Thread Number: 36673  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
warm or cool white
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Post# 392445   5/28/2018 at 16:37 (767 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        

So, I went with my mom today to get some new light bulbs, she's not as familiar with the terms that are used now, with the new energy efficient bulbs such as CFL and LED, wattage really doesn't matter anymore, it's lumins that indicate the brightness and color temperature that indicates the type of light the bulb puts out. I actually have a nick name for the CFL bulbs, I call them twisties because they are in a spiral shape. Really, CFL bulbs are kind of just the transition technology, it's the LED bulbs that will eventually become the main source of lighting. She decided to try some LED bulbs, I suggested getting the 5000 K color temperature, this is a brighter white and is supposed to make colors look more realistic compared to the warm white bulbs. I was just wondering what everyone else prefers. Do you prefer warm white, or the higher color temperature which is more similar to daylight? It's interesting that so many people don't want to give up their old bulbs, the CFL and LED bulbs work just as well and use far less energy, not to mention they don't put out nearly as much heat.

Post# 392453 , Reply# 1   5/28/2018 at 21:24 (767 days old) by Dustin (Jackson, MI)        

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We switched to all LED a couple years ago, we have mostly warm white, 60w equivalent, and Daylight LED in the bathroom and front porch (lights seem brighter) Haven't had one burn out yet so we have been very happy.

Post# 392456 , Reply# 2   5/28/2018 at 21:55 (767 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I mean, yeah, technically it's just personal preference. But let's face it. The so-called 'daylight' bulbs are nearly all better described as 'cool white,' 5000k or higher. 5000k is not daylight, it's blue. It's friggin' blue. It's a cold, lifeless, depressing blue, that looks nothing at all like warm, natural daylight.

I'll grant, I have experienced some 'daylight' LEDs that do their name justice (they're usually around 4500k) and actually output pure white light, that's actually a strong balanced white, and not blue. My new porch light is like that. If you open it up and look at it, you'll find it has half cool white and half warm white LEDs. But in general, LED lighting tends to fall to either cool or warm.

Also, what makes colors look better under the light has little to do with the color temperature, and everything to do with the color rendering index - CRI, which is usually listed on the box. Basically the higher the CRI, the more actual colors of the rainbow exist in the white light.

So I'll take the warm white. It's usually much more pleasing to the eye, it feels much more comfortable and inviting than a cold harsh cool white, especially for around the home. However, I will say one thing for cool white. I did a major remodel on my friend's living room, and he prefers cool white lights. While working I had incandescents lighting the room. He had me paint the walls this god-awful mustard yellow. It looked horrible. But when we put in the cool white LEDs, the blue muted the yellow so much that it was actually bearable and kind of balanced everything out. So that's something to consider.

I personally really like incandescent lights, but hey, the cost difference and longevity of LEDs is just too much incentive. In my kitchen, I have FOURTEEN recessed lights. At ll watts apiece, it takes only 154 watts to set the room ablaze with light. That's legit just 2 and a half 60 watts, which would pale in comparison.

Speaking of longevity, it really depends on the quality of the product, but I feel like they are getting better. LEDs do generate a lot of heat, for such a small source anyhow. Not to mention that they're usually up in the ceiling, the hottest part of the room already. And they have a pcb with capacitors and transistors and stuff that also don't like heat very much. Some of the older lights didn't have very good heat sinks to get rid of the heat, and they failed. My kitchen lights are the recessed retrofit type, and they keep going out. But the identical ones in my bathroom have survived the 5 or so years. I'd say the kitchen is too hot for them, but then the warranty replacements have shown me several different design changes, so I know the company has been improving them. Likely because of failures.

Post# 392465 , Reply# 3   5/29/2018 at 01:03 (767 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Careful with CRI---is the refrence sunlight or incandescent light?CRI can be deceptive and meaningless if the reefrenece source isn't stated.also for efficiency Lumens per watt is important.The higher the lumens per watt-the more efficient the light source is.LEDS are taking over-some folks like them-others HATE them.I am in between.Remember LED technology for general lighting is till new.There are some bugs in it that will get ironed out in time.LEDs really excel in portable battery powered lights.The issue with LED at this time esp if it runs from line power-is the "driver power suppy" needed to convert the 120V to LV DC to run the LEDS.The driver circuits are the most likely part to fail-same as on CFL.You can also think of the driver as like a ballast for discharge type lamps-fluorescent,CFL,HID.If you use LED bulbs in high heat areas make sure you stay within the temp limits as shown on the LED package or wrapper,box.And can the LED device be used in wet,humid conditions?

Post# 392466 , Reply# 4   5/29/2018 at 01:05 (767 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

For light color I am a warm white sort of guy.Sometimes I will fire up one of my Daylight blue HID lights for fun.

Post# 392474 , Reply# 5   5/29/2018 at 08:32 (767 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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I changed all a couple years ago, pretty much same placement as Dustin, warm white inside, unless its garage or kitchen or outdoors, though they do not seem to throw the light a far as the cfl, my two cents. not sure with my memory but I seem to recall some issue of sleep rhythms with the blue colors????

Post# 392504 , Reply# 6   5/29/2018 at 23:05 (766 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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tolivac - True, but to be totally fair, incandescents have a VERY good CRI.

suckolux - I haven't heard that but I'd believe it. It again has a little more to do with the CRI. Most diurnal animals are 'tuned' to be in 'awake mode' when a certain wavelength of light is seen. As cool white LEDs often have a crappy CRI (meaning they don't contain all the different colors that make true white), that could be a problem. Although I feel like that would just make you tired when you have the lights on, as opposed to making you feel more awake. Meh.

Also blue blue is really harmful to your eyes. Like led cop car lights, yeah those are very bad for you.

Post# 392508 , Reply# 7   5/30/2018 at 00:48 (766 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Incandescent CRI is what most people are used to.Same with sunlight.An item viewed under incandescent light will look different than with sunlight.So that is why you would want to know what the CRI reference is the lamp,fixture maker is using.
Blue light---this is EXACTLY why many folks don't like LED lights-their rich in blue color.Esp the LED streetlights.Lately I have noticed the newer ones installed use warm color LED elements to avoid those problems.and some folks don't like driving under "white" or blueLED streetlights.White lights either LED or HID are good for parking lots-the white doesn't distort the colors of cars.and the parking lot just looks more appealing.A funky thing.The new WalMart in my area has GE "Evolve" parking lot lights-some folks call them "Devolve"agree the MH HID lights are better.The WalMart lights were first Blue-white color when they were first installed.Now they are GREEN-white color-the phosphors are changing.And like any other electric light source-LEDS do change in brightness and color as they age.

Post# 392517 , Reply# 8   5/30/2018 at 14:05 (765 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
cool white

I have all cool white in my apartment, some companies call these daylight bulbs. In all of my fixtures besides my floor lamp, I use 42 watt CFL bulbs, each one puts out 2800 lumens. In my living room, I have one of those floor lamps where the bulb points up towards the ceiling, I have a 105 watt CFL bulb that puts out 5000 lumens. All of my bulbs are 5000 K, I will probably switch to LED once the CFL bulbs burn out.

Post# 392901 , Reply# 9   6/6/2018 at 13:16 (758 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
LED porch light

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So I was in Costco Sunday and they were really pimpin' the LED lights at cheap prices. I got some LED tubes for the fluorescent fixtures in my kitchen and an LED porch light for my front door. I put the LED tubes in as soon as I got home--very easy--but I waited until today, when I was off from teaching, to put the porch light up. After the usual trials and tribulations getting the mounting screws adjusted, I turned on the switch and....nothing. It wouldn't come on. It has a photocell to turn it off and on automatically at dawn and dusk, so I tried covering it with my hand, but still nothing. Eventually, I encapsulated the photocell with black electrical tape and the light came on. The light is a very stark, bluish white color. I would have preferred a warmer, more natural tone. I'm hoping it'll get dark enough on my porch tonight to allow it to turn on as it's supposed to; otherwise, I'm going to have to bypass the sensor so I can turn it on and off manually.

This is actually the second LED fixture I've had on the front porch. I'd put one up a couple of years ago but was never very happy with the way it looked, so I've now moved it to the back door, where it makes a much better statement than the old fixture, which looked like it belonged on an old mobile home.

Post# 392924 , Reply# 10   6/6/2018 at 20:47 (758 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Well, it's dark out now and the porch light is on, so all is well. It came on a little later than I would ideally have preferred, but I guess I can live with it. But I'd still like to have a manual override switch to be able to turn it on at will. Oh well, I guess electrical tape will have to do for that.

Post# 392932 , Reply# 11   6/7/2018 at 00:10 (758 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Typically fixtures like that will have a sensitivity adjustment for the photocell, like an adjustment pot. They also usually have some manner of override, like a 'test' button, and some others are programmed to operate in manual override mode if there's a power loss (ie, you turned the switch off then back on again).

Post# 392959 , Reply# 12   6/7/2018 at 16:11 (757 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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There doesn't appear to be any way to adjust the photocell's sensitivity, nor is there an override switch. Neither feature is referenced in the instruction booklet But what the heck, it only cost $12.99. At some point, I may decide to void the warranty and add a bypass switch, but not just yet.

Post# 392998 , Reply# 13   6/8/2018 at 11:30 (756 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I like warm, myself.

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I don't like the bright WHITE fluorescent look. I've always found fluorescent lights to contribute to my never-ending battle with headaches, too.

Post# 393016 , Reply# 14   6/8/2018 at 20:13 (756 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Well, you might be hypersensitive to the fluorescent flicker. LEDs flicker too. Some worse than others, though. It really depends on the quality of the power supply/ driver. If you're looking to use LED lights, you might want to research which ones are less flicker-y.

Post# 393071 , Reply# 15   6/10/2018 at 09:08 (755 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
flicker and bringing out colors

Supposedly the electronic ballasts eliminate a lot of the flicker that is caused by magnetic ballasts.
I was reading some articles on this topic, some think that a cool white or daylight bulb, 5000 k or higher actually brings out the color of objects better, but I guess this is subjective.

Post# 393091 , Reply# 16   6/11/2018 at 00:48 (754 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Square wave ballast-I have some 315W Ceramic metal halide bulbs that run from low frequency square wave ballasts-this makes the light more efficient over sine wave ballasts.You don't notice fliker or "banding" when you take a picture of the light with a digital camera.I have some HPS/MH fixtures that have high frequency electronic ballasts-these are GREAT-no banding in cameras or fliker when viewing moving objects.The high frequency 100Khz gives better efficiency as well.the fixtures can use three different bulbs-Ceramic High pressure sodium-this gives a nearly white light-the CHPS bulb needs 20 min to warm up.The light can also use a daylight color MH bulb.And conventional HPS lamps.Like these lights a lot despite the high wattage-but such QUALITY light!!!!

Post# 393118 , Reply# 17   6/12/2018 at 00:28 (753 days old) by dartman (Portland OR)        
LED headlights as well...

We've tried both typical color ranges and I went with 5k as I like the more white light and it does seem to light up dark corners better. My sister likes the warm yellow a bit more so she has those in her master suite and bathroom.
I have tried the 5k led headlights in sisters 99 300m and they look super white when you just look at them from the front but they look very blue when trying to see down the road and don't throw out very far. The total insult to injury is the low beam lights have already died with less than 6 months on them. The other reason I went to them is that 300 is a bear to change headlights in. You have to remove the inner fenders, a bunch of trim under the hood and barely squeeze the actual headlight assembly out through the loosened parts to change things out and I THOUGHT the led bulbs would last forever. The dealer wants 200 bucks just to change em out and trust me they earn it. I'll probably go back to the Sylvania silver stars it had before or find some decent aftermarket projector headlights for it so at least she can see at night better. I put a set in my Neon and they work and look so much better than stock it's not funny.

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