LED Bulbs and Colour Temperature

Addressing the issue of choosing  the colour temperature for LED Bulbs

LED Bulbs are now definitely here to stay. There initial launch onto the market was shaky  as the first LED bulbs were quite underpowered and very expensive. Now there is still a way to go but without a shadow of doubt the LED bulbs of today are of reasonable power and the price is now very acceptable for the vast majority of consumers. It must be said though that there is still a real issue with making high powered LED bulbs at an economical price. As the power of the LED’s increase then the price factor increases at a higher rate so to double the power you typically need to quadruple the price!

This is where the colour temperature comes in to play. For the same power input LED bulbs then if you choose one with a higher colour temperature, say 6500K, then this will produce around 15-20% more lumens output than one with a warm white colour temperature of 2700K. Now this is very significant in certain situations. If you have a chandelier with 30 lamps then there is no need to go for the extra power and you certainly would not want to use the cool white colour temperature LED bulbs in this situation as the warm white colour temperature is better for relaxing in living areas. However conversely if you are replacing some GU10 or MR16 down-lighter spot lamps them the story is very different. Here if you wnat to use the same light fittings then the size of the lamp is going to be a major consideration and a standard fitting will just take a lamp of around 55-60mm in length. It is not possible to make a warm white LED MR16 or LED GU10 of these dimensions that can replace a 50watt halogen lamp. Certain retailers might claim the they have them but this is generally a false claim at present because the LED MR16 or LED GU10 needs to have cooling fins and the smaller lamp could not be powered up to 7watts which at present is around what would be needed to replace a 50watt halogen.

The answer for the LED MR16 or LED GU10

If you are looking for a LED MR16 or LED GU10 in the standard size then the best solution is to go for a 6W in the cool white colour temperature. This way you can take advantage of the extra 15-20% of light output that you will get from the cool white colour temperature and have a spot light that is a sensible contender to replace the halogen spot lamp. Generally these down-lighters are fitted in kitchens or work areas which means that cool white light is actually a better solution as it is a clearer brighter light which is better to work in. The cool light white actually improves visual clarity and enables objects to be seen more clearly and certainly enables small text to be read more easily. So if it is extra brightness and clarity you are looking for then cool white is the answer.

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