LED Light Color for Residential

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
I'm looking for some opinions as to the best color of outdoor LED's for residential installations. I see some of these 5000 K or 6500K blue/white lights that just look horrible in a residential setting. I'm leaning towards 3000 K or 4000 K I want something that doesn't look like it belongs in a mall parking lot.
 

texie

Senior Member
I'm looking for some opinions as to the best color of outdoor LED's for residential installations. I see some of these 5000 K or 6500K blue/white lights that just look horrible in a residential setting. I'm leaning towards 3000 K or 4000 K I want something that doesn't look like it belongs in a mall parking lot.
I try to stay in the 2700 range. I'm with you, I think the 4K and above look terribly out of place in a residential setting.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I'm looking for some opinions as to the best color of outdoor LED's for residential installations. I see some of these 5000 K or 6500K blue/white lights that just look horrible in a residential setting. I'm leaning towards 3000 K or 4000 K I want something that doesn't look like it belongs in a mall parking lot.
personally, I like nothing more than 3500k at a residence.

2200k is about what those orange 100W has lights utilities use.
Most people hate them below 2500k

 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Yeah I have an existing 6000 K motion light on my garage and although it's very bright the light color looks awful. My neighbor asking me for a recommendation and since I'll be looking at his lights too I wanted to to tell him to install something on the warm side.
 

jimport

Senior Member
Location
Maryland
I can handle 4k outdoors but inside 3k is fine. I did a kitchen once with 5k bulbs. Damn it was bright but the customer loved it.
Was it too many lumens or was it the color temperature? My wife will say something toward 5k is too bright even though it is the same lumens as a 2700k. I recently found out that blue eyes are more sensitive to light than darker eyes.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Was it too many lumens or was it the color temperature? My wife will say something toward 5k is too bright even though it is the same lumens as a 2700k. I recently found out that blue eyes are more sensitive to light than darker eyes.
the 5k was alot brighter than the 3k,but I didn't check the lumens but I have never seen a residential kitchen that bright. My guess is the lumens was at least 1.5 that of the 3000k bulbs we use.

BTW, you can get an R30 led bulb that is 3k but the lumens can range from 650-1000 depending on the wattage of the bulb (8 watts-12watts). The 5K go up to 16 watt and 1400 lumens

https://www.1000bulbs.com/category/led-r30-lights-3000k/

https://www.1000bulbs.com/category/led-r30-lights-5000k/
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
For indoor public areas (church, school) I am really fond of 3.5K. It gives a color that looks good both at night and combined with daylight. Outdoors (parking lot, access) I am OK with either a lower or a higher color temperature, but never as high as 5K. To me 5K is barely acceptable for security lights where ambiance is not an issue at all.
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
I'm looking for some opinions as to the best color of outdoor LED's for residential installations. I see some of these 5000 K or 6500K blue/white lights that just look horrible in a residential setting. I'm leaning towards 3000 K or 4000 K I want something that doesn't look like it belongs in a mall parking lot.
3K. also, consider 100% light cutoff. some places it's required, most everywhere it's appreciated.
the only reason people use 5k, is you can get more lumens per watt generally if the color temp is higher.

but...it sucks to look at.

commercially, T24 requires the light to dim 50% when nobody is around. not that hard to implement,
and a good idea.

having a light suddenly double in brightness gets everyone's attention that something is moving
*over there*, which is disconcerting when who is *over there* is not supposed to be *over there*,
yet it provides background illumination for curb appeal.
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
I just so happen to have a comparison pic of 3000K vs 5000K; this was a week or so ago at my brothers house trying out new LED halogen replacements.

3000K on the left, 5000K on the right.

I much prefer 3000K.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
For indoor public areas (church, school) I am really fond of 3.5K. It gives a color that looks good both at night and combined with daylight. Outdoors (parking lot, access) I am OK with either a lower or a higher color temperature, but never as high as 5K. To me 5K is barely acceptable for security lights where ambiance is not an issue at all.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I'm a 5000k guy. I hate that orangey 2700 glow and once you start paying attention to how well you can see things lit with higher color temp you don't want to go back to the land of orange.
I had a 250MH in a 25’ decorative pole light in my back yard.
thats about 4500k and 22,000 lumens.
it actually hurt my eyes to look towards it, not at it.
I had to change everything to 200 HPS so I could look around towards it without shielding my eyes.

I guess some people are more sensitive than others?
I absolutely hate a car coming up on me with those blinding lights.
 

Bob_Sacamano

Member
Location
Traverse City, MI
Occupation
electrician
What about for undercabinet lighting? it seems like 3000k doesn't provide enough light to see what you're doing clearly as your body casts a shadow from the overhead light.
 

Another C10

Electrical Contractor 1987 - present
Location
Southern Cal
Occupation
Electrician NEC 2020
I let the customer decide usually showing them a template with lighting tones ranging from 2700 - 6000, many times the older 65 + folks like the cooler 5000-6000 claiming it helps them see better, the 2700 - 3500 tones are better for earth tones like wood, stone etc, creating a warmer, cozier ( if you will ) environment. The big wow factor I always go for is dimming, that's the game changer, always add a dimmer no one wants 5000 Lumens at 2 am. going into the kitchen or bath.
 
I'm with the guys who like it a little higher. I like 3500 inside, higher outside. I have a theory that many people just "think" they prefer 2700k but don't actually prefer it (🤔) perhaps because of the historical association of higher k with non incandescent lighting that often had issues like flicker and low CRI.
 
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