Since the popularization of LED lighting technology, it has conquered almost every living room now. However, a few years ago, many people were not used to the different color temperatures of LED lights at first. Some people find them too bright for comfort like incandescents.
Fortunately, with the advancement of technology, LEDs are now available in all color temperatures, so modern lighting can also create a cozy atmosphere in the living room.
Kelvin as a unit of measurement for color temperature
In order for buyers to see whether the LED light is cool or warm, manufacturers usually indicate the color temperature of the light. Color temperature is measured in Kelvin (K), which indicates how warm or cool the light is. The higher the Kelvin value, the cooler and brighter the perceived light.
Spectrum of three different color temperatures
Basically, the color temperature spectrum is divided into three distinct regions, each with a certain Kelvin range. The three color temperature spectra are:
Warm white (below 3300K)
Neutral white (3300～5000K)
Daylight white or cool white (above 5000K)
Each of the three color temperatures has its own characteristics, which can create a certain atmosphere, making them more or less suitable for a specific field of application. Let's take a closer look at the effects of these three color temperatures.
Warm white (below 3300K)
Warm white is the color temperature with the lowest Kelvin value and looks slightly yellowish, tending toward red. As a result, the light appears warm and cozy, which is why it is always used where the light is intended to create a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. Therefore, warm white light is preferred for living rooms or hotels and restaurants.
Neutral white (3300-5000K)
As the name suggests, neutral white light has a neutral color, that is, no yellow or blue cast. Due to its sober and realistic effect, the lamp is used where highly focused and bright lighting is required. This is why neutral white light is mainly used in places such as offices, kitchens, supermarkets, gyms and hospitals.
Daylight White or Cool White (over 5000K)
Daylight white or cool white has the highest Kelvin. Hence, it has a light blue touch and appears very bright. That's why this light temperature improves concentration and eliminates fatigue. Therefore, daylight white light is mainly used in warehouses, workshops and other places that need to concentrate on work.
Color temperature of different light sources
Because this is all very theoretical, we've put together in this table a few concrete examples of the color temperature of different light sources: they give you a better idea of how light with different color temperatures produces different effects.
Kelvin color temperature
100 watt incandescent lamp
12 volt halogen lamp
Sun in cloudless sky
The color temperature also has an effect on the LED flashlight
The light temperature of a lamp has a major impact on the way we perceive our environment. Therefore, for LED flashlights, color temperature is also a criterion that cannot be ignored. Because for example on night hikes the torch is the only source of light, which is why its color temperature also has a big influence on the color of the illuminated object. Depending on how warm or cold the light is, the color of the lighting environment will look different.
The color temperature of the LED flashlight has these effects
cool white light
Cool white LED flashlights are often thought to emit significantly brighter light, but this is not the case. This "increased" brightness isn't just an advantage, however. Because surroundings illuminated by cool white light often give people a feeling of lifelessness and barrenness. On top of that, color images are a bit distorted due to the blue shimmer.
warm white light
In contrast, scenes illuminated by warm white LED flashlights appear more natural and colorful. However, this light temperature is considered a bit dim compared to cool white flashlights. Also, for this light color, the light cones may have a yellowish to reddish shimmer.
When choosing a color temperature, there is no right or wrong, but it depends on personal preference and the area where the flashlight is used. If you prefer a little brighter and don't mind slightly unnatural colors, I'd recommend using a flashlight with a cool white light. However, if natural and intense colors are important to you, you should choose an LED flashlight that features warm white.
What does the color temperature of a flashlight depend on?
What determines the color temperature of an LED flashlight? Before purchasing a flashlight, can you estimate what the color temperature of the light from the flashlight will be? Unfortunately, it's not easy, because the color of light depends mainly on two things:
Of course, the color temperature of the flashlight is most affected by the different LEDs. Most manufacturers already provide more information on the color temperature of the lamp on the packaging.
Bonus tip: If you can't find accurate LED color temperature information on a flashlight, you can google the name of the LED. Typically, you will receive appropriate information on color temperature from the appropriate lamp manufacturer.
Determining the exact colour temperature of a flashlight is can be little more difficult as the reflector also has an effect in the colour of the light.It may happen that a flashlight whose color temperature is specified as daylight white will still have a yellowish tinge due to reflectors or other components that affect the color of the light.
Therefore, you should not only pay attention to the manufacturer's information, but also check the test reports and reviews to better evaluate the actual color temperature of the flashlight.
For what purposes is the color temperature of an LED torch particularly important?
Most flashlight owners care little about the color temperature of their model. After all, the need of the average user is to illuminate the surrounding area.
However, there are certain application areas where the color temperature of an LED torch can play an important role.
When lighting with one or even multiple LED torches, it is natural for photographers to pay close attention to the color temperature of the light source. After all, the respective hues of the light have a big impact on how the photo will look.
Another special case is emergency services and emergency doctors, who use flashlights to get as natural light as possible to ensure realistic color reproduction.
However, for the average camper or night hiker, the color temperature of the flashlight plays a rather minor role.