirable in almost all areas of life. Modern light sources such as LEDs make it possible to reproduce exactly this natural quality and to ensure greater well-being. The higher the “Colour Rendering Index” (CRI), the more natural the light appears. Scores between 70 and 98 are considered very good. If the CRI reaches a value of up to 100, the exposure to light is even similar to that of sunlight.

The right color temperature for my LED lighting

Different color temperatures affect the mood differently and are therefore suitable for different types of rooms. In the study, for example, warm, soporific light makes less sense. Activating and productive lighting is important here. In the living room and bedroom, on the other hand, too bright a light is disruptive and prevents a cozy atmosphere. LED lighting is therefore available in different colors in order to offer individual lighting concepts for each area. But which light temperature is suitable for which area? Let us help you make the right choice and find the perfect LED bulbs for your needs.

Characteristic color temperatures

While conventional light bulbs and halogen lamps only cover a small part of the color spectrum, LED lights cover a much broader spectrum. Common color temperatures of the light-emitting diodes are:

  • warm white: 2,700 to 3,300 K
  • neutral white: 3,300 to 5,300 K
  • daylight white: from 5,300 K 

As a comparison, you can imagine that a candle emits around 1,500K, an incandescent lamp around 2,700K, daylight around 5,000K, and sunlight in the sky around a color temperature of 6,500K.

While you should choose the basic lighting in living rooms in brighter daylight white, warm white is the perfect combination for accent lighting in the evening. Because warm white is recommended wherever you want to be cozy and comfortable. In the living room or bedroom, for example, warm white lighting with a light color of around 3,000 K creates a cozy and romantic ambiance in the evening hours and invites you to relax – a pure feel-good factor.

Neutral white, on the other hand, is the perfect light color for hallways, kitchens, or bathrooms. It has a factual, positive effect and attracts attention. Especially when cooking or getting ready in the bathroom, it is important to have bright and friendly lighting in the background.

Daylight white is particularly recommended for rooms with higher demands on productivity and concentration. For example, in the office, study, etc., it has a positive effect on mood and increases attention – the ideal conditions for reading and working.

Impact on our feelings and biological rhythm

The color temperature that a person appeals to or even needs depends on the time of day and the activity at hand. The color of light that shines on us influences the release of melatonin. The hormone plays an important role in our body’s sleep-wake cycle. More melatonin is produced in the evening hours, so our body knows when it’s time to sleep. Cool white or daylight white, on the other hand, inhibits the release of the hormone.

This is how the body ensures you stay alert and focused – so cool white light is ideal for use in study rooms or spaces where the focus is required. Warmer lighting, on the other hand, is more suitable for the evening hours. Here it is important to relax and calm down – it makes it easier to fall asleep. The light that is too bright in the evening should therefore be avoided, as it inhibits the release of melatonin and can lead to poorer sleep.

What color at what time?

The different light temperatures affect melatonin levels. Cold light makes you awake and active, while warm light brings calm and tends to make you tired. It is therefore helpful to use different light temperatures at different times of the day:

  • Morning (approx. 8-11 a.m.): Daylight white
  • Midday (approx. 12-1 pm): Warm white
  • Afternoon (approx. 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.) Daylight white
  • Evening (approx. 6-9 p.m.): Warm white 

Cold light in the morning is important to wake up and start the day full of energy. More comfortable lighting can be chosen for the lunch break. This way you can relax and recover. In the afternoon, concentration and attention are usually required again. Here, bright daylight white activates your productivity and gives you new strength for work and all the tasks that lie ahead. In the evening hours you can look forward to warm white LED lamps that help you to relax and enjoy a well-deserved sleep.

However, the desired color temperature of your LED lights can be freely chosen according to person and activity. Depending on how you feel and which light color you like better, all doors are open to you for your lighting concepts.

Which colors in which environment?

In the following table, you will find an overview of the common color temperatures with their respective properties and preferred areas of application.

Color temperature (in Kelvin)ColorCharacteristicsMission  
2.700Extra warm whitecozy, comfortableBedrooms, living rooms, sales rooms, restaurants, hotels  
3.000Warm whitea little lighter, cozy, and unobtrusiveWorkrooms, salesrooms, outdoor lighting, restaurants, hotels  
3.500neutral whitefactual, positive effect on perception and attentionOffices, corridors, stairwell, fitness room  
4.000bright neutral whitebright, friendly, invitingOffices, corridors, kitchen, bathroom, basement, outdoor lighting  
5.400daylight whiteneutral, high blue content, resembles daylightKitchen, bathroom, party room  
6.500 Cold daylight whitestimulating, a very high proportion of blue promotes attention and concentration, similar to sunlightoffices, libraries, schools   

Whether it’s different times of the day or different rooms – ultimately, the LED color temperature is about you feeling good and realizing your personal taste in your home.

Light planning: implement the targeted illumination of rooms

Various factors play a role in the lighting planning of your premises or an entire building. The choice of LED light sources and the respective light colors determine how a room appears. It is not necessary to use just one light color for a room. On the contrary: the different areas of a room can be wonderfully staged with correspondingly different color temperatures and come into their own much better.

While neutral white and daylight white are ideal as basic lighting, warm white is a wonderful addition as an accent and decorative lighting. For example, illuminate showcases, shelves, paintings, or the dining table with LED strips, strips, wall spotlights, or spots in warm white and create perfectly coordinated lighting concepts in every room.

Can the color temperature be changed?

For areas that are used both during the day and in the evening, such as the living room, it can be helpful if the LED lighting can change its color temperature. Basically, this works when the lights are dimmed. However, this requires appropriate light sources, because not all LEDs are dimmable. With the right lamp and an additional dimmer, you can dim your daylight white lighting in the evening and wrap the living room in a cozy atmosphere.

Light colors vary and create unique worlds of light

Whether it’s a cozy atmosphere in the living area or activating light colors in the kitchen, bathroom, and office – vary the color temperature with different light sources from our online shop and create dreamlike worlds of light in your home.