In the past, when you went out to buy bulbs for your home, you basically were limited to the incandescent bulb.
The thing here is that buying a bulb was a matter of checking the wattage of the bulb. The higher the wattage, the brighter the lights would be.
It is quite interesting because Watt is not a measure of how much light a bulb is capable of putting out. Watt is a measure of how much electricity an appliance consumes.
If you think about it hard enough though, it is just a matter of how incandescent bulbs work. This is the reason they were not energy efficient.
That, though, is not the reason why you are here. The bulbs of today are LEDs and give a lot of flexibility to manufacturers and living rooms.
By playing around with different characteristics, they have been able to come up with a variety of bulb options. Two of the most famous are the soft white vs daylight, but which is right for you?
Which Light Is Brighter; Cool White Or Daylight?
Unlike the lighting fixtures of old, the job of determining the brightness of a light bulb is now left to the proper unit, Lumens. There is another unit that will help put this topic into perspective; the Kelvin. This is the measure of color temperatures that a light bulb will be putting out. The Kelvin value of the two light bulbs is what makes the difference in color temperatures produced.
The Kelvin Factor
The daylight LED light bulb produces light with a higher color temperature Kelvin value of between 5000K-6500K. In contrast, the soft white LED light bulbs produce light that has a color temperature range of 3000K to 2700K.
This is the lower end of the spectrum. These two are at different extremes of color temperature possible with bulbs. There is a middle ground known as the cool white with a color temperature between 3000K and 5000k.
This color temperature difference of soft white vs daylight LED lighting is what creates the characteristic light that they produce. Because of the higher color temperature produced by the daylight bulb, the Daylight Bulbs tend to be very bright in comparison to warm white bulbs.
The Daylight produces a bright white light with a higher lumens count. The light color tends to be white with blue hues and produces great contrast with the areas that it is lighting up. In contrast, the soft white does as it is named; produces a warm white light with a lower lumens count.
The light color has red and yellow hues. This makes the light feel warmer and is great for a relaxing environment like living rooms and activities like reading.
What Color LED Light Is Best For A Home?
Your home is your kingdom, the place you feel most safe. It is the place where you get to relax after a long day of work. It is the place where you get to prepare meals for yourself and your family. It is the place where you get to do a lot of things.
That last sentence should inform you of everything you want to know. If anything, the Coronavirus pandemic has also turned the home into a workspace. A home is a versatile place and that means, you will have to rely on a number of different colors LED bulbs to get the most out of the situation and the rooms.
This is where the soft white vs daylight LED bulb debate rages greatly. Each room in your home will benefit from LED lights that will envision the purpose of that room. If you are lighting up the dining area or the living room, these are areas where your family gets to sit, bond, and maybe do some reading.
This is not an area that should seem industrial, but one that should have a warm and cozy feel. As such, the soft white bulbs LED Lights with a warm white color temperature is best suited for areas of the home that can do with a lower lumens count.
On the other hand, when you have an attic or a basement, these are areas that tend to be used as storage or work areas, depending on how you have set up your home. If as storage, then you are going to be looking for things once in a while.
If work areas, you want to get rid of all indications that you can take a rest. For that industrial work or natural glow feel, then the daylight LED bulbs are best suited to such rooms. The daylight color works great for both situations.
What Color Temperature Light Bulbs Are Best For A Bathroom?
The routine many people have developed is to get to the bathroom and take a shower, shave, apply makeup and generally get ready for the day ahead. The bathroom is where you will be preparing to start the day. You need to get rid of all ideas of warmth and coziness that the warm brightness of a temperature soft white light may bring.
The bathroom is a room where you perform many functions. As such, daylight bulbs should be the best providers of light in the bathroom. Also, shaving takes a great deal of attention and you need to see everything well.
If you need to cut some detail into the Brazilian without causing yourself some injury, then do it with a bulb that gives you a great deal of light and detail to eliminate the fuzz of the warm brightness of soft bright light. The soft white vs daylight question takes a different turn if the materials in your bathroom are highly reflective.
In this case, a higher color temperature can feel harsh. Something simple like the cool white lights, or even lower like warm colors can produce all the glow necessary to reflect soft colors off of those reflective surfaces. If you want a different ambiance, you could always try something incandescent.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Should The Kitchen LED Light Be Warm Or Cool?
A kitchen is a place of work, a place of industry. You need to see everything around you clearly. It is for this reason that your kitchen should have bright white cool lights. The effect the white-blue hue creates will work to keep you alert as you work.
Should I Use Soft White LED vs Daylight LED Bulbs?
As to whether you should use the soft white vs the daylight light bulbs, the better question should be, why not use both soft white and daylight LED light? The home or office is not a Toyota assembly line where you want everyone to always be sharp and alert like they are at a place of work.
The range of LED lights you choose to use can greatly accentuate the ambiance that you would like to set in different rooms such as the living room and dining room which can benefit from warm cozy light and the hallways which would do well with a bright light.
So, should you use soft white LED or daylight bulbs? That is a preferential matter. If, however, you are looking for advice, then no. It would be right to mix and match the bulbs in different rooms to help match the purpose the room is to serve in your home.
Where Are Daylight Bulbs Used?
Daylight bulbs are great for the amount of light they can shower over a given area. The daylight bulbs are meant to mimic the natural light and glow that is provided by the sun. As they are not exactly sunlight, most will end up giving off a bluish hue.
This, however, does not stop it from providing excellent lighting options in different situations. Daylight bulbs shine brightest in rooms that receive little to no natural light. This makes them the perfect candidate for the garage, your basement, or your attic, depending on the design.
They also work great in work areas as the light they provide is great at illuminating detail as it is quite close to natural light. For this reason, they also work better for your bathroom, your kitchen, and your home office.
How Bright Should A Kitchen Light Be?
The kitchen is a very active part of the home. For this reason alone, it would be right to have great lighting, especially if you are the kind of person that pays extra attention to the meals that you are preparing. While a soft white LED can be adequate in certain cases, it definitely won’t work to your advantage.
You will need something that provides excellent clarity and that’s why the bright white daylight light bulbs are great fixtures in your kitchen. However, the design of your kitchen can also cause havoc if you include the daylight LED bulb.
As they are very bright, the bright white light might reflect across stainless steel or aluminum surfaces. This can cause some harsh aesthetics which will just kill the ambiance in the kitchen, turning it into an industry.
There is a compromise. These are known as cool white LED bulbs. Their color temperatures range from 3000K to 5000K. While they produce white light, they are not as bright as daylight bulbs and can be of great help to your kitchen aesthetic.
Relevant Resources: Find out if lux is the same as lumens, as we discuss more about brightness in a separate blog post.