Light temperature – how warm (yellow) or cool (blue) the ‘white’ is – is measured in Kelvins.
The lower the number, the warmer the light, which means it’s closer to an orange or yellow shade. The higher that number goes, the cooler and more blue the light.
Both 2700K and 3000K are more on the warmer end of the Kelvin scale. 2700K is warmer, while 3000K is approaching a middle ground – it’ll look more like a ‘pure’ white.
So when you’re shopping for light bulbs, which one should you choose? Read on, because I’m going to explain:
- The difference between the colors, in more detail
- Which of these bulbs you should buy for a living room
- Which is closer to natural light
What Is The Difference Between 2700K And 3000K
When it comes to light bulbs, there’s no such thing as plain and simple ‘white.’
Instead, the color runs on a scale from those warm, soft whites bordering on a yellow or orange to the cooler temperatures that are almost a blue-white.
It’s essential to note here that light color and temperature are completely different things. There’s no correlation between Kelvin and lumens.
Some people think that a softer, warmer white will be dimmer, but you can have a super-bright warm light or a dim, cool light.
Most light bulbs are available somewhere in the range between 2000K and 7000K. So you can tell immediately that 2700K and 3000K aren’t hugely different.
But that doesn’t mean they’re exactly the same. For example, when you’re lighting your room, the difference isn’t completely subtle – you can definitely notice it with the naked eye.
2700K are clearly warmer and closer to that yellow-orange hue, with 3000K starting to get closer to that more pure ‘white’ that sits between yellow and blue.
Which Temperature Is More Suitable For Living Room?
With that in mind, which color bulb should you choose to light a living room? Getting the perfect color is important for setting the mood.
However, you don’t need to stick to just one choice.
It’s a good idea to use a 3000K light in your main ceiling light or any spotlights you have. This is a good level of warmth for general use, making sure you aren’t always feeling drowsy in the room.
You’ll be able to relax, but you won’t be feeling like it’s too cozy too, and it’ll make sure the room is well-lit.
Then, supplement that with 2700K bulbs in table lamps or any standing lamps.
Then when it’s movie night, or you want a more peaceful atmosphere, you can make it feel more relaxing by switching off the ceiling lights and relying on the warm lights of the lamps.
Want to be covered either way?
As a guide, Philips Hue offers three different colors of bulb – RGB, plain white, or white ambience (Amazon).
In this instance, it’s the latter you want.
A plain white bulb won’t let you change the temperature, but a white ambiance one will, and you can find the perfect setting between cool and warm white.
An RGB bulb would work too but will be more expensive, especially if you have multiple light fittings to consider.
Other brands will offer bulbs that let you change the color temperature too, but check before you buy.
What Temperature Is Closer To Natural Light?
Natural daylight is believed to be somewhere between 5500K and 6500K – that’s when the sun is high in the sky, and there’s not a cloud to be seen.
So, think about it – is that really the color you want to have lighting up your living room?
Most people use their living room light in the evening.
During the day, you don’t need the light bulb to be switched on, and you’re only using it in the evening when the sun has gone down, or you’ve drawn the drapes for a little privacy as you relax.
It’s much better to therefore get a bulb that’s closer to sunset. Having a bulb that recreated the middle of the day feeling would be pretty uncomfortable.
There’s no single agreed value on the Kelvin temperature of sunset, though, because how do you measure it?
Firstly, no sunset is the same – if you’re lucky enough to live near the coast, or you just spend evenings walking a lot, you’ll know that the sun can vary between a mild orange and some deep red shades.
Plus, there’s no agreed way of measuring the light – are you measuring that deep glow of the actual sun or the surrounding light that’s a little warm but is starting to blend with the shadows of the night?
Despite there being no singular scientific value, it’s generally accepted that the sun’s light, at sunset, is somewhere between 2000K and 3000K.
Therefore, it’d be better to buy a 2700K bulb if you want the most relaxing light at night.
Remember that our ancestors didn’t have the option of always blocking out the light. So historically, we are trained to start calming down when we’re surrounded by that sunset light.
Recreating is important for your physical and mental health – it’s the same reason you should avoid electronics before going to bed because the light temperatures of screens can mess with your natural relaxation.
Also read: Are LED Lights Inductive or Resistive?
Once you understand the Kelvin scale, you might think that a difference of 300K between 2700K and 3000K doesn’t seem like a lot, and you’re not entirely wrong.
But it is a noticeable difference, and if you’re someone who wants the best atmosphere in your home, you’ll definitely notice the difference between those bulbs.
Choosing the correct bulb for each fitting is essential – slightly warmer for lights closer to eye level, which will be more soothing.
A combination of both works well overall, while some smart bulbs take away the pain of choosing.
Have you thought about the temperature of the bulbs in your living room, and have you made changes to create a more cozy feel for movie night?
I’d love to know what color you’ve chosen or if this has inspired you to rethink the bulbs you’re using.