Light Choice

Warm White or Cool White, which one do I need?

Authors: Tanay Mathuria & Anka Arora

We’re living in an age where we need to be judicial about our energy consumption. A fractional effort on our part, as consumers, can ensure energy savings. So, let’s talk about LED bulbs. 

If you aren’t currently using LED blubs, our recommendation is that you switch. Why? Even if, in your opinion, global warm is a myth or not a good enough reason for energy saving, some reasons are mentioned below in Table 1.1:

  Incandescent Halogen CFL LED
  A drop of water falling into a glass

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Annual cost of operation / bulb* INR 215* INR 75* INR 175* INR 110*
Lumens per watt 15 25 60 72
Percent more efficient than incandescent - 28% 75% 83%
Rated bulb life* 1.4 years (1,000 hours) 4.2 years (3,000 hours) 14 years (10,000 hours) 34 years (25,000 hours)
Instant on Yes Yes Most Yes
Dimmable Yes Yes Some** Most**
Cold tolerant Yes Yes Somewhat Yes
Contains mercury No No Yes No
Recyclable No No Yes No
Table 1.1: Costs are indicated in US Dollars and approximations. Source: Photos by Esther, Zain Ali and Nothing Ahead from
*Prices mentioned are approximations from various brands of bulbs available in the market. 

Now that we’ve explained the cost benefit, lets explain how you can decide which light suits your needs best. In order to do this, we will need to get a little technical, but we’ll simplify it as much as possible to help you get a smarter about your light choices. 

Simplifying Big Concepts

Understanding Ratings

The rating on any lamp involves the following parameters:

  1. Lumens, (measuring unit)
  2. Energy cost
  3. Life
  4. Color temperature
  5. Wattage

When buying a lamp, spare a moment to consider the usage of the lamp. This will help you identify the wattage you require and the color of light you’d want. The fact of matter is that the color of light(s) you install is crucial. Different colors have different functions, and you should pay attention to it. For details regarding best usages please refer to Table 1.2 at the end of this article. 

Lumens: it is a measure for brightness of a light. The brightness of a light bulb is denoted by its lumen rating. The higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb will be. The brightness required in a room is subjective. Furthermore, the effectiveness of a bulb is dictated by the size of the room, wall colors, placement of the lamp/light source and some other factors that we won’t get into in this article. So, knowing where to start with brightness can be tortuous. We’re here to help make it easier for you to start. 

Point to note: Yes, there is such thing as too much light.

Wattage: Watts are the amount of power a bulb consumes. If you've made the switch to LED bulbs, you should be concerned only with lumens as the energy consumption of LED bulbs is lesser than compact fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. Additionally, a 100W incandescent bulb emits less light than a 100W LED bulb. Surprisingly, to replace a 60W incandescent bulb, you'll only require a 9W or maximum 13W LED bulb to get a similar lumen rating.

Color temperature: apart from brightness, you also need to consider the color of the light. We aren’t referring to red or blue or pink, but rather the warmth or coolness in the color of the light emitted from the bulb. This is typically denoted by a Kelvin rating (usually 2,700 to 6,500) and accompanied by a descriptive name, such as soft white or daylight et cetera.

A breakdown of light bulb color temperature is mentioned below:

  • Soft white: (2700K to 3000K) is warm and yellow, the typical color range you get from incandescent bulbs. This light gives a warm and cozy feeling and is often best for living rooms and bedrooms. The rating is between 2700K to 3000K. 
  • Warm white: is more yellowish white. These bulbs are best suited for kitchens and bathrooms where light requirement is higher. It has a rating range of 3000K to 4000K.
  • Bright white:hue is between white and blue tones. With a cool and more energetic feel, bulbs with this color range are best for workspaces (such as a home office) and kitchens with chrome fixtures. Rating range is 4000K to 5000K.
  • Daylight: has a more bluish tone. This light color will maximize contrast for colors, making it ideal for working, reading or applying makeup. Bulb rating is between 5000K to 6500K.


We supply beautiful lamps that will help decorative homes. These lamps use a variety of bulbs; the type and wattage for which are always mentioned on the shade sticker to assist consumers in making the right decision about the functionality of the lamp. Some recommendations are mentioned below, keeping in mind the end use of the lamp.

Some Tips

Type of lighting Space  Wattage Light color Type of Lamp
Dim lighting Living Room 5W LED Warm white Ceiling lamp (Recommended products – 400174, 400181, 400574)
Mood lighting Bedroom 5W LED Warm white Ceiling lamp / Wall lamp / Table lamp (Recommended products – 400264, 400502, 500041, 600166)
Everyday use lighting Foyer / corridors / breakfast counters 10W LED Warm / cool white Ceiling lamps / Wall lamps (Recommended products – 400563, 500168, 500219, 500292)
Reading/detailed work lighting Study / home office 15W LED Cool white Table lamp (Recommended products – 600279, 600287, 600321)
Table 1.2: General recommendation of type of lamp with LED wattage is based on living space it can be used it.

This is just some basic information you can keep in mind when deciding which bulb to buy. Consider the activities you do in the space and your personal preference of cool verses warm light and buy the bulb accordingly. Proper lightening is not only a requirement but also a lifestyle.

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