Daylight vs Soft White: Indoor and Outdoor Lighting Guide

Color temperatures of lights are responsible for emitting different colors. A light color is a crucial factor because it affects our task, mood, body and hormones. If you are wondering, daylight vs soft white: which is better? The answer is: it varies according to the balanced combination of your needs and effects of color temperature on mood, health, and productivity.

Before you go into details analysis, have a quick look:

Difference Between Daylight vs Soft White Light Bulb

 DaylightSoft white
Color Temperature Range:5000-6500K2700-3000K
ColorBright bluish-whiteYellow
Similar ToNatural light of the sunYellow light of incandescent
Ideal to use inBathroom, kitchen, basement.Bedroom, living room, dining room.
EffectCool, energetic effectWarm, cozy, relaxed effect
Good for sleepNoYes
Task lightingYesNo
Room by Room interior Lighting (Daylight vs Soft White) analysis based on mood, health, and productivity.

Installing soft white lights in the bedroom enhances sleep hormone, allows you to calm down and rest peacefully. That's why you can't use it in the kitchen where you need to stay alert with cutting, chopping and measurement. Daylight is well-suited bulbs for the kitchen.

What Color Light Is Best for Kitchen

When it comes to interior lighting, you may easily get confused. To make it easy for you I will analyze every aspect of the lighting room by room and also try to recommend the perfect color temperature of light bulb for living room, kitchen, bathroom, reading room or make-up room. I will also discuss which clor temperature is suitable for eyes.At last I will discuss how make a balance combination between indoor and outdoor lighting.

What is Daylight bulb?

Daylight has a color temperature between 5000-6500K. It gives a bluish-white light that delivers a refreshing and calmer sensation. Daylight gives a natural bright light that can be used in any room of the house.  The color of daylight resembles the noon-time of a sunny, clear day.

Daylight doesn’t cause any stress on the eyes and is ideal to use at home or apartments. There are different daylight light bulbs available while some are dimmable others are not. It has a CRI (Colour Rendering Index) of 80%, and a CRI value of 80% or more is considered good.

Daylight bulbs should be used in the kitchen, washroom or garage where bright light is needed for tasks.

What is a soft white led bulb?

Soft white has a color temperature in the range of 2700 to 3000K.  It delivers a yellow-colored light similar to that of incandescent lights. Due to its lower intensity, the soft white lights give a warm color that makes you feel cozy and relaxed. When soft white vs daylight led is compared, the soft white is less in white and more in a yellowish –red hue.

This color is also useful to use in the home or apartments and should be used where you want a soothing and warmer environment. As these lights do not give a glaring effect but a warm yellow color, it is ideal to use in bedrooms or living rooms.

Difference between daylight and soft white bulbs: 

In terms of color: daylight vs soft white

The difference between daylight and soft white is like the North Pole and the South Pole. Soft white gives a warm glow and daylight gives a cool color.

Daylight generates a bright white or bluish color tone that mimics a cloudless sunny day. Soft white gives a pale yellowish color similar to that we see from incandescent light.

In terms of Colour temperature: daylight vs soft white

Soft white falls in the lower temperature range from 2700 to 3000K. It gives a warm light ideal for relaxation. Daylight gives cool light and falls in the higher range from 5000-6500K. It has a cooler light that makes people feel focused and energetic.

In terms of use: daylight vs soft white

Soft white delivers a yellowish-orange hue that is ideal for the bedroom, living room, dining room or hallway. It is ideal for general tasks like sitting together for a meal or get together with friends.

Soft white is responsible for making people feel relaxed as a result, they will have a good night sleep. This means it is essential for people with insomnia.

As daylight gives a natural bright color, it is useful to use it for task lighting. Task lighting is required for detailed-oriented work such as cooking, cleaning, cutting and chopping in the kitchen.

It is also recommended for the washroom and make-up room. Reading rooms are also suitable to install daylight bulbs because the bright white light enhances our concentration and focus.

Cool White Vs Daylight

There are differences between cool white and daylight. Cool white has a color temperature of 4000K and looks like blue shade along with natural white color. This light helps us to contrasts and can be used in the kitchen, office, working place, laundry room, sewing place, etc.

It helps people to feel active, vibrant and focused. The white light with bluish tint makes a room look fresh and intense. Users can use dimmable cool lights or cool light strips for decoration.

Daylight, as previously discussed, gives a ‘sunny day’ white color that illuminates a particular room with glaring light. For a few hours, the light is efficient to use for studying purposes, but if used for long, it may cause eyes to tire.

Daylight can also be used for works that need better visibility, like in the kitchen, bathroom, or study room. It can be used for decoration of Christmas trees.

Soft White Vs Warm White

Soft white has a color temperature range of 2700 to 3000K. It emits a warm yellowish color as we see from incandescent lamps. Since it makes people feel calm and cozy the light is ideal to use in bedrooms, living rooms or hallways.

The yellowish light is also beneficial to feel relaxed, tired and sleepy. So if they are installed in bedrooms, the light will help people to sleep and prevent insomnia.

Warm white has a color temperature range of 3,000 to 4,000 K. it has a yellowish-white color.  The warm white shade can be used in a modern kitchen, living room, lounges, etc.

Warm White Vs Cool White

The comparison between warm white vs cool white lights are already discussed. But there is a difference between them. Cool white is not as bright as daylight. It has a bluish tone mixed with white color.

Warm whites give a warm yellow color, so it is ideal to use it in bedrooms, living rooms, restaurants or modern kitchen. On the other hand, cool white gives a vibrant white color, so it is suitable for workplaces like kitchen, workplace, basement, etc.

Which Color Temperature Led Bulb Is Best For A Home?

Usually, for commercial use, the light with a color temperature range between 2000 to 6000 K is preferable.On the other hand, for house and apartments, warm light is preferable.

From 2700K, the light enters into warm white or soft white color.

The warm white or soft white colors give an orange-yellow shade that produces a warm, cozy and homey effect that is suitable for houses. Warm light is preferable to use in rooms where people will sit back and relax like a bedroom, living room or hallway.

At 3500K, the color of the light starts to become whiter and is called cool white or bright white. These give a bluish-white color which is also used in homes but specifically in rooms where people do in-detailed work and need bright light for focusing. These are usually used in the kitchen, bathroom, reading room or make-up room.

Room By Room DistributionColor temperature of light (K)
Living room2200-3000
Bedroom2700-3000
Kitchen2700-5000
Bathroom2200-3000
Home office2200-5000

If you are wondering how much watt led bulb is required for a room?  Then you should first undestand the lumens and watts.

Lumens:

Lumens is the brightness of a light. The Lumens is the result of the total quantity of visible light that comes from a light source per unit of time.

Watts:

Watts is the measure of the amount of electricity required for a bulb to attain its desired brightness.

Note that, a standard 100-watt incandescent light bulb generates around produces about 1,500 – 1,700 lumens.

The following table shows the number of lumens needed for different rooms in a house.

ROOMLUMENS Per Square Foot
Living Room10-20 per square foot
Dining Room30-40 per square foot
Bedroom10-20 per square foot
Bathroom70-80 per square foot
Hallway5-10 per square foot
Kitchen (general)30-40 per square foot
Kitchen (task)70-80 per square foot
Laundry/Utility room70-80 per square foot

You can also use the lumens to watts calculator.

Why Is Soft White LED Better Than Daylight LED Light?

The difference between soft white and daylight bulbs are mainly due to their color and use. One color can’t be superior to another one because different colors have different uses and applications.

However, soft white is better if you want a warm, peaceful and comfortable environment. It suits in bedrooms, dining rooms, etc. compared to daylight, the soft white is better for eyes and sleep.

Daylight is a bright color that helps people to see minute details and boost up energy and enthusiasm. It can be installed in the study room, kitchen, etc. if you study for long hours under daylight, it will affect your eyes, and during nighttime, it will affect your sleep.

Daylight Vs Soft White: For Living Room

Between daylight vs soft white light, soft white is suitable for the living room. The living room is a place of relaxation. This is where people usually welcome guest, gossip with friends and family, or seat back and relaxes. People might sometimes watch a movie or play a game in the gaming console.

For the activities mentioned above the soft white is the best choice for a living room. Soft white will generate a specific yellowish hue which will make people feel warm, calm, soothing and relaxed.  As a result, people become more indulged in their activities of chit-chatting, talking and relaxing.

Usually, a living room requires a total of 1500-3000 lumens of light. People can also use dimmable lights in living rooms so that they can adjust the brightness of the light as per their needs. At the end of a tiring day when family members gather together in the living room, the soft white light is the best choice.

Best Light Bulbs for Living Rooms: Editor Pick

GE Lighting Relax LED HD 17-watt (100-watt Replacement): 1600-Lumen A21

Why We Like It:
  • Compared to the 100-watt incandescent A21 bulb, it can save $136.
  • The light has a dimmable feature so users can increase/decrease brightness.
  • Long lifetime: up to 13 years and can be said to be the best indoor light bulbs.

Vintage LED Edison Bulb, 6W, Equivalent 60W, Soft White 2700k, Non-Dimmable Led Filament Light Bulb:

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Why We Like It:
  • High CRI of 95+ and provides eye protection with no harsh glares.
  • Longer lifetime: 20,000 hours with 3 hours of usage per day.
  • Saves 90% electricity bills and comes with 18-months warranty.

Philips LED Non-Dimmable A19 Frosted Light Bulb: 1500-Lumen, 2700-Kelvin, 14.5-Watt (100-Watt Equivalent), E26 Base

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Why We Like It:
  • It works with E26 base and is mercury-free.
  • Long lifetime of 10,950 hours and up to 10 years of light with three hours of usage per day.
  • Uses 80% less energy than 100W incandescent bulb.

Daylight Vs Soft White: For Kitchen

If you are confused about whether to choose soft white or daylight bulbs for the kitchen, the answer is here. Kitchen is the place where we spend most of our time, so the lighting in this particular place is essential. To choose the perfect color temperature for the kitchen, the activities that people do in that room is important to consider.

Kitchen is used for cooking, cutting and chopping meat and vegetables, cleaning pots and cutleries. This is why bright light is needed, which enables us to see us clearly and measure spices with precision.

Among soft white and daylight, the daylight generates a bright bluish-white color which looks a lot like the natural sunlight. Soft white is the opposite and gives a yellowish tint, and as a result, it is not suitable for the kitchen.

If you have a kitchen with a big space, then daylight is useful to use. It will give people an energetic vibe, and the bright colour will help to focus and do work. Usually, a kitchen needs 3000 to 4000 lumens of light. The following table gives a general guideline of how much lumen is needed for the kitchen:

Different Kitchen RoomFoot Candles
Kitchen General30-40
Kitchen Stove70-80
Kitchen Sink70-80

*Foot-candle means the amount of light that you will get one foot away from the light emitter.

Best Light Bulbs for Living Kitchen: Editor Pick

LOHAS A19 LED Bulb 150W Equivalent(UL Listed), 17 Watt Daylight White 5000K LED, dimmable lights

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Why We Like It:
  • 88% energy-efficient and longevity of 30000 hours.
  • Easy installation as it fits with any E26 socket.
  • The bulb is UL certified, CE, ROHS, FCC compliant and doesn’t contain lead or mercury.

SYLVANIA Ultra LED Night Chaser, PAR38, 250W Equivalent, 2650 Lumen, Dimmable lights

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Why We Like It:
  • Saves up to 87% energy when compared to the incandescent bulb.
  • Long-lasting up to 25000 hours which means 22 years with 3 hours of usage per day.
  • The light is dimmable and works with LED dimmer switches.

OSTWIN 10 Inch Flush Mount Ceiling Light-Dimmable LED Light Fixture

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Why We Like It:
  • Easy installation and 1150 lumen 5000K daylight.
  • ETL and Energy Star certified.
  • 5-year warranty and good customer service.

Detail Guide for Kitchen Lighting

Daylight vs soft white: for bathroom

As we already know, soft white delivers a warm and soothing yellow color; it is no preferable to use it in places like the kitchen or bathroom. A washroom is a sensitive place when people do tasks like brushing, setting up hair, apply a make-up, wearing clothes or washing thyself and maintaining hygiene.

These detailed tasks need a sufficient amount of light, and warm yellow light is not a choice. Daylight is suitable in this case because of the color of it. The daylight will give an intense white-blue light that is ideal for these tasks. Another reason is this white light will shed few shadows on a room.

Users can also use dimmer so adjust brightness as per their need and mood. Bathroom lights should have a CRI of 90 to 100 so that people can see all the colors with precision which is important for hair and make-up.

Best Led Light For Bathroom: Editor Pick

LOHAS LED Vanity Light Globe Bulbs, 40-45W Equivalent LED G25 Bulbs

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Best Features:
  • Saves up to 80% of energy and it has a 270-degree beam angle.
  • Simple installation as the bulb has G25 Globe bulb shape and E26 base.
  • Long-lasting up to 30,000 hours, doesn't have lead, mercury, UV or IR.

TORCHSTAR G25 Globe led Bulb, Vanity Light, 5W (40W Eqv.)

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Best Features:
  • It can save 88% energy and around $96 in its lifetime.
  • Generates light in all direction with no harsh glare.
  • 22.8 years Lifetime and UL certified.

G25 Globe LED Bulbs, Vanity Light Bulb

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Best Features:
  • 85% efficient when compared to incandescent lights.
  • It has no flicker or harsh glare and is suitable for eyes.
  • It has CRI 80+, long-lasting up to 30,000 hours and passes safety tests.

Daylight Vs Soft White: For Basement

The basement is the room that remains partially or entirely buried on the ground. If it is buried on the ground and there is no option for natural light to come, then a bright white light is perfect for it.

Basements are generally used as utility space to keep things like boiler, AC system, storing wine, and other foods, laundry room, etc. This means an intensely bright light is needed to see things clearly.

Daylight is suitable as it looks like natural light. The daylight will give an intense white light needed for people to do laundry or store food. Since the basement is no place for relaxation between daylight vs soft white led bulbs, the former one is the better choice.

Best Lights for the Basement: Editor Pick

Hykolity Flood Light PAR38, 3000lm, 32W(300 Watt Equivalent), Dimmable lights:

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Why We Like It:
  • Saves 85% energy and comes with 3000lumen of bright light.
  • Built with aviation aluminum material that has an exceptional heat-release technique and a long lifetime of 25000 hours.
  • The bulb is cost-effective and dimmable.

150 Watt LED Light Bulb, Super Bright A21/A19 Daylight 5000K, Non-Dimmable, 2300lm:

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Why we like it:
  • The bulb has 2300lm, CRI 80, 5000K daylight with no harsh glares that can affect the eyes.
  • Lasts long, it has a lifetime of 2 years.
  • Eco-friendly, the bulb doesn’t have any lead or mercury or doesn't release UV or IR radiation.

LED Garage Light 2 Pack 30W (Energy Saving) E26 Screw-in 3000LM Deformable LED Garage Ceiling Lights 3000K Daylight White:

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Why We Like It:
  • Three adjustable LED panel, it has 180-360 degree light angle.
  • Energy-saving bulb, long lifetime and leaves no dark areas.
  • Made of high-quality material and ensures the whole room is visible with bright light.

Which Light Bulbs Are The Best For Reading: Yellow or White?

Yellow lights look like natural sunlight, and the outdoor sunlight is said to be the best light for studying. Lights that give yellowish-orange hue might make people feel relaxed. The yellow color is less-sensitive to the eyes and, it is ideal if you use it in the bedroom for nighttime reading.

On the contrary, cool white or white light allows you to see things clearly; it increases concentration and focus needed for studying. Compared to yellow light which will make you feel cozy and eventually sleepy, the white light will keep you awake. If you have a study room which you use for 4 to 5 hours, then white light is a perfect choice.

People can also consider the neutral white color that has a temperature around 4000K. Based on glare, angle of rays and other factors, this is efficient for students to read.

However, prolonged exposure to white light will strain your eyes; it will make you feel stressed and fatigued and is not good for health.

Best Light For Reading: Editor Pick

TaoTronics TT-DL16 Stylish Metal LED Desk Lamp, Office Light with 5V/2A USB Port, 5 Colour Modes, 6 Brightness Levels, Touch Control:

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Why We Like It:
  • From 2700-6500K, it has five color modes and six levels of brightness.
  • Strong metal body and adjustable hands with no harsh glares.
  • It has a smart USB port, memory function to remember your light and brightness settings and 60-minute timer.

Newhouse Lighting 3-Watt Energy-Efficient LED Clamp Lamp, Purple:

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Why We Like It:
  • It is an energy-saving 3000K warm light that has zero flicker and illuminating diffuser to protect eyes.
  • 6-ft power cord and durable clamp ideal for students to keep on the table.
  • Lasts long, up to 5-year warranty or 30,000 hours.

LB72165 LED Flush Mount Ceiling Light, 16 inch, 23W (200W Equivalent) Dimmable:

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Why We Like It:
  • White daylight, 120° beam angle and the light is dimmable.
  • Saves electricity bill and long-lasting up to 50,000 hours.
  • Easy installation and 3-years of warranty.

Which One Is Better For Eyes: Warm White Or Cool White?

Warm vs cool light bulbs, which one protects eyes better? Cool white light has a color temperature of 3750K.  It emits a white and bluish color may cause our eyes to fatigue if exposed for a long time. Especially after sunset, if we remain in this color for a long time, it will hamper our circadian rhythm.

Cool whites are preferable to use in workshop, garage, kitchen, or in stores to display accessories. This white light after sundown affects the melatonin hormone and our sleep. The white light from PC, laptop and other electronic devices do the same.

Warm white led lights with a color temperature of 2700K generate a yellowish tone of color. It is soothing on our eyes and doesn’t cause pressure. That is why it is used in places like the dining room, bedroom or living room.

Warm white lights are also responsible for our looks and are known to soften the skin and eliminate the imperfections in our skin. The warm white bulbs are more relaxing to the eyes than cool white.

Best Three Lights For Eye Care: Editor Pick

Swing Arm Lamp, LED Desk Lamp with Clamp, 9W Eye-Care Dimmable Light

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Why We Like It:
  • Zero flicker, no harsh glare, no shadows and even lighting to protect eyes.
  • 3000-5500K adjustable light color, eye-care reading mode and space-saving clamp.
  • 80% efficient and 50,000 long lifetime.

Hansang G25 LED Globe Light Bulbs:

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Why We Like It:
  • The light is glare-free, flicker-free and doesn't contain mercury, lead or UV.
  • 90% energy-efficient, emits 500 lm and less heat.
  •  Simple installation with E26 screws and long lifetime.

BenQ e-Reading LED Desk Lamp with Swing Arm, Auto-Dimming and Hue Adjustment, No Screen Glare, Eye Care:

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Why We Like It:
  • The light avoids screen glare and doesn’t flicker. It emits soothing light and has an auto-dimming mode that protects eyes.
  • Adjustable color from 2700 to 5700K and brightness.
  • Adjustable and rotatable hands to illuminate the whole desk.

Which One Is Better: Warm White Or Cool White For Outdoor?

If you want to choose between cool white vs warm white for outside uses, you can’t choose one, both these are used in different ways. Several colours of lighting are used in outdoor areas.

Usually, the lights with colour temperature 2500K to 4000K are used for outdoor lighting purposes. Although there are no strict rules, people can use any type of light depending on the decoration.

Usually warm coloured lights (2500-2700K) is used for architectural items whereas cool lights (3000-4000K) are used in plants. The warm and cool lights give a yellow and white type of colour.

The blue-white colour shades aren't suitable for outdoor scenarios. They cause the scene to look unusual, unnatural and make people feel uncomfortable and edgy. The warm tone of light looks like candlelight or fire and thus delivers a calm, soothing and relaxing environment.

People can use warm light with temperature range 2700K to 3000K, which makes the look very welcoming. Some plants can be decorated with a higher colour temperature like 4000K. If the light is fixed on the top of the plants, they will give a moonlight effect.

The following table shows a general guideline of colour temperature and its outdoor use:

Color Temperature range:2000-3000K3100-4500K4600-6500K
Light ColorWarm WhiteCool WhiteDaylight
AmbienceSoothing, calm, cozy, pleasingBright, energeticCrisp, invigorating
Ideal forLiving room, bedroom, restaurant, commercial use, outdoor decorative purposeBasement, garage, workplace, task lighting.Display area security lighting, garage, task lighting.

Best Lights For Outdoor Use:

Amico 3500LM LED Security Lights Outdoor:

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Why We Like It:
  • The light has 3500lm, 150° angle and 5000K daylight which is ideal for illuminating front doors and backyards.
  • IP65 Waterproof and ETL approved and it has a 5-year warranty.
  • Three adjustable heads and easy installation.

Addlon LED Outdoor String Lights 48FT with 2W Dimmable Edison Vintage Plastic Bulbs:

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Why We Like It:
  • UL certified, waterproof against rain, snow or sun making it ideal to use outdoors by the poolside or front yard.
  • Dimmable lights to adjust brightness based on event like birthday party or poolside party.
  •  It has a E26 based socket, and it is long-lasting.

Solar Ground Lights - 8 LED Solar Garden Lights Outdoor:

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Why We Like It:
  • These warm white lights are dustproof and IP65 waterproof that makes it suitable to use in gardens, sideways, or lawns.
  • 8-led lights that emit more illumination compared to 6-led.
  • Easy to install and can shed light 6 to 8 hours upon charging.

Best Led Light for Indoor According to Color Temperature: Easy Pick

Philips LED 545921 Non-Dimmable A19 Light Bulb:

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The 2700K lights deliver a warm colour ideal for bedroom or living room. It has 800 lm and saves 80% energy. It works with E26 bases, and it ensures eye protection by passing a test on flicker, strobe, glare, hue. Philips light has high CRI and is non-dimmable. It lasts ten years and saves the cost of overall electricity bill.

Feit Electric 6 Pack of LED Dimmable 60 Watt:

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This Feit light has a soft white colour ideal to use in living rooms or hallways. The light is affordable and cost-effective. It has a long lifetime of 15000 hours. Feit lights are made of high-quality material that 800lm light sufficient for room illumination.

Cree Led 60W Replacement A19 Soft White (2700K) Dimmable Light Bulb:

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This GE light emits 5000K daylight with 650lm which is preferable to use in kitchens, bathrooms or study rooms. It saves energy and comes with an E26 base. The light has a long lifetime of 13 years and delivers bright light helpful for task lighting.

AmazonBasics 75 Watt Equivalent, Daylight:

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This light has 5000K and 1000lm, so people can use it in the kitchen, basement, and study room. It saves energy and cost and glows immediately. This AmazonBasics light has 15000 hours of lifetime.

Frequently Ask Queston: Daylight Vs Soft White Vs Cool White:

Which Is Brighter Cool White Or Daylight?

Cool white has a colour temperature range of 3500-4100K and Daylight fall in the range of 5000-6500K. Cool white emits a bluish and white colour, and daylight looks like a sunny day at 12 pm.

Daylight gives a brighter white with a bluish tint of a hue so it can be said that daylight is brighter and intense than cool white.

Is Natural White And Cool White Same?

Cool white has a range of 3500 to 4100K and delivers a mixture of blue and white colour. Natural light has a temperature around 4500K. This means the shade will have a less blue colour and white colour.

Natural light is ideal to use for make-ups, drawings, architectural design, workshops, etc.

Is daylight harmful to use in bedrooms?

Daylights are not harmful to use in the bedrooms. As tastes vary, some people might want daylight in their bedroom if they use the room for precision-related tasks like working late.

Daylight will emit a bright white light ideal to do work. However, after sundown, this bright light is not good for health because it will hamper the melatonin hormone required for sleep.

For sleeping, warm light is ideal, which makes people feel comfortable and relaxed.

Thumb Rules for Daylight and Soft White Bulb:

There is no strict rule book of using coloured lights. You can install soft white, and daylight bulbs as per your taste and likings. However, if we compare soft white light vs daylight, we can clearly see these lights have different purposes. Due to the bright white hue of daylight, it is suitable for kitchen, washroom, or basement.

Soft white generates a welcoming and relaxed yellow colour and makes it preferable to use to welcome guest in the living room, sleep well in bedroom or light up the space in the hallway.

Related Content:

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_temperature

I am very much enthusiastic about Home Automation and actively developing open-source software to extend its capabilities so this is going to all be biased by my own experiences.

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