LED lighting is available in different shades of white. Offering more efficient or more pleasant lighting, warmer or cooler, whiter or yellower, depending on the need. The choice of shade of white of a LED light is generally a very subjective thing.

In Northern European countries for example, the tendency is to opt for warmer (yellower) shades. While in Mediterranean countries, the trend is focused more on cooler (whiter) lights. But this is only a trend, an observation, and certainly not a rule…


The shade of light or the temperature of the colour is measured in degrees Kelvin (K).

The lower the colour temperature (2700K or less) the more yellow the LED will look and will be known as extra warm white. For 3000K, we talk about warm white (between yellow and white: less obvious yellow but not completely white).

The higher the colour temperature (4000K, 6000K, 6500K) the whiter the look of the LED (4000K) even blue white or daylight (6000K). The white of this type of lighting (6000K or more) is referred to as cool or very cool (daylight)

Whiter than white – sometimes too white

A second important parameter is what we call the CRI (or Color Rendering Index).

This index, in addition to the colour chosen, qualifies the degree of purity of LED light obtained. It is measured on a scale from 0-100. Good quality LED lights for displays or interiors generally have a CRI of approximately 85. You could juggle between a 2700K super warm white light or 3000K warm white with a CRI of 80 or 95.

For example: A LED light of 4000K with a CRI of 95 means: white light for which the colour rendering has an accuracy equivalent to 95%. (ideal for a jeweller)

By comparison, an orange sodium light on the motorway will have a CRI of 20-29. Consequently, colours can be distorted and then impossible to recognise. By using a LED light, or a device which uses special diodes of even higher quality and a CRI in the range of 90-95, it may mean that the price is higher.

How to find your way around LED light shades?

To make it easier to understand, you can also compare the diodes used in LED units to diamonds in jewellery: it is possible to find a diamond and diamond rings of different purities.

You pay more or less depending on the quality and the price that you are prepared to invest. LED lighting is comparable. We can propose various types of bespoke diodes and a unit fitted with the perfect shade may be proposed.

A member of our team would be delighted, where appropriate, to visit your premises if you have any questions about your project. He/she would be able to present the LED light units and show you the shades and differences between one type of unit and another, as well as food lights.

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