LED colour temperature comparison

The LED colour temperature chart shows the expected brightness of an LED bulb in relation to its temperature in degrees Kelvin. A bulb with a lower colour temperature of 1K – 5K gives off reddish-yellow hues. A bulb with a higher colour temperature of 5K – 10K gives off cool white-blue light.

You might be used to choosing light bulbs by their wattage. After all, the higher the wattage, the brighter the light – right?

Well, not exactly if you’re in the market for energy-saving LED lights. In fact, it’s the colour temperatures of LED lights that you need to look out for, which is also known as the ‘Kelvin’ value of a bulb.

What is a Kelvin?

Put simply, LED colour temperature is measured in ‘Kelvins’ (K), and it’s Kelvins that determine what shade of white light your bulbs beams, ranging from ‘warmer’ colours reminiscent of traditional incandescent bulbs, to ‘cooler’ colours that are whiter in tone.

What are LED colour temperatures?

There are 4 main LED light colours to choose from, each with a different kelvin rating:
• Very warm white (under 2700K)
• Warm white (2700-3200K)
• Daylight (4000K-5000K)
• Cool white (5500K-6500K)

kelvin chart

In short, the higher the kelvin rating the ‘whiter’ the light, which brings us onto wattages and lumens.

The brightness of a bulb is measured in lumens – the higher the lumen value, the brighter the bulb. This in turn means that cooler shades of white light – such as cool white – have higher lumen values.

Traditionally, people bought bulbs with higher wattages to project a brighter light. In the world of LED lighting, you need to look for a combination of lumens and kelvins.

Lumens actually offer a far more accurate measurement of brightness than wattage values alone. In fact, an LED bulb can emit the same amount of lumens as a halogen equivalent while consuming a tenth of the energy.