Should You Go For Warm Or Cool Lights?

To decide whether to pick warm or cool lights for your new home, you may want to understand the different colour temperature light bulbs for different purposes.

Most of us pick the colour of the light bulbs and overlook the colour temperature. In fact, the colour of the lights you install does matter because they affect your mood and your level of concentration and you may want to pay attention to where you should install warm or cool lights.

Watts and Lumens

Before we go into looking further at whether you should go for warm or cool lights, it may help to know what lumens and watts mean for a light bulb.

Watts are the amount of power a bulb consumes and if you are using an LED bulb, you should be more concerned with lumens, A 60W incandescent bulb emits less light than a 60W LED bulb. If you are looking to replace a 60W incandescent bulb, LED bulb of 8W or 12W gives you the same lumen rating.

Colour temperature

The temperature of the light bulb is determined by its colour temperature denoted by a Kelvin rating. 2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin gives a warm and yellow light which you get from incandescent bulbs. It gives a warm and cosy feeling.

Warm white light ranges from 3,000 to 4,000 Kelvin and gives off a yellowish-white light. Bright white is between white and blue tones and is rated between 4,000 to 5,000 Kelvin.

Daylight, from 5,000 to 6,500 Kelvin has a more bluish tone. Understanding the Kelvin rating helps you understand and choose the degree of warm or cool lights for your home.

Warm light

Most people choose warm light for the cosy and relaxing feel it gives us.

  • Warm lighting feels natural to us because it reminds us of the light of the setting sun.
  • It is a signal for us to wind down for the day and to get ready to sleep.
  • Warm light has become a part of our human rhythm that signifies rest.
  • Warm lights also resonate with us because there is this feeling of warmth and sitting by an evening hearthside fire.
  • Warm light is also comforting and eases us into wakefulness.

Warm colours in a room also changes our perception of objects in a room. These objects may look different in daylight.

Be sure to check out the furniture you are looking to purchase in the décor you are considering under a similar light to avoid any surprises. Due to the relaxation, warm light gives off, it may be hard to focus on any task under a warm temperature light. That is why offices are often lit with cooler lights instead.

Consider using warm lights for areas in your home where you want to get cosy and to feel relaxed. Use warm lighting to simulate evening or early morning. It could be suitable for living rooms and bedrooms. Warm whites, which is yellowish white may be suitable for kitchens and bathrooms.

Cool Light

In contrast, cool lighting helps us become focused and alert. It gives us energy in performing tasks and cool lighting in our evening spaces may interfere with our inner rhythm.

Cool light can bring to mind as the sun rises in the day and we pull open our blinds or curtains to invite the bright light into the room. Therefore, cool light is energizing.

Confusing, cool lighting is of a higher temperature than warm lighting. Cool light ranges from 4,000 to 6,500 Kelvin (Bright white and Daylight) and is suitable for work spaces such as a home office and study room. Some may like to use cool lighting for kitchens and bathrooms as well.


In conclusion, you can have both warm and cool lighting in your home and it all depends on the purpose of the space. For relaxation and ease, it is better to opt for warm light so you can wind down from the day to sleep. If you are looking for concentration and to work, it is better to choose cool lighting to help you focus on your task.


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