What is the Difference Between the Types of White LED Christmas Lights?
[caption id="attachment_63367" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Multiple colors of white LEDs can be used when done properly. In the above picture, 2800 Kelvin Warm Whites are complemented by trees with 6000 Kelvin Cool White.[/caption]
How many different ways can you say "white"? Really only one way - assuming you're speaking only one language.
How many different ways can you 'see' white? Lots of different ways - if you're talking about LED Christmas lights.
Because the truth is that LED bulbs offer several variations of the color white. And each variation offers substantial differences from the others. No one variation of white is better than the others; it just comes down to a matter of personal preference.
So which version of LED white do you prefer? Perhaps the following overview of the different types of white LED lights will help you decide.
Warm White LED Christmas Lights
Warm white is probably the most popular variation of white LED lights. A likely reason for that popularity is that warm whites closely mimic the look of white incandescent lights. And white incandescents ruled the Christmas lighting landscape for generations.
Warm white LEDs achieve their look by swirling a bit of yellow in with the white. It's that slight hint of yellow that gives the light its 'warm' look.
Unfortunately, the actual color shade of warm white can vary significantly. The color temperature of any light is measured in Kelvins. This measurement is even more important in the white colors than it is in other colors. The lower the Kelvin temperature, the more visible yellow you'll encounter.
Warm white Kelvin temperatures range from as low as 2200 (very heavy yellow) up to 3200 (very little yellow). For our own professional installations, we typically use 2800 Kelvin, but when we're looking to make a job really pop and the client is okay with virtually no yellow, we'll go with a 3200 Kelvin, which will be the brightest of the warm whites.
When shopping for warm white LED Christmas lights, it's best to find a quality supplier, preferably one that supplies lights to the professional Christmas industry, and only buy from them. Each supplier generally has specific color temperatures they keep stocked. Many of them focus only on one color of warm white. It's also important to note that Kelvin temperature isn't an exact science in the Christmas industry. What one seller may call 2800k may be what another one calls 2600k or even 3000k. So light sets from two different sellers that are both stating a specific color temperature may not match each other.
Cool White LED Christmas Lights
Another type of white LED Christmas light is cool white. Just like warm whites, cool whites achieve their unique look by mixing in a bit of a different color. In the case of cool whites, that different color is a slight blue hue. During the early days of LED Christmas lights, the cool white lights had a heavy, unsightly blue tint to them. These days, good quality cool white have a very slight hint of blue.
The color temperature of cool white lights can range from 6,000K up to 9,000K. The higher the number, the more blue the LED bulbs will have.
Pure White LED Christmas Lights
Are you looking for just white - no yellows, blues, or any other colors mixed in? Then you'll want pure white LED lights. As the name implies, pure white LEDs really are pure white - no other colors included.
Be sure, though, that pure white is really what you want. Because many feel that this variation of white is a bit harsh. Others really love the purity of this variation of white. In fact, we've noticed that pure whites are experiencing a surge of popularity of late. Each year, it seems, we sell more and more of them.
And unlike warm and cool whites, you don't have to worry much about color consistency with pure whites. There's not a lot of variation from manufacturer to manufacturer. Pure lights purchased from different sources are likely to be a very close match.
Make It Easy On Yourself…
If you're buying your Christmas lights from multiple sources, you're going to have a tough time matching the different variations of white. There's a considerable lack of consistency among manufacturers. And most retailers don't bother to assure consistency of color among their product line. They just go for the best prices.
But we do work hard to assure color consistency. We know that if you buy, say, a string of warm whites from us this year, you'd like the string of warm whites you buy next year to be the same.
We figure that it's part of our job to assure color consistency. We take on that headache so that you don't have to worry about it.